Isometric Espionage: 40 Mins Of Black Annex

All of a sudden, espionage is cool again. I’d suggest it has something to do with WikiLeaks, but the last time I typed a nice thing about WikiLeaks my PC started making funny noises and a flower delivery truck spent three days outside my house. And I hadn’t ordered any flowers, sheeple. Anyway, I blew that van up and then the police came. Coincidence? I think not. So now I’m writing about Black Annex from the front room of the Cuban embassy: Developer Lance E. McDonald streamed it as part of the Greenlight SuperShow, showing off his incredibly silly strategy action game. I think it looks rather lovely.

Jim already mentioned the Greenlight Supershow, but I’m keen to draw a little bit of focus on Black Annex (named after he ran ‘Hostile Takeover’ through a thesaurus). The lovely combination of Habbo Hotel‘s aesthetics and book-balancing office cracking is its own thing. Why shouldn’t corporate spies use rocks to sneak past office security systems? And it makes a perverse sort of sense that it doesn’t allow you to carry on to the next mission until you’ve earned the transport costs to cover it. He’s putting business back into corporate espionage, complete with accounting and Gatling guns.

Greenlight link time!


  1. Bhazor says:

    @20:00 in the video
    When you use the phrases “You end up needing to do tedious work” and ” you have to replay missions you’ve already done” to describe your own game it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

    Apart from that I really think this was tragically timed. A Syndicate remake just a week after Satellite Reign launched? Whooops.

    • Alien426 says:

      > A Syndicate remake just a week after Satellite Reign launched? Whooops.

      RPS knew about the game since April (link to and there are YouTube videos from August of last year (link to; at first unnamed, then called “BA Project”)… I guess the whoops is on Satellite Reign.

      Since the shooty Syndicate sequel, interest in the original’s gameplay has increased. Paradox’s Cartel, anyone?

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Yeah, it’s been around for a while.

      I currently find the idea of the ‘tedious’ work amusing, but I’ll see how it pans out if I get hold of the game.

    • lasikbear says:

      This is how all my game design ideas go, “wouldn’t it be interesting if X happened? It would be miserable for the player, but interesting

    • nzmccorm says:

      First off it’s been around for ages, and second he’s talking about tedium as a consequence for failure. Are you just dense or something?

    • LanceMcDonald says:

      Actually, The Satellite Reign guys are Aussies too, and I talk to them a lot. We’re working to help each other out for our shared love of Bullfrog games. We’re all just game developers making things we’re passionate about :)

  2. staberas says:

    Oh Craig , you fool he was just wardriving !…

    As for the game i would say “meh?” (I know eh thats some constructive criticism :P )

  3. kwyjibo says:

    This is QBasic.

  4. Bfox says:

    You collected $60 but all my guys died – MISSION SUCCESSFUL


    The mission to mission objectives seem really odd

  5. N'Al says:

    WikiLeaks? That’s sooo last week.

    It’s all about the Prism and Tempora, now.

  6. LanceMcDonald says:

    Hi everyone! :D That’s for the awesome response to my little stream so far!

  7. Caiman says:

    This looks great, it reminds me of D-Generation graphics-wise, for some reason, but the gameplay has real promise. Will keep an eye on it, already voted yes on Greenlight. Also, is Man Fight Dragon and Abducted by Sharks having a fight for best artist name, or what?