Gunpoint by Tom Francis
I’m trying to recall how I heard about Gunpoint. It wasn’t on any websites that cover video games. I know I never saw an advertisement for the game, or a preview/review. It might have been on twitter or a forum. It reminded me of the recommendations I’d get from classmates and friends on the playground, “Hey! have you heard of Gunpoint? It’s this really cool game that just came out! No! You won’t find it in GamePro! You really need to get it!” It felt like I was discovering something no one else knew about.
And that’s ridiculous, because today someone you know, probably someones, knows something about everything. So, while I was “discovering“ Gunpoint so where thousands of other people at the same time. I’m okay with that. Walled gardens never sat well with me. my enjoyment of entertainment isn’t diminished by the number of people enjoying it. That feeling though of finding something out of the way, something a little secret, it probably colors my view of the game. You’ve been warned.
Gunpoint is a puzzle game; you play the role of a freelance spy breaking into corporate offices and stealing/destroying data. Your success depends on your ability to rewire the electronics in each building to work for you and against the people it is supposed to protect. Need to open a door? Rewire it to open when you turn a light switch. Need to eliminate a guard? Rewire the outlet next to him to overcharge and electrocute him whenever someone calls the elevator. No switches by you and you still need to open a door? Is there a camera? Then rewire the camera to open the door instead of triggering an alarm. It’s an interesting and clever concept but it can be a little difficult to explain the video below should help.
I’m not done with Gunpoint yet (Editor’s note: He is now you can see more below), I’m taking my time through each of the missions. I like to sit outside of a building and analyze every facet of the job from the layout of the rooms to the movement of the guards, from the electrical wiring to the placement of windows and elevators. I’m always shocked when I complete a mission and the game tells me how quick the record for completing a mission is. Some people take mere seconds for a job that I’ve spent six or seven minutes solving. I suspect that these are smash and grab jobs where I’m meticulously rewiring buildings to ensure that I get in and out without ever being seen. The strength of Gunpoint is that both approaches, and all the variations between, are valid. The engine and design are robust enough to allow for varied styles of game play as well as allowing for more complicated, robust, Rube Goldberg-esque solutions involving multiple rewirings, broken windows, and the tragic deaths of unwary guards.
The game can be had for a mere $10. It comes highly recommended.
PS – If you’re curious to see the ending I came to you can click here.