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I, Cyborg

by Tracy Canfield profile

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Outfly, outshoot, and outwit your enemies as an outlaw cyborg on the run! You're a cyborg copy of Ypsilanti Rowe, the interstellar outlaw, whose enemies (and exes) are gunning for you. Can you upgrade your brain and pull one last heist?

I, Cyborg is a 300,000-word interactive science-fiction novel by Tracy Canfield. It's entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Being a cyborg copy of the famous outlaw Ypsilanti Rowe comes with plenty of advantages. But when your cybernetic brain begins to fail only a rare and obsolete part can make your systems function again. Journey across the galaxy as you hunt down the missing piece. Along the way you'll shoot down enemy ships, or jam their sensors so they never know you're there; seduce Ypsilanti's old flames—or just stay out of their gunsights; dogfight beneath high-gravity stormclouds and race pirates through a mined-out asteroid's rocky tunnels.

When Ypsilanti turns up in the original flesh, will the two of you make the perfect team? Or is there only room in this galaxy for one of you?

• Play as male or female; gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual.
• Boost your skills with cybernetic upgrades: you're a cyborg!
• Ambush a weapons shipment above a gas giant's rings.
• Smuggle alien pets, penetrate the walls of a comet prison, and befriend an intelligent starship.
• Work for the local crime lords, set them at each others' throats, or rat them out to the Intersolar Police.
• Infiltrate the halls of power and steal top-secret data with a touch of your augmented fingertips.
• Choose to favor your human instincts, your custom software, or a balance between the two.

Game Details


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Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Play as a cyborg copy of a smuggler in the wild west of space, February 2, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

This game is one of the best Choicescript games I've given 4 stars to, but some of the interactivity dragged it down a bit for me.

This is a large game, at 330K words. In it, you play as (what felt to me) a cyborg version of Han Solo: you're a smuggler, you can charm, lie, shoot, and fly, you can choose how morally ambiguous you are, etc.

In gameplay, it almost feels like a wild west 'slice of life'. You spend a long time on a space station on the edges of civilization, dealing with 3 criminal syndicates (or 4, if you count the corrupt police), as well as an old flame who represents the more civilized side of life.

The man you were a copy of, though, has left a trail of spurned lovers and slighted enemies behind, causing you a lot of trouble. In addition, your sensory implant (which handles all of your input) is dying and replacements are scarce.

I think this game handles overall coherence pretty well. It's not too hard to get a feel for what the world is like and what you need to do. It can be hard to keep track of all the characters, but you get tons of opportunities to interact with everyone.

Choicewise and statwise, there's some good and some bad, at least the way I see it. What's good is that there are some areas where you get very significant choices, contributing to the game's large wordcount. For instance, there are different jobs you can take, factions you can join, etc.

What's a little rougher is that the main use of stats is pass/fail checks, but made pretty difficult. One chapter in particular involves a long impersonation attempt where you have to keep 4 or 5 factors in mind, and failing even one can get you busted.

In other places, events that could have been written in as outside circumstances are instead made to be player choices that are forced on you. For instance, I didn't like the Sphinx character much, but the game assumed I'd be their buddy at least a little.

Perhaps most distressing is that there are quite a few choices you make where the game immediately says, 'but actually, instead of what you just chose, this happens instead'.

Overall, I'm glad I played it. I can recommend it conditionally for sci-fi fans, especially for those interested in ai questions. If you ever liked a Data-centric or Doctor Hologram-centric episode of Star Trek, you'll probably love this.

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