Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Safe House Gameplay Review

I'm playing Safe House, a spy management game by Labs Games.


The story mode tells the tale of American operatives in a central African country, while an endless mode is more freeform. The game suffers from terrible interface: scrolling across the safe house is very slow even on the fastest setting, the game does not recenter the display so you can see the entire building after an interaction (requiring constant, needless scrolling and zooming out), and mouse input is frustratingly lagged where sometimes a single click is registered but sometimes you need to double click. Money is earned by successfully completing mini-games across various rooms that are placed in the building. Most of these games involve finding words on a list: checking a valid code from a list, picking the right medicine from a list, checking names on a list, picking bomb ingredients from a list, putting together a fake passport (not involving a list!), responding to a phrase with a specific word, and a simple shift cipher. These are relatively entertaining but ultimately repetitive. Agents can also be given missions during each day, but these involve no mini-games or interaction at all, just a percentage chance of success based on stats. In the end, Safe House has some potentially interesting but ultimately repetitive mini-games surrounded by an inelegant interface.