hack your brain back!

Partial Control

Partial Control is a turn-based game that follows a cyborg with a partially hacked brain navigating through its spaceship filled with other hacked cyborgs killing each other.

Partial Control is a turn-based game from Cavern Head about a space cyborg with a hacked brain. As the name suggests, you don't have full control over your cyborg. The game plays neat, with no optimization issues as far as I have tested. The cyborgs look like 2D skeletons running around in a 3D space and the whole plot of the game fits perfectly into the gameplay elements.

As soon as the game boots, you are welcomed with a main-menu with pulsating black hole compete with low-poly particle effects. Story mode has a little intro with story plots tied into it. You are introduced to most of the gameplay elements with a tutorial that teaches you basic aspects of the game through 5 different levels in a single go. More of the mechanics are taught as you progress through the game. Unlike any other turn-based games, you are not limited to using just one move at a time. Rather, you are free to use any amount of energy to manipulate your environments to your advantage. Moreover, you don’t have to play the waiting game with your enemies to make their moves. Time pauses during your choices and everything acts out simultaneously from there. Thus, this is not completely a turn-based strategy game, but definitely a strategic brilliance.

The levels start of from very simple to some logic and then to hardcore fairly fast enough. At first, almost anything you do will let you win. As soon as those introductory missions or “rooms” end, you are introduced to fairly tougher levels. At times, timing plays an important factor and that does not happen often in a turn-based game. Moving objects to clever locations to time your shots could get a bit intimidating at first, but is rather easy once you get used to it. Constant interrupts by your conscience plays an important role. Guns almost never have ammo in them and better weapons are closer to enemy cyborgs. But the good news is, not all cyborgs want to kill “you”, at least, at the beginning of the levels. Each cyborg targets each of the other cyborgs and that is where logic and decisions come into place. Most of the time, every cyborg is killed at the same time, that is everybody dies at the same time. The objective is to survive in those situations. Blocks and covers help with it, but since your brain is hacked, you will always to be running to your nearest weapon and never hide behind a cover. This is where moving covers to clever positions come into place. Moving objects can also be used to direct enemies to traps and easily killing them off. A lot of the other things like cloning chambers and gates are of much strategic importance throughout the game.

The chaotic universe mode comprises of a series of levels that get harder and harder each time you complete the level. During this, you cannot save your progress. That makes it more harder and compels you to complete 25 levels in one go. Each time you try a new chaotic universe is a newer experience. But the catch is that it is too hard and unforgiving, resetting to level 1 every time you lose three lives. Also, the developer acknowledges the fact that it is not known if the last level is beatable or not. The cutscenes in chaotic mode are one of my favorite. Each time you complete a map, you are rewarded with a quote of wisdom and a harder map to complete.

The sandbox mode lets you make your own maps and levels and tailor it your preference. At the time of writing, there is no way to share a level you made. Nonetheless, this mode will be a favorite for content creators to experiment their ways of playstyles. As a bonus, there is an infinite mode that let's you watch cyborgs fighting on their own if that’s what you want! Overall, the gameplay is clever, levels are intelligent and the concept is creative. The game runs on Unity3D and is now available on Steam. Our take: RECOMMENDED, Go for it, this might look simple, but does pack a punch.