Ghost In The Machine: Dead Cyborg

One man's mangled robot corpse is another man's treasure.
Apparently not someone to take the easy way out, the one-man army of Endre Barath is about ready to release the first episode of Dead Cyborg, a self-described “oldskool sci-fi adventure game”. Which somewhat underplays it, as it’s actually a text-based point-and-click adventure first-person puzzler.


No, really. Here’s the trailer:

“A text based adventure game with free 3D moving,” then, which sounds like an update of how the peculiar classic Starship Titanic did things. Dead Cyborg however appears to be skirting the problem of implementing text based adventuring into a world that includes spacial dimensions by way of pointing and clicking, and it would be pleasant to see proper inventory-combination puzzles from this viewpoint. Even so, Barath hasn’t explicitly explained how it’s all going to work, and that trailer does a very good job of mostly looking at walls and not the more useful world interaction. Still, judging by the FAQ, he does seem to be one of those who gets it:

What about the game mechanism?
The gameplay is very simple. You can move, take items and use them. You can examine a lot of things.

Of course, that trailer also says “no action, no fear, just adventure,” while revolving around a mutant cyborg baby man whose body it looks like you’re going to inhabit, which sounds like a pretty action-filled time full of fear to me. As in, “Oh god, oh god, oh god, what am I doing in this body, I’m so afraid, oh god”. Anyway, it’s also going to be free to download, supported by donations, and according to the Twitter feed, the English translation is done and release of the first episode is around two weeks off. I’ll be interested to see how this one turns out.


  1. _Jackalope_ says:

    Most importantly, does it react humourously if I type in naughty words?

  2. ZIGS says:

    This interests me

    • ColOfNature says:

      I too am interested by this.

    • JFS says:

      You do know that you can now nanopay (TM) for stuff that interests you? Why not go and try right away? It’s great value!

    • ColOfNature says:

      Even better, in this case I can just NoPay. Although if it’s as nice as it looks I’ll part with some pennies, as I just couldn’t bear the crippling guilt if I didn’t.

    • TechRogue says:

      Looks like the english localisation could use a little work, but I’m looking forward to this. Glad he’s supporting Linux.

  3. Xorlathor says:

    “No action, no fear, just adventure.”

    How is that even possible?

    • wccrawford says:

      I’m sure they mean ‘no combat’ and not ‘no action’. The ‘no fear’ is easy if you can’t mess up in any way.

      I prefer the Portal 2 way of handling danger, though… Very quick respawn with no progress lost. Just enough to make you a little careful, but not enough to stop you from experimenting and having fun.

    • enobayram says:

      Well, you can’t mess up while watching a horror movie, but you still get scared.

    • AndrewC says:

      I made a mess once.

    • P7uen says:

      Was there a bag of Milky Ways involved?

  4. bakaohki says:

    I’m very skeptical, Endre has a terrible manner and he is always way too overconfident (judging his posts around the Hungarian interwebz) – from what he says and the way he acts one would expect a couple of released indie games and a solid indie developer background…

    For a short and really enjoyable sci-fi adventure game Technobabylon comes into my mind; 3D is just for eyecandy :)

    • Rhin says:

      Endi has been a valuable resource in the Blender community for a very long time. I never got an impression that he was bad-mannered.

    • bakaohki says:

      Maybe you’re right, I mostly followed only his posts on his blog and some related sites, all of them a couple of years ago when I was into Blender and Wings – I do know about his 3d works (and his bitter/failed game attempt and a couple of shorts he made) and while the little video did not amuse me I hope the game’s going to be nice.

  5. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    “Oh god, oh god, oh god…”

    That’s what she said.

  6. Vague-rant says:

    That’s one unsettling looking protagonist. I wonder if it’ll irritate me when I play the game.

  7. Urthman says:

    proper inventory-combination puzzles

    That’s an oxymoron.

  8. Petethegoat says:

    I will definitely be trying this. And hopefully I’ll be donating. :)

  9. Navagon says:

    Certainly looks interesting. I’d appreciate a reminder when it’s out.

  10. pipman3000 says:

    it’s not truly old school unless you can make the game unwinnable ten minutes in and not even know.

  11. RagingLion says:

    Huh. I’m probably going to have to play this. For some very specific reasons.

  12. Dervish says:

    Since when is Starship Titanic a “peculiar classic?” That game was deservedly panned by practically everyone, die-hard adventure game players and mainstream reviewers alike.

    • MonkeyMonster says:

      that game was lovely but just wrong… some of the combinations you needed to get to work were insane. fecking parrot.

  13. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    This is exactly the kind of payment scheme that actually makes sense with software. Paying for the development of the next version, not for distribution.

  14. Bad Sector says:

    Wasn’t the use of the words “donation” and “donate” a major source of problems with other indies at the past?

  15. KaL_YoshiKa says:

    Technically this looks to be more in line with Normality, Azraels Tear, Real Myst, Tex Murphy or those new indie ones like Kairo. But who am I to argue with the trailer, I love this genre.

    • P7uen says:

      Normailty was exactly what I thought of.

      I dearly loved that, and I’ll give this a try.

  16. Nallen says:

    I read this before bed and then dreamt about it.

  17. EOT says:

    I certainly hope the English in the game is better than that trailer…

  18. LionsPhil says:

    This looks…unnecessarily awkward, really. There’s very little reason for an adventure game to be first person or have direct movement control over the protagonist (c.f. clicking with the walk cursor and letting them handle the details).

    • Dervish says:

      You and Mr. No-Inventory-Puzzles up there should get together and talk about how to best throw out babies with bathwater. Seriously, dismissing an entire perspective as worthless? The obvious rebuttal would be that different puzzle/exploration challenges are possible in first-person that are not in third, and vice versa.