Below you will find the 25 best stealth games ever released on PC. There are sneaking missions, grand thefts, assassinations, escapes and infiltrations. Stay low, keep quiet and we’ll make it to the end.
RPS Feature Our favourite places to hide.
RPS Feature Games about hacking, coding and computing.
Three weeks ago the UK telecoms provider TalkTalk was hacked, allegedly by a band of teenagers, compromising some 157,000 users details. This week hacktivist group Anonymous released personal details of hundreds of members of the Ku Klux Klan. And now the UK government wants a record of all the websites you’ve visited to be stored for 12 months, to be accessed at the discretion of police and security services. Clearly, we already live in a constantly evolving cyberpunk dystopia. But if this Gibsonist world is just too REAL for you, we have put together the ten best videogames about hacking, programming and computing so you can escape into meta-dystopia. Which I’m sure is a much better place.
RPS Feature Half-baked ideas.
The latest series of The Great British Bake Off has come to an end, causing those of us hooked by its cream-filled buns, end-of-the-pier puns, and oddly sincere celebration of the human spirit, to feel as empty inside as an incompletely prepared batch of jam donuts. After a few days spent facing a future free from sugar, gluten, and the strange tension between Paul Hollywood and hosts Mel & Sue, I decided to do something about it. I emailed some game designers and asked them a question: if you were charged with making a computer game of The Great British Bake Off, how would you do it?
The answers are below.
RPS Feature "Quick, throw yourself out of the airlock!"
Heat Signature [official site] is an action/stealth game in which you can go inside the spaceships, from the team behind Gunpoint. I played a recent build last week and spoke to its lead designer Tom Francis about how how it’s grown into a game of factional war, if it can ever be finished, comedy wrench KOs and the awkwardness of journalists covering ex-journalists’ games. By which I mean: disclaimer – I used to work at the same magazine company as Tom, and we socialised on occasion.
Heat Signature’s pratfalls-in-space concepts were a giggle already, but the scope has expanded dramatically since the first time I saw it, less than a year ago. It’s becoming Galactic Civilizations as well as this sort of high-speed, outer space heist game. Gunpoint’s use of physics as both freeform puzzle and source of Three Stooges comedy ethos is very clearly in there, as is a shared determination to ensure the player is doing their own thing in any given second of the game, but as well as stealing procedurally-generated spaceships you now get to play galactic factions against each other in a persistent universe. This wasn’t the original plan.
RPS Feature Mind Bending
The world’s most accurate ranking of the 25 best puzzle games ever to reach a computer. Plucking the peak of PC puzzling, we break down what makes them so special, and put them in the correct order. Read on for more time travel, rearranged tiles, hidden objects and hexed cells than you could ever want.
The turn-based sneaking, leaping, climbing, stabbing, swinging, and sword-flinging of Ronin caught our eye last August with a free prototype, and my it’s come a long way since then! A new trailer shows slick sequences of its cyberninja scaling buildings, smashing through windows, dodging bullets, and stabbing the heck out of cybermen. Tomasz Waclawek’s game caught the keen eye of publishers Devolver Digital too, as they’ve announced they’re helping bring Ronin to release later this year, fleshed-out and fancied-up. Really, come see how cool this murder looks:
Do YOU want to be the next indie millionaire? Well, you can’t. There are far too many of the blighters already and not a lot of room for more. You could make a game though: that’s pretty cool. I suspect many people reading these have thought about doing so, if they haven’t already, but the question is where to start? Well, with an engine, and if you’re a raw beginner that’s either going to be Gamemaker or Unity. The former’s the best bet if you’re making something 2D, which is the best bet if you’re working solo. And then: where to start? Well, how about a new video series from affable Gunpoint creator Tom Francis?
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Judging by the new trailer for Heat Signature, two things are essential in a Tom Francis game – manipulation of interconnected systems and comical physics. Gunpoint’s infiltration often involved tapping into electrical systems and adopting a smart tactical overview, but usually ended with trouser-propulsion and instinctive defenestration. Heat Signature’s procedural spaceships provide similarly fertile ground for both forward planning and farce. The video shows two missions in full but really comes into its own when Tom decides to hijack a ship for no good reason, plotting a route to the cockpit and isolating the crew by sealing doors. Once he has the helm, explosions occur.
RPS Feature "Ghettoised Arbitrary-Land"
Important proviso – all screens and video in this piece show placeholder art. The finished Heat Signature will apparently look very different – there are some hints to its possible final appearance here, however.
“I think the subtitle of the game should be ‘You Can Go Inside The Spaceships’,” jokes Heat Signature dev Tom Francis as he shows me his follow-up to break-out hit Gunpoint at EGX last week. “I can already tell it’s going to have the Gunpoint problem where I say ‘I made a game called Gunpoint’ and they say ‘I don’t think I’ve heard of that’, then I explain what the game is and they’re “oh yeah, I’ve heard of that, but I just didn’t remember the name because it has nothing to do with what you do in it.” A pause. “This does have heat in it, at least.”
You can learn a lot about someone from the games they make, I’m told. Tom Francis’s first game, Gunpoint, was about breaking into places, punching people out, bodging their wiring, stealing stuff, then leaving through a window. But look, his second game was a free game about gaily swinging on a grappling hook. That made the score 1-1 in Evil vs. Lovely. To settle the tie, today he released a new video showing a prototype for his third game, Heat Signature. It’s about, ah, sneaking up on spaceships, boarding them, sneaking around, punching men out, then stealing their stuff. Oh Tom.