Small Radios Big Televisions

The world is enamored with virtual reality these days, well what if you could store small virtual scenes on cassette tapes? A sort of time capsule for later generations who have long since destroyed such serene environments. Future generations – sitting in a factory, surrounded by air so putrid and laced with smog that nothing can live without artificial respiration – can pop a cassette tape* into their player and enjoy their 15 minute breaks in a fertile field or floating down a lazy river.

That is the premise behind this artsy puzzler developed by Owen Deery. There’s not a lot of depth to the controls in SRBT. You move a reticle around the screen, clicking on doors to open them, clicking on light switches to turn them off or on, and searching for tapes.

When you find a tape it’s automatically inserted into the TR-525 (portable VR cassette player) and you put on your VR glasses, getting transported to this virtual land in hopes to find a green orb in the cyber world, which somehow – though imaginary – transfers to your inventory to be used in unlocking doors.

There’s a bit of puzzler in that certain tapes don’t have an orb in them, they’re just pretty scenes. But if you have them on-hand when you turn on an electromagnet (which are scattered throughout the levels) the magnetic field warps the data on the tape. The next time  you use it the scene is warped like you’re on a bad trip, but sometimes this allows you to find the green orb you’ve been searching for.

This game is all about relaxing instead of being on-edge, and music plays a big part in the experience. Every cassette offers a different addictive riff to enjoy, and the free flowing 80s synth tunes transport you to a different time.

It may feel simple and shallow at first, but give it a chance, play through a few levels and sit back and relax. It’s an enjoyable ride that is definitely different from the status quo. Have you played SRBT? What did you think? Drop a comment and let us know!

* For all of you born in/after the 90s, a cassette tape is a magnetic storage device used primarily for music. Because of the way data was stored on the tape it could be corrupted if you put a magnet nearby. Cassettes were phased out when CDs took popularity. If you were born in the late 2000s and are unfamiliar with CDs, that’s the subject for another article.

Bigfoot has been playing video games for as long as he can remember, he was weaned straight from the bottle on to a Commodore 64 and hasn't looked back since. He enjoys sampling beer and hanging out with his family. A couple of his all-time favorite games are Earthbound (SNES) and Fallout 2 (PC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.