Sp.A.I.

Sp.A.I. is a game about hacking. But not real hacking in the “pitstains and Mountain Dew at 2am” way, but in the “‘90s Lawnmower Man Surfing the Cybernets” kind of way. You play as an AI, dressed in the mandatory neon-blue spandex, moving your way through a computer’s security system by bypassing firewalls, decrypting passwords and avoiding security sentries.

The gameplay represents these abstract concepts through low-key techno music, neon colors everywhere and a wonderfully weird but sensible level architecture. As you progress through the levels, you bypass moving fields of lasers, run away from security drones, solve block puzzles involving laser gates, and decrypt files by traversing a semi-solid jumping puzzle.

The simplicity of the controls makes all this diverse puzzling make more sense than it sounds. You control everything, including your gun, with just one button. Any one, given task will make intuitive sense, while a refreshing tutorial system using Dead Space style, “in the world” text really brings it all together.

The aesthetic sense of this game is just a treat. It’s an updated take on the traditional Tron styling, with neon circuits printed on every surface. But the real appeal here largely comes from the level design. You get a sense of these weird, little, interlocking spaces with motion seeping out of every corner. It’s a very well done take on the “cyberspace as a literal space” idea.

Why You Should Check This Out: Sp.A.I. takes the late ‘80s notion of cyberspace and brings you in as a hacker trying to bypass computer security. Several types of inventive puzzles all flow into each other to create a very cohesive experience with many different playstyles. The level design and art direction do the whole neon-circuit thing to a tee—the levels really give a sense of a weird, connected and constantly moving world. It’s a beautiful, highly polished, experimental, genre-blending game. But ultimately, it’s just fun.

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Comments

This is an extraordinarily cool game. I have a grand total of two complaints, and both have nothing to do with the game itself. One: No save system. Kind of a PITA if your computer decides to lock up. And no ability to remap keys. Would be a pain being locked to WASD if I didn't have a small keyboard to deal with this for other games. Outside of that, the game itself is awesome, the puzzles are cool, and it's a riot to play.

Johnny Mnemonic here I come!

Edit: Wait, I don't think you had an avatar in that. Oh well. Lawnmower Man 2 here I come!!!

Sure he had an avatar in Johnny Mnemonic-- when he was interfacing with the dolphin towards the end, there was a super-low-poly digital Johnny floating around, if I recall correctly.

Kannon wrote:

This is an extraordinarily cool game. I have a grand total of two complaints, and both have nothing to do with the game itself. One: No save system. Kind of a PITA if your computer decides to lock up. And no ability to remap keys. Would be a pain being locked to WASD if I didn't have a small keyboard to deal with this for other games. Outside of that, the game itself is awesome, the puzzles are cool, and it's a riot to play.

Hey there, I'm one of the artists on this game. The game started off as an academic project and just took off from there. We never expected the game to get the attention it did get Being a university project, we didn't really have the time to implement saving and an options menu, but have been getting numerous requests to include game settings and a save option.

Now that we're pretty much done with all the academic requirements, we have decided to take the game forward. We will be releasing an update in the next week or 2 which will include the requested options and a few bug fixes. Stay tuned

I'm a total sucker for when one of the people behind a game sticks their head in to say hi. Checking this out now.

I had some fun with this game. The addition of that save game would be nice, however. Will be looking forward to the update.

I booted up into the tutorial but the framerate slogged considerably on my machine. A real disappointment too because I like the concept and the visual design. I just lack the hardware, it seems. Which is weird since I can run things like Portal smooth as butter and even push Oblivion out at a solid framerate. Alas.

Speedhuntr wrote:

I booted up into the tutorial but the framerate slogged considerably on my machine. A real disappointment too because I like the concept and the visual design. I just lack the hardware, it seems. Which is weird since I can run things like Portal smooth as butter and even push Oblivion out at a solid framerate. Alas.

We did get a few complaints about frame-rate issues from users running the game on fairly decent gaming machines. but we fixed that little problem recently. Although, would help if you could send me your current system specs

Abbeysaurus wrote:
Speedhuntr wrote:

I booted up into the tutorial but the framerate slogged considerably on my machine. A real disappointment too because I like the concept and the visual design. I just lack the hardware, it seems. Which is weird since I can run things like Portal smooth as butter and even push Oblivion out at a solid framerate. Alas.

We did get a few complaints about frame-rate issues from users running the game on fairly decent gaming machines. but we fixed that little problem recently. Although, would help if you could send me your current system specs :)

Certainly! Gotta say, it's a real boon having the developer on the site.

Before I list them I'm sure it's because my laptop doesn't have anything better than an onboard videocard...but like I said it ran some large, albeit older, games well.

ASUS U50 Series U50F-RBBAG05 NoteBook
Intel Core i3 330M(2.13GHz)
4GB DDR3 Memory
500GB HDD
Super Multi Intel HD (onboard video)

Also running windows 7 home edition 64 bit.

Speedhuntr wrote:
Abbeysaurus wrote:
Speedhuntr wrote:

I booted up into the tutorial but the framerate slogged considerably on my machine. A real disappointment too because I like the concept and the visual design. I just lack the hardware, it seems. Which is weird since I can run things like Portal smooth as butter and even push Oblivion out at a solid framerate. Alas.

We did get a few complaints about frame-rate issues from users running the game on fairly decent gaming machines. but we fixed that little problem recently. Although, would help if you could send me your current system specs :)

Certainly! Gotta say, it's a real boon having the developer on the site.

Before I list them I'm sure it's because my laptop doesn't have anything better than an onboard videocard...but like I said it ran some large, albeit older, games well.

ASUS U50 Series U50F-RBBAG05 NoteBook
Intel Core i3 330M(2.13GHz)
4GB DDR3 Memory
500GB HDD
Super Multi Intel HD (onboard video)

Also running windows 7 home edition 64 bit.

Looks like you're falling behind on the minimum graphics requirement. I'm guessing it does have SM3 support but just not enough power.

Like I mentioned earlier, we are going to release an update soon which will include a graphics option. So you might want to try the game after cutting all the extra visuals.

Abbeysaurus wrote:
Speedhuntr wrote:
Abbeysaurus wrote:
Speedhuntr wrote:

I booted up into the tutorial but the framerate slogged considerably on my machine. A real disappointment too because I like the concept and the visual design. I just lack the hardware, it seems. Which is weird since I can run things like Portal smooth as butter and even push Oblivion out at a solid framerate. Alas.

We did get a few complaints about frame-rate issues from users running the game on fairly decent gaming machines. but we fixed that little problem recently. Although, would help if you could send me your current system specs :)

Certainly! Gotta say, it's a real boon having the developer on the site.

Before I list them I'm sure it's because my laptop doesn't have anything better than an onboard videocard...but like I said it ran some large, albeit older, games well.

ASUS U50 Series U50F-RBBAG05 NoteBook
Intel Core i3 330M(2.13GHz)
4GB DDR3 Memory
500GB HDD
Super Multi Intel HD (onboard video)

Also running windows 7 home edition 64 bit.

Looks like you're falling behind on the minimum graphics requirement. I'm guessing it does have SM3 support but just not enough power.

Like I mentioned earlier, we are going to release an update soon which will include a graphics option. So you might want to try the game after cutting all the extra visuals.

Yeah, that's what I expected. But I will definitely check it out again!