I’ve played quite a bit of visual novels in my lifetime, all of which range from the mundane and uninteresting to the unusual and unique. Radi Art’s Synergia falls into the latter category and uniquely blends the beloved cyberpunk genre with a bit of romance.
Synergia takes place in a futuristic cyberpunk dystopia where humans have long evolved technology for androids and cyborgs to become the norm. We are introduced to main heroine Cila; a security agent tasked in dealing with rogue androids.
At the start of the game, we are given the impression of Cila being a loner, who often stays isolated from others outside of work. When not interacting with her coworkers because she has to, Cila has an android named Elaine who mainly serves a maid. Because of this, she often stops her from forming any personality whatsoever as she sees Elaine more as a tool and less of a companion making the conversations shown between them quite stiff.
Sadly, soon after we are introduced to Elaine, she breaks down, and Cila is forced into replacing the android. Luckily her friend decides to hook her up to a newer, more organic, android model named Mara. Cila’s relationship with Mara initially starts with an intrigue and gradually grows to irritation. Later on, however, the two begin to form a closer bond, and the relationship between them is further explored throughout the game.
I found the character interactions between the two to be quite realistic—especially Cila’s reactions to the new and highly realistic android. Cila is often shown to be a complex character with a mysterious past. The game frequently gives us signs that she may not always be mentally stable, often needing drugs to cope and being socially and emotionally distant to other humans in general. This does make a bit of sense however, as we’re often shown her being mistreated by her employers and even being unfairly blamed for things.
The game usually kicks into high gear when Cila is out on the field. Many of the story and character decision takes place in these sections, which usually leads to narrative branching points. The sequence of these sections is reminiscent of cyberpunk classics, like Ghost in the Shell, which the game clearly takes inspiration from. What impressed me the most about the story is how different each branching point is. Each decision you make has its fair share of upsides and downsides, making it entertaining to watch unfold.
Art & Music
Aside from the story, the overall art and aesthetic of the game is quite impressive, which the die-hard fans of the cyberpunk gene will appreciate the most. While the art can be quite minimalistic, each frame oozes a unique color pallet and an illustration that enhances the unique aesthetic. Then there’s the music which perfectly supports each section of dialogue with a smooth Synthwave track, thereby further amplifying the overall cyberpunk feel.
Synergia is a pretty solid visual novel to play through. I didn’t encounter any issues aside from a few typos here and there. It tells its story on the relationship between androids and humanity in the simplest yet impactful way possible supported by eye-catching illustrations and entertaining characters. While it isn’t an easy visual novel to recommend to those new to the format, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of the Cyberpunk thriller genre.
Have you played Synergia? Are you a fan of the cyberpunk genre? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Synergia is a pretty solid visual novel to play through. While it isn't an easy visual novel to recommend to those new to the format, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of the Cyberpunk thriller genre.
- Eye-catching artstyle
- Well fitting music
- Interesting characters
- Some typos
- A lot of exposition