Today’s games are I am an Insane Rogue AI, Darkest Days, Ghost Hacker. It’s like a digital Wizard of Oz today, we’ve got virus, and hacking, and AIs … oh my!
Okay, first thing’s first I’m going to address the fact that they use the word “insane” in the title. This is great example of a game that could have been really great without the disablist language in the title. I am an Evil Rogue AI would have worked just as well, and they would have been able to still use the creepy distorted voice that they wanted to. Some might call it a small quibble, I call it being inclusive.
Because the game itself is a lot of fun. The quick run down is that you need to hack various computers in facilities all over the planet, they’re randomly generated, and once you’ve hacked all the smaller computers you get to the mainframe and take over the system. It sounds easy, but you’ve got scientists that are trying to prevent you from hacking the system walking about the facility. In order to deal with them, you can turn the lights off and on to spook them, make the phone ring and have them move towards it, you can lock the doors to prevent them from changing floors, and you can even take over the droids and have them go on a rampage of destruction! The difficulty ramps up with maintenance people who can unlock doors, security guards that can shoot the droids and stop your hacking attempts. Later on you get special ops who are stealthy in the dark, hackers that crash your hacked computers that cause you to get closer to losing and all sorts of stuff. Another moment to be inclusive that was missed, there is only one woman character and that’s the hacker. This is cool that they’re the hacker and are one of the most painful characters in the game, but again it doesn’t take much to make some of the other characters women too. I mean, Nerdook uses the same sprites for everything they do and there are quite a few women sprites. Again, moment to be inclusive that was missed.
The game gives you two methods to win. You can be passive and not kill anyone, or you can go on the rampage and destroy all the pathetic humans th
at stand in your way. What is a nice element to the game is that they give you a bonus for being sneaky. There’s even a nice change with the resolution screen. The text that you get depends on if you ended up killing a person or if you managed to get through without a single body to your count. I enjoy the fact that the game rewards being clever than just destroying everything in sight. The interesting twist is that most of the powerups make it easier to just wipe everyone out.
It’s a great game, but frustrating again on how a game designer can hit the “default” in their brain and miss great opportunities to not be a dude.
Random Value Judgement Rating: (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) – 5 Evil AIs staring at you. That’s right, I said Evil.
We never learn. Seriously. You think with all the games, movies, stories out there about people creating AIs and then watching as they end up destroying everything we’d just not make any AI. Have you ever seen/read/heard anything good about people developing AIs? No? My point.
In Darkest Days you play the pilot of the only power suit that can take on Alpha Core and it’s legion of self-replicating robot minions. There is a distinct Gauntlet feel to the game where the robots are generated from bases and the only way to really advance is to make sure you destroy the bases first. That’s hard because they’re constantly pumping out robots, and unlike gauntlet you can’t just wade your way through them. You’ll be doing a lot of diving and moving about the place making sure that you can create enough distance between you and the robots so you can get a clean shot at the bases. The sheer number of robots is staggering at some points in time and it renders the game rather difficult, but it still doesn’t have that ‘twitchy’ game factor that a lot of other games like this have.
Maybe it’s because the graphics are very simplistic, and wonderfully so. Most of the robots are basic shapes, like circles or squares, with a couple extra defining features to make sure that you can tell them apart. It makes the opening page funnier when you realize that it’s a joke.
Random Value Judgement Rating: O <|  L A – 5 Robots coming to take over your browser!
Ghost Hacker is a tower defense game where you play as an human who has been turned into an AI so you can hunt down rogue AIs. There are a couple of elements that make this game stand out in the sea of Tower Defense games that you’ll find. The first is that it has a story line, which not many do beyond the “Oh no! Here are some more enemies coming to take your base!” The second is that the power ups are based on various colours and the towers will cycle through various colour combinations until they are actually selected, which is a little frustrating when you want a certain colour combination. These upgrade nodes are different depending on the tower that you use, which means that placement becomes something else you have to manage within the game. The last thing is that the towers are able to be moved, they just take a little bit of time to recover before they’re functional, which is nice when you have to deal with your space issues. The theme of the game, the fact that you’re in the net, is really well maintained by the look and feel of the game.
Thanks for reading about our Evil Robot Overlords! I’m sure they’re quite happy with you. Aren’t you happy with the games Citizen? The Computer loves you, do you love the Computer? Remember to leave any requests for reviews in the comments section or email me at koipond at borderhouseblog dot com!