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A Haunted Operating System: Archimedes

What if your computer was haunted?

I like playing games that are about a character sitting in front of a screen, using an operating system or playing a game. Essentially, if the window onto the world is a computer's screen, I enjoy the sense of being in front of my own screen and pretending it's the fictional one that the character is interacting with. Uplink is still my favourite example of the form but there are many others, including Her Story and recent freebie The House Abandon sort of fits as well.

Archimedes [official site] is a game about interacting with a haunted operating system. Think Pony Island, without the laughs.

I'm bluffing a little here. I haven't played the game yet, so for all I know it might be full of laughs, though I very much doubt that's the case. It's a short one, so my only excuse for not seeing it through yet is that it's Monday morning and far too bright outside to be dabbling in horrible things. I'll try it tonight.

Here's what to expect if you decide to take the plunge:

"After you purchase and install Archimedes, an old operating system appears to be running, and a strange man asks for your help as you start to discover the terrible secrets behind the game.

"You will be required to interact outside of the game, with instances ranging from steganography and cryptography to real-world geographical puzzles and use of various external applications. The deeper you go, the more frightening and personal it will become."

You're going to be dicking about with things outside the game, on that there internet. I believe there's a point where you have to download a file, which is probably going to be more terrifying to some digital germophobes than anything else that could possibly happen. My hard drives are such a garbage dump of unfinished stories, unflattering screengrabs and half-forgotten prototypes that I don't think any contamination could make them worse.

Archimedes is available now, for Windows, Mac and Linux, and is only £1.69 on Steam during its launch window. It's on Itch too.

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