Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every weekday of the year, perhaps for all time.
Invisible, Inc. [official site] is one of the best games released this year. It was the game you should have been playing all through June. It’s a near-flawless mixture of turn-based tactics and stealth mechanics, which takes the ambiguities of the latter and fixes them in place with the streamlined, well-communicated grace of the former.
Stealth games are often more interesting than their guns-blazing counterparts because they deal in shades of grey; not the binary of fighting or not, but the spaces between. They mine tension from the moment where you’re partly spotted and now a guard is searching for you, or where you’re backed into a corner and your only apparent choice is to reveal yourself or engage an enemy you’d wanted to avoid.
What makes Invisible, Inc. superb however is that the consequences of your decisions within those grey areas are never unclear. You know perfectly well that bursting through that door without peeking first will put you at risk; you know perfectly well that rounding that corner will put you at gunpoint with an enemy guard; you know perfectly well that hacking that security device will raise the security alert for the entire level.
Invisible, Inc. pushes you to make hard, interesting decisions at every turn, and the heists that spill from those decisions are as exciting as anything else in stealth gaming.