Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is a point-and-click visual novel from developer MidBoss. It comes from the makers of 2064: Read Only Memories, taking players on another futuristic journey to unravel a new mystery.

When I heard about this title, I jumped at the chance to review it. After all, I enjoyed my time with the previous entry. NEURODIVER is set six years after that adventure, introducing us to a new cast of characters living within Neo San Francisco. Although you don’t need to have played 2064 to appreciate NEURODIVER, there are a few references to the original story, which is a nice touch for fans. 

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In NEURODIVER, you play the role of Luna, code-named ES88. Luna is an esper, a psychic human who can bond with people’s minds. She works in a special division at a tech company called MINERVA where she helps people repair broken or missing memories. This is a new role for Luna, and part of the game’s charm is witnessing her naivety as she tests her powers and learns how to use them in a real-world context.

When it comes to visual novels, the story is important. NEURODIVER’s writers have created an intriguing plot full of interesting characters. Luna is tasked with tracking down a dangerous psychic, the Golden Butterfly, who is hopping from mind to mind to corrupt memories. While this mystery keeps the story moving, each side character also stands out with quirks of their own. Whether it’s the “will they/won’t they” dynamic of Luna and her colleague or the touching brother/sister relationship of hacker Tomcat, there’s a lot of interesting sub-plots.

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Despite being an all-new story, it’s hard not to compare 2064 and NEURODIVER. They’re set in the same world, sport the same retro aesthetics, and use the same point-and-click mechanics. The voice work also continues to be excellent, with terrific casting and emotional readings. I enjoyed listening to each character speak, particularly Luna. Her unbridled enthusiasm is contagious, though it’s clear everyone has put their passion into bringing the story to life.

Another commonality is the ability to choose your responses. You’ll occasionally be given options as to how to reply to a statement. Unlike 2064, though, these rarely lead anywhere different, and there aren’t alternate endings. Sure, the final text alters slightly based on your responses, but the outcome is essentially the same. Everything in NEURODIVER ties up nicely, which I appreciate, but if you’re looking for something as fulfilling as 2064, it’s not here.

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In fact, NEURODIVER feels like a stripped-back version of 2064. It’s a simpler experience with less emotion and no real puzzles or alternate endings. Perhaps that’s why this outing is kept at a tidy 4-5 hours runtime. It creates a vastly different experience to 2064. It’s not bad by any means, but fans of the original will notice the difference. Although I enjoyed NEURODIVER, I preferred my time with 2064.

Overall, Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER revisits the world of Neo San Francisco, presenting new characters and an interesting story to unravel. The voice work and graphics are lovely, though the run time is a little on the short side. If you enjoyed 2064, you’ll likely enjoy this stripped-down experience; just be aware that there’s less to this outing than its predecessor.