astrophyle's Invisible, Inc. (PC) review

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One of the best tactical strategy games in years

There has been a fair amount of coverage of Invisible, Inc. here on Giant Bomb, so I won't try to rehash too much, but I would like to add my voice briefly to recommend this game.

A quick review of the gameplay: The player picks two agents among team members that have different abilities. As you play the game, two more agents become rescued and are added to your infiltration missions during the current playthrough. (You will also unlock agents to use at the start of your next game when you finish your current playthrough.) The game is turn-based, with your actions being spent from the agent's AP pool. You infiltrate a procedurally generated corporation level and accomplish main and side objectives and try to escape any way you can. There is also an AI computer on your side that sees the map as you reveal it, and it can hack the enemy consoles and units, helping your agents accomplish their mission. You will upgrade your agents by spending money on their skills or by giving them items to use. The AI can be upgraded by buying programs to use against consoles and enemies.

The best thing about Invisible, Inc. is the ease at which it builds tension in a given mission and makes you consider every decision carefully. When you knock out a patrol, they will eventually wake up unless you dedicate an agent to pin him, which means you can no longer use that agent for hacking or taking out others. There is an alarm tracker counter that advances each turn, and can step up when certain things happen in the game. The alarm tracker is an abstraction that signifies that the corporation you're infiltrating senses something amiss when you teleport in. Even when you are perfectly stealthy, the alarm tracker counter will go up regardless and cause some pressure and a little chaos to your game. It's best to accomplish your objectives before the counter gets too high, or you may not make it out alive. The game is at its most exciting when the alarm level is 6 and there are several guards waking up and pursuing you after you retrieved some crucial data from their servers, and you just acquired some new items to deal with them more effectively. You quickly learn that every step in the game counts, and you should always close the doors behind you when you move through the level. The game is always a nail-biter, and I love it.

I love the aesthetic of the game -- the stylish graphics and the cyberpunk music. The story is surprisingly good for a roguelike, and it makes me want to play more and unlock more story bits as I go. I'm not a big roguelike guy, but this game is outstanding, and one I go back to a lot.

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