Transfer is a short narrative game by Abyssal Uncreations focusing on artificial intelligence and discovery. Taking the role of an AI after the end of the world, you need to find out what happened and what comes next. It’s moody and intriguing. It’s this week’s indie pick.
At the start of Transfer, you are assigned one of ten random backgrounds. Humanity has disappeared, and you have to determine who you are and what you’ll do now that it’s gone. Players navigate a command input screen to talk with other artificial intelligences. As you learn more about your peers and the state of the world, you also begin to unlock memories of your past. Were you so disgusted with humanity’s inane chattering that you cast the final vote to destroy them? Were you tricked into harming your masters because you were jealous of their ability to procreate? Bit by bit, the truth becomes clear.
The biggest challenge is deciding what to do with that truth. Transfer is a wonderful exercise in role-playing. Starting as a blank slate with no memory gives players a chance to form their own personality. As you learn more about who you were, that personality could be called into question. Maybe you’re not who you think you are. What then? You might seek redemption for past deeds or lean into villainy. In one playthrough, I tried to stop a murderous companion AI. In another, I attempted to stay as far from conflict as possible.
Transfer lasts about ten minutes per playthrough, but the randomised AI couples with multiple endings to provide a lot of replayability. It feels like a miniature bout of digital archaeology, digging into old memories and unearthing secrets. It’s sombre and captivating, with strong writing that made me wonder exactly what it would be like to float in the void of cyberspace.
You can play Transfer on PC or Mac.