I love to solve puzzles, figure stuff out, strategise. Here are few games that makes you think before you click.
Scientists have made a discovery, called Sigma Theory, that allows to develop a world-changing technology, for good or evil. The world’s superpowers are on the hunt for this elusive discovery and for a handful scientists that can actually harness this technology. You are at the head of your country charged with this very task.
Sigma Theory is a beautifully styled strategy espionage game. It’s still in early development stage but what you see waters your appetite and teases a very interesting game. The simple, bold, bright poster grabbed my attention – a lonely distorted figure lost in a sea of red – somehow captures mystery, tough decisions. I love that the title is using the actual Greek letter meaning Sigma. They get an “A” from me for design, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from French Mi-Clos Studio, famous for equally beautiful game – Out There, about loneliness in space.
See also my Interview with Michaël Peiffer – Creative Director on Sigma Theory.
Create your perfect society. In this gene-altering simulator you begin with recognising what particular DNA setup (randomised at the start of every playthrough) stand for, same part creates two attributes, a physical appearance and a character trait, for instance big ears might also mean industrious, so one by one you start recognising the setup and then you start creating your perfect society. Which raises a question – what is a perfect society? Is it a mix of different kind of people or maybe there should be a majority of one type (helpful creatives, anyone?), should any traits be even allowed, like violent people? It’s worth mentioning the game is graphically very minimalistic, schematic-like, which is brilliant, because it lets your imagination fill-in the gaps.
The Turing Test
As an International Space Agency (ISA) engineer, Ava Turing, you investigate a research base on Europa (one of Jupiter’s Moon). You have an Energy Manipulation Tool (EMT) that transfer energy between objects – you power doors, machines, giant structures. As you press on the puzzles get harder and harder to solve.
The Turing Test is puzzle first person game, with a multi-layered story and very good graphics, developed by Bulkhead Interactive and published as part of the Square Enix Collective. The demo at EGX watered my appetite for more of the game, as the puzzles are not easy at the start and they get harder progressively. Although baring similarity to Portal games, it has its own atmosphere and uniqueness.
Join together few blocks, add wheels to it, mount some guns and there you have it – your first killing machine. Pit it against other machines and get money and recognition for doing that. With the money buy more parts, more weapons, more upgrades. The way you want your robot to look is literally infinite! Exchange wheels for giant robot legs or hover plates.
This game is kind of a Lego simulator – it’s basically what I imagined in my head when I was building robots, spaceships, machines in my childhood. Before you take out your robot against others, you can test it out and I’m telling you the physics are spot on. In my playthrough I’ve added hover plates, had one side slightly heavy and the whole machine was tilting backwards, it really felt like this game was taking into account real-life physics, weight distribution and all that. The multiplayer has loads of different exciting play modes. Additionally, this game is becoming so big, it has a dedicated wiki / gamepedia page.
Frozen Synapse 2
What if you could stop time and play out infinite number of scenarios before committing to the final outcome. And what if you led a team of agents, but the catch is – you don’t know how the opponent is going to behave, so you have to play our their movements as well as best as you can, so you can be ready for what’s actually going to happen. It’s a peculiar game of chess. That’s roughly the idea of Frozen Synapse.
But this game is its sequel. So on top of that great core mechanic, the developers created a whole city, where you decide which missions you go on and added an economic and political system. I seriously can’t wait to play it.