About games and gaming thereof!

I Am An Insane Rogue AI

This is a game, not a confession.

If you’ve been checking up on Kongregate.com lately, you’ll no doubt have noticed at least one game by nerdook. Most if not all of his games tend to feature randomly generated levels with a basic goal, usually being “get to the end of the level,” and some open room for creativity and customization. In theory, the randomly generated levels give the games endless replayability. In practice, the levels usually end up feeling repetitive and samey.

But I have to say that I do have a lot of respect for nerdook. Often times when a developer makes a game that gets popular he just clones that game over and over again. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but nerdook has had a lot more ambition. He’s made action games, shooters, platformers, strategy games, tower defense games, and his recent titles have been very imaginative. His last game, Dungeon Developer, was a dungeon crawler in which you controlled the dungeon rather than the crawlers.

His newest game, I Am An Insane Rogue AI, basically applies the same idea to a different cliche. There have been many games and movies that feature an AI that goes mad and starts killing people. But in this game you’re the AI instead of a survivor, and you have to utilize robots, lights, and other machinery to distract the civilians while you hack computer terminals to take control of the world.

It may sound like a complicated game, but it’s not that hard to figure out. The early stages are fairly simple. As you go further into the game, more complex defenses are introduced and you have to use upgrades to get around them. It doesn’t throw too much at you at once, and it doesn’t get boring too quickly.

A lot of the upgrades give you ways to kill people, but if you complete a level without killing anyone you get extra money. You don’t necessarily need the extra money since you can play an infinite number of levels, but I like to use pacifism anyway.

This is what the gameplay looks like.

I’ve noticed that one thing that really makes me like games is when they allow you to use a variety of strategies to reach a goal. This game does that very well. Unlike a lot of games in which you just gradually upgrade your stats overtime, this game’s upgrades involve an array of different passive and non-passive skills that help you in different ways, including portals, sniping, poison gas, and much more.

The upgrades are certainly not perfect, though. Most of the upgrades give you ways to instakill enemies, and if you’re going for a pacifistic approach (which the game encourages you to do) then they won’t be of any use. And if you’re okay with killing the humans, then the upgrades will likely make the game very easy until you get to the late stages.

But if you are going for pacifism, then the game is going to require patience and strategy. You have to wait for the right time to activate your abilities and hack all the terminals without killing anyone. It’s a lot of fun.

I wouldn’t call it a great game, but it’s creative and entertaining, and I think it deserves a look.

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