In Song of Farca, you have to experience everything through a computer screen, which is something that feels very familiar in the age of working from home and endless Zoom calls. Sadly, unlike hero Isabella Song, my days involved more spreadsheets, less catching serial killers and spying on goat-obsessed heiresses. She’s a hacker under house arrest, called on by various people to help investigate their gruesome and ghastly cases.
Straight away the UI of the game will catch your eye. It splits the screen in two, with Izzy and her dog Scooter pottering around her apartment in the top half, and Izzy’s computer on the bottom. You can only control what happens through her computer, but there’s just something humanizing about seeing her grab a snack or looking out of her window before she wanders over to her desk. It helps to see her that way too, because you’re going to be doing a lot of shady stuff while you’re investigating. Invading people’s privacy by hacking security cameras, stalking their online presence, and operating in the greyest of moral areas.
But then the people she’s investigating aren’t exactly angels. There are the people stealing robots for eTerrier dogfights, blackmailers using someone’s previous sex work as collateral, cybernetically enhanced killers, and a family that makes Succession’s Roys look like the Brady Bunch. It’s these stories that make the game absolutely addictive, even when you’re hacking what feels like your sixteenth security camera or struggling to present the right evidence to someone in one of the game’s many video calls with persons of interest. The whole thing plays out against a backdrop of a near-future where technology companies, and those that know how to take advantage of their wares, wield all the power.
Izzy knows how to make the most of the loopholes that this world presents, and as well as using security cameras to give her access to people’s private spaces – each one a little logic puzzle where people might need to be distracted by a malfunctioning coffee machine or robot vacuum – to hack their laptops and phones, she can use her AI, Maurice, to analyze the evidence she finds. Photos…