In the not so distant future, humanity has wiped itself out. But high in a skyscraper in a rain-lashed dystopian city, something is moving. Cats. Six of them, roaming around a penthouse apartment, the glow of their eyes and the tips of their tails betraying the fact that they are, in fact, robots.
This is the unique premise of Neon Cyborg Cat Club (opens in new tab), a new game that is... well, probably not a game. More a plaything or an experience. But something that might be worth a look if you have £2/$3 going spare.
The cats, who are named Sebby, Rufus, Stevie, Dazzle, Mimi, and Wilbur, pace around this Blade Runner-inspired apartment, doing what cats do best. They run around, they curl up in a ball and sleep, they hide under furniture. But as they do this, they're also generating a dreamy, atmospheric soundscape.
The floor of the apartment is covered in glowing shapes, and when one of the cats walks over them, or decides to take a snooze on top of one, you hear the music change dynamically around you. It's incredibly relaxing to watch and listen to, like a lovely, soothing screensaver for your brain.
You can choose how many cats you want in the room, up to 6, which changes the flow and structure of the music. You can also change the mood, my favourite of which is 'blue', which makes it rain outside. There isn't much to Neon Cyborg Cat Club, but I spent a really peaceful 20 minutes with my headphones on, watching the cats frolic, listening to the Vangelisy drone.
This year, the city of Melbourne, Australia provided a $2.5 million arts grant (opens in new tab) to local creators struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creators of Neon Cyborg Cat Club were among the beneficiaries. It's great to see governments supporting creatives in these challenging times, especially when it results in something as imaginative as this.