So what else is left for Klei Entertainment to master? Invisible, Inc. does for turn-based strategy games exactly what Mark of the Ninja did for me with stealth games. Seriously, you put these two games next to each other and its easy to tell that they came from the same developer, and I’m not talking about their impeccable style. At this point I feel like Klei can take a video game genre dartboard and just pick a genre at random and say, “Yeah, we can make that better.”
Great games have great gameplay. Klei has an amazing eye for leaving what works in an established genre, but finding the rough edges and polishing them up with new ideas that fit naturally into the experience. Strategy games traditionally aren’t the easiest to pick up and play, so naturally Invisible, Inc. has a great tutorial to get you started along with an informative and amusing narrator. When I’m moving multiple nameless/faceless characters around battlefield I tend to get them confused, but Invisible Inc’s spies all have unique personalities and skills. Strategy games are intimidating until you know what you are doing, so Invisible Inc. throws in a danger level system that effectively builds tension without adding immediate danger. After I know what I’m doing and I try to execute a specific tactical plan the pretty graphics can get in the way, so, of course, Invisible Inc. has a sexy tactical view whenever you need it.
Did I mention spies? Hacking? Skill upgrades? Oh, and not only is it satisfying when you complete your objective, but your team “celebrates” with a cool confidence as if to remind you that “of course, you pulled that off, you’re awesome.” Thanks, for reminding me, Invisible, Inc.