You might think Cyberlords: Arcology is looking to the future, but it's actually a deeply nostalgic experience. Developer HandyGames has crafted a sci-fi thriller not unlike some long-forgotten Amiga or Atari ST RPG.
It features bold, chunky 2D graphic design, a lurid palette, a squidgy synth soundtrack, and takes place in the same sort of universe as the 16-bit games of yore, where the dress code owed as much to The Rocky Horror Picture Show as it did to The Matrix.
Thankfully, it also has the same moreish old skool system of progression.The real McCoy Corporation
The game is set in a dystopian city ruled by the tyrannical McCoy Corporation.
After waking up in McCoy's cybernetics clinic, you're helped to escape by a mysterious voice in your head. You then hook up with some resistance fighters and put together a band of four specialists determined to discover what the corporation is doing and how to bring it down.
So far, so predictable, and Cyberlords doesn't put a lot of meat on these bones. It's more about upgrading your team to be able to steadily visit more of the city, meet ever stronger enemies, and then kill them.
But there's enough of a sense of place, and enough different pieces of gear to collect, that this manages to be enough.Kill or be killed
There's still a fair bit of artistry in the city even if it is mostly copy and pasted background tiles. Likewise, the play model possess some subtle craft behind its fight-centric exterior, allows for multiple approaches to combat situations - from going John Rambo to sneaky stealth.
In the end, however, Cyberlords's gameplay comes down to little more than killing monsters. In its favour, the controls are responsive, the UI is clear, and the combat presents a reasonable challenge.
Anyone hungry for a little nostalgic shooting and looting on their phone won't go too far wrong with this.