Shadow Operative

by Michael Lauenstein

CyberPunk
2020

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Smoother Than Silicone, December 6, 2020
by Joey Acrimonious
Related reviews: IFComp 2020

Shadow Operative is a cyberpunk adventure that can be played through a parser or through a sidebar with links: both options are easy to use and work smoothly.

The story here is not groundbreaking, nor is it fully committed to the grit and pessimism of classic cyberpunk. But itís well-written, offering a good dose of wit and nerdy humor, and enough of its own unique spin on genre tropes to keep things fresh. There are a series of tasks/puzzles to solve, which I found engaging if a bit on the simple side - it felt like infiltrating a corporate office to do leet hacking was a bit easier and more straightforward than it should have been. A more expansive web of problems to solve, I think, would have elevated the game.

In general and especially with regard to the UI (which is built with Vorple), the technical side of Shadow Operative is where the game really shines. Gameplay was impressively smooth and intuitive, and the UI presented a whole lot of options and information in a neat and accessible format. It was both functional and really nice to look at. The credits list quite a few testers, which makes sense: I can easily believe that the author put a great deal of effort into testing and iterating upon the game in order to present us with this very slick, well-oiled piece. Also of note: it has a banginí soundtrack.

Overall, Iím glad that I played Shadow Operative. The authorís professionalism is abundantly clear in the design of this game, and I have a lot of respect for that.