Tape Recovery Simulator 96K – First Look

In Tape Recovery Simulator 96K, you’ll work for a firm specializing in recovering data from cassette tapes. Here’s a first look at the game.

Tape Recovery Simulator 96K comes from one-man developer Caffeine Withdrawal Games, and it offers a particularly unique experience handling cassette tapes. Have a look at the preview from the developer below.

As gamers we always march to the beat of progress. We always need more. More pixels, more GPU pipelines, more CPU power, higher dpis, more terabytes. Always more. We never have enough. Never. But sometimes progress comes at a price. A button lost here, some backwards compatibility there. The price is always insignificant and nobody cares that we all pay it. We’ve just gotten ourselves an 8k screen. Who cares that there’s no VGA connection?

Until, after years, sometimes decades, we stand with a dusty tape in our hands and ask ourselves “What happened?”.

Progress happened. Tape is the very definition of outdated. Nothing it represents is still valid today. Capacity? 60 minutes of audio or 600Kb. Usability? You need to wait a couple of minutes just to get to your favorite song, and you have to frantically press the ff/rew/stop buttons to find to the start of it.

Sound quality? Noisy at best. Robustness? Terrible. Tapes have a lot of natural predators: dust, heat, magnetic fields, cheap mechanics, cheap electronics, curious individuals who love fingerprinting the magnetic part. Sometimes a power outage took a couple of bites out of your favorite game rendering it unplayable. Your favorite data got corrupted because it was your favorite and you wore the tape out trying to load it again and again.

The Tape Loading Error was the jewel of the errors 30 years ago. As a tape recovery expert you will experience it a lot. You will need to fight it.

Tape Recovery Simulator screenshot


But not everything was lost. A good part of the issues were recoverable. We had a lot of ways to make data load again.

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Tape Recovery Simulator 96K builds new game mechanics around old tricks. Caffeine Withdrawal Games’ philosophy is “games you haven’t played before” and TRS 96K is the perfect example of it.

Loading data from tapes is a lost art. The tape player becomes your best friend. You also need fine adjustments to compensate for strange, cheap, poor recordings suffering from defects, demagnetization, fingerprints, sound interruptions, noise and the occasional tangling of the tape.

Tape Recovery Simulator screenshot

Extra-Extra Systems

Enter EES, a dead-end-no-future 3-people firm with you as the newest hire. EES’ main goal is to create the world’s first AI-powered email client. It’s second goal is tape data recovery.

As a tape recovery specialist, you get to retrieve data from old tapes. Bits of history. Nothing relevant in the grand scheme of things, but still pieces of people’s lives nevertheless. Sometimes unique and irreplaceable. And the data is shredded to pieces with a lot of the pieces lost forever. But there is no such thing as a fully damaged tape. There’s always something recoverable.

And that’s the easy part. You’ll look chaos in the eye and fight it. Data on lots of tapes is in a messy state because their users were chaotic. Or tried to hide it on purpose by using encryption. Or just scattered it around. Users who now desperately need it back.

And there’s a boss. Only one. But he’s one more than enough. The tie and suit kind. Dwelling in strongly lit, coffee-smelling offices. His unique blend of incompetence, greediness and technical illiteracy makes him a very poor manager. You’ll need to fight him and his awful leadership skills constantly.

Tape Recovery Simulator 96K (TRS96K) will be available for PC and it is currently under heavy development. Bugs are created every day. Bugs are closed every day. Content is added. Content is polished. The game is played and played again to reach perfection. There is no release date set so far to allow the game to mature properly.

There’s a lot more information on the official website. Reach out to Caffeine Withdrawal Games on Twitter for the latest news. Feedback is truly welcome.

For more game previews on Into Indie Games.com, check out our Previews section!

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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