Posted: May 23
If you're the kind of gamer who is interested in turn-based stealth, just stop reading and buy Invisible Inc. right now.
If you're still on the fence, I'll explain. Invisible Inc.'s closest relative is gaming is probably Bionic Dues. Don't feel bad if you've never played or heard of Bionic Dues, because there's only like 3 of us who have. For everyone else, Invisible Inc. is a lot like FTL or Desktop Dungeons, if those games were turn-based stealth games. You spend the vast majority of your time inside missions, sneaking around, trying to hit objectives and robbing safes you come across. You manage several different resources as you do this. Power can be found in consoles, and you can also generate it on your own using different programs. You spend it to disable or turn enemy infrastructure and drones into yours. Alarms build up over time, and also increase when you are spotted or trigger certain things. Cooldowns are another resource to manage, as you can disable guards, but only short periods of time and only every few turns or so. Your items with cooldowns can also do other things. Finally, you have to manage your positioning. That's a bit more abstract than most, but you have to decide whether to split up and cover more ground, or stick together, minimize your visibility profile, and give your agents the ability to support each other. Once you've been through the game a couple times, it will feel like second nature.
At the beginning of each game, you choose your 2 starting agents (who each have predetermined unique augments, and some starter gear), a power generating program, and a hacking program. Each of these choices affects your overall strategy within missions. It's much like choosing your starting ship in FTL.
As you rob safes and recover objectives in the game, you get credits to buy your agents weapons, items, and cybernetic augments that they carry with them for the rest of the campaign (or until you sell them). You strategically choose your missions based on the rewards you'll get from them, and have limited opportunities between missions to buy and sell items from a fence. Between missions you can also upgrade your agents' stats directly.
Enemies consist of drones, guards, cameras, daemons, and a handful of other things. Guards are self-explanatory. Drones are like guards, but you can hack them. Cameras are also fairly easily understood. Daemons are things that lurk inside of cameras, drones, and other hackable infrastructure that are essentially one-shot traps that trigger when you fully hack their hosts. The mix of these things you encounter are dictated in part by which corporation you're infiltrating. Each corporation has its own specialties and strengths.
Each campaign lasts for 3 in-game days, with missions taking between 5 or 6 and 12 hours. That means you're running 8 missions, plus the final mission. Each campaign therefore lasts for about 5 or 6 hours of real time.
This is a poorly written review I did in a few minutes, so try not to mind my jumping around too much. All I'm trying to poorly communicate is that it scratches the same itch as FTL, with procedurally generated everything, big elements of both luck and skill, highly variable starting conditions, and the ability to pursue several strategies, as well as that roguelike sense of getting handed the dumbest stuff and still trying to make it work somehow.