Gunpoint is about understanding the potential of a variety of different systems, but figuring out your own way to interact with them. You’ll grow to understand that noise sensors can be rewired to hear the ding of an elevator being called to a floor, so you could use that to short circuit out a power socket knocking out a guard nearby. At the most devious, you might even rewire a motion tracker that a guard passes through that unlocks doors further into the facility, making them do your work for you.
The difficulty is ratcheted up by eventually having to reach specific junction boxes first that allow hacking into distinct colour coded circuits. This adds extra clauses to your mission, making it impossible to progress and needing to consider strategies for quickly entering and exiting highly secure rooms. Gunpoint is as much about remaining undetected as it is about standing still and taking in the extents of the world you’ve been granted access to bend at your will.
The art style is serviceable: it’s stylishly pixelised but doesn’t do enough to stand out, though crucially visual information is conveyed well enough that it’s not a concern. The only upset is the phone that’s used between levels for dialogue choices and as an in-game menu screen. It just doesn’t contain a particularly polished look and the choice of Arial font for every word seems wrong. Preferably it’d have more style, but as it still manages to get the job done it’s a tiny complaint.
The main game is over more quickly than is enjoyable, but there’s a level designer included that should hopefully spur on a community dedicated to providing more content after release.
Gunpoint’s an honest early Game Of The Year contender. You’ll have more fun in this small downloadable release than a high percentage of larger releases. It’s a classically styled game that allows the player options and allows them to consider their own solutions without much handholding. It’s wrapped in a great plot and even better dialogue. Don’t skip this.