Steam Tip: Invisible Inc. turns infiltration into a sneaky turn-based tactics game
From the guys behind Mark of the Ninja
I am of the opinion that almost anything could be turned into a brilliant turn-based tactics game.
Just imagine: football. Firefighting. Ballroom dancing. Ghostbusters. Delivering a baby. Get on those, game developers.
So it is no surprise, then, that Invisible Inc. - a game about spies infiltrating various compounds, which operates like a tactical strategy game - is all shades of brilliant.
You sneak around areas by spending action points to tip-toe between grid squares, and guards only move when it's their turn. Instead of going into overwatch, like in XCOM, you can enter ambush mode to take out guards as they pop through a doorway.
Each level starts cloaked in a fog of war, but you'll see more as you peek through keyholes and around corners. A large part of succeeding is positioning your spies (and using hacked security cameras) so you have eyes everywhere.
And while you have a few agents on the ground, you also have access to Incognita - an AI that can takeover cameras and open mainframes, but needs to be fed computer bits from hacked terminals to keep going.
Ultimately, I think it can sometimes work even better than the traditional stealth games that inspired it, like Splinter Cell and Hitman, because you get time to think. You can plan your attack, and when your infiltration goes perfectly you feel amazing.
It can quite easily go horribly wrong, too. This is a harsh game, especially once you crank the difficulty up and limit the number of times you can rewind to a previous turn.
But that's all part of it being, technically, a roguelike. You'll be encouraged to play again and again, rolling different agents and taking on randomly generated levels, until you're au fait with the games systems and can tackle the harder stuff.
The game's also got a nifty risk/reward system, similar to other roguelikes. You can try and stick around and loot more gear and credits. But the guards and cameras and security systems keep piling on, the longer you take.
Do you stick around and try to loot that last server, or make a mad dash to the elevator? Time to decide.
Invisible Inc. might disappoint those wanting a game with a lot of story (it's got a nice cartoon style and some good flavour text, but nothing too deep) or a game with masses of variety (the levels, while random, can get a little samey). But otherwise, it's worth checking out.
The game's out now on Steam for £13.49, on PC, Mac, and Linux.