Spybot: The Nightfall Incident
Spybot: The Nightfall Incident is a turn-based strategy game and a triple-A quality production that is set in a stunning high-tech universe. The developers have expertly combined story elements with engaging gameplay to create an extraordinary, satisfying and immersing experience.
As a SMART agent—Secret Mission Agents Robotics Team—your job is to hunt down crime and problems throughout the Net. Once located, engage in 'databattles' with corporate security software for control over the nodes of the network.
The databattles comprise the heart of the gameplay, which is turn-based using 'programs' for offensive and defensive actions against similar programs controlled by computer AI. You begin the game with two (2) such programs: Hack and Slingshot. Hack programs can move two (2) squares per turn, and have an attack range of only one (1) square. Slingshot programs can move two (2) squares per turn, and they have a much longer-range attack. Winning battles earns you credits that you can spend at Warez nodes to purchase more advanced programs. An easy-to-follow tutorial will step you through the basics of databattle when beginning a new game.
The game consists of an over-world that represents the entire network under your jurisdiction, called the Netmap. It is a collection of nodes with connections that run between them. You begin the game at the SMART headquarters node with access to security level one (1) nodes only.
Arrows on the Netmap provide a means for navigation. Simply click on an arrow to scroll the map in that direction. Clicking on a node brings up an info window (shown) with details of the mission that node contains. Enter a node to engage in databattle against its security software to gain control over it, and receive access to other nodes and levels.
It is hard to find fault with this game, as it seems the designers and developers at gameLab really nailed it exceptionally well. The tutorial quickly familiarizes the player with just what is needed to get started. Further information, increased challenges and narrative elements unfold as the player explores, interacts, and progresses through the game. Earning credits and purchasing more advanced programs creates a sense of agency within the player since the choices made are likely to affect battle outcomes. And the player's game state is saved automatically to any one of three (3) possible game-save files.
Jay *is* Games, because of games like this.
Thanks go to Stephen and JS for suggesting the game. =)
Note: This is a Shockwave game and it therefore requires the Shockwave Player browser plug-in.