Jul 082013

Status: Complete

Most Intriguing Idea: Taking hacking into the realm of everyday wiring.

Best Design Decision: The scrollwheel switch into electrician mode.

Worst Design Decision: The equipment shop.


Gunpoint is a clever game about a spy, expert in rewiring electricity wirelessly, who can jump very high and fall very far without dying. Using both positional and light/shadow stealth motifs in its 2D levels, it allows for a fairly versatile set of approaches despite the fragility of the main character and (for most of its length) his limited offensive options. The story includes enough convolution and betrayal to satisfy its espionage noir trappings, and enough snark to sustain an essential lightness. Although it’s very short, I’ve had a lot of fun dipping back into its levels to try them out in different ways. The only thing I didn’t particularly like was the equipment store, because it seemed to exist for no other reason than to enforce a progression that was already part of the game itself. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the final level, where I was forced to use the whole paycheck from the previous level to buy some equipment that wasn’t even necessary. In general the game’s meta-elements seemed sloppily conceived in comparison to the core gameplay, and the equipment would have been better positioned as pickups rather than purchases. This is a small quibble, though, with a game that I enjoyed very much.

Verdict: Recommended


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