If anything, Speaking Simulator showcases the struggle of trying to fit, a feeling I’m sure all of us have known at some point in time and for some of us, probably more times than any of us would care to count.
Brought to us by a two-person team originating from Australia, Affable games has delivered a new wacky simulator that is available through Steam and the Nintendo Switch. Speaking Simulator, tells the tale of an ever so slightly evil android that is out to achieve a bit of total world domination while appearing to be a perfectly normal human being who happens to be better at everything.
Being a part of human society seems like such a simple concept in theory, but as someone who has struggled with social anxiety most of my life, this Speaking Simulator spoke to me in a way most other simulation games have not been able to.
You have to use the right buttons at exactly the right times to control the movements of your mouth and tongue and avoid detection from your human companion. Clicking these buttons at the right time allow you to formulate the words correctly and speak with nearly perfect punctuation. If you fail to present yourself as a normally functioning human, your hopes of world domination will come to an end. Ultimately, when you fail at the sequencing order your face will begin to spark, and your eyes will bulge and pop out as your teeth fall straight from your mouth.
Despite all of this, if you keep the suspicion bar low enough, your human companions never seem to notice any of this happening even though they are sitting directly in front of you. Even here, in this ridiculous game, there seemed to be a lesson that I could wholly relate to. Often times I have tripped and fumbled over words in my head, struggling to find the right tone or way to phrase something. I would overthink things and start to panic. It takes time to realize no one else around you even noticed the process going on and that it was all a result of getting stuck in my own head and thoughts. Its reassuring to know that there is another “human” who shares my struggles.
I can also appreciate how the game uses humor to touch on other serious subjects. Humor is a major coping mechanism for myself and I don’t think I would be where I am today without having humor as an outlet.
The controls in Speaking Simulator are simple enough to learn, in concept at least, but I found them to be extremely challenging to master. When you first start the game, you are on a date with Karen from Human Resources. In this stage, you control your tongue and the movements of your mouth which is a lot harder than it sounds. As you conquer this stage and other stages throughout the progression of the game, you are allowed to upgrade yourself through dental work which allows you to have further control over smiling, frowning, and eye movements. You will need these upgrades to move on to further levels, though I found that the more controls I had to manage, the harder the game became. I had a hard time knowing when to smile or frown and when to make sure my eyes were pointed in the right direction. All on top of this I still had to make sure that I was pressing the exact right spot in my mouth, which was rather difficult.
All in all, I found Speaking Simulator to be an extremely amusing game and definitely worth taking a further look at. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the levels hold in store!