TouchTone is a dark, smooth puzzle game about the surveillance state. The player manipulates simple, clean circuits of light — and once they all connect, must review information logs and decide whether to flag them as suspicious.
"What once started as a simple game jam prototype has evolved into a platform for our outrage at the erosion of privacy in this post Snowden era," says Greg Wohlwend.
Wohlwend (Threes, Hundreds) created TouchTone with collaborator Mike Boxleiter under their Mikengreg label (Solipskier) — their resumes are basically a list of the iOS games you most need to own, so that alone should make you interested even if you're not all about pondering the weighty consequences of our always-on, self-policing future (who isn't, though)?
Solving TouchTone's puzzles, which begin pleasingly simple and then gently increase in complexity (Wohlwend says "think laser chess," or a cross between a Rubix Cube and Khet), unlocks more of the story. I'm always suspicious of game developers who promise me "story" without a proper writer on board, and I haven't played enough of TouchTone to know how engrossing the text gets, but the stylish puzzles and atmosphere — smooth, black glass world, the texture of dial-up sound — are worth checking out regardless.
If you're interested in games about digital spying and civilian snitching, the information review portion of TouchTone reminds me of another neat little game you can play in your browser right now: AlethiCorp, fourth place winner of last year's Interactive Fiction Competition. Click that link and instantly summon the brilliant horror of an internal corporate website, from online company courses to team-building event RSVP requests. Your main job, though, is to review documents and snitch on those concerned — unless you can somehow find a way to sabotage the org from the inside.
You can find TouchTone on the App Store.