Beneath A Steel Sky (PC)

by PaulEMoz

I've cheated a bit with this one, because I was out on Friday night. When I started working in my office, it seemed like everybody was 21. Now, it seems like everyone is 65! We've had a lot of retirements lately, and Friday saw another one. So I was out, having a few drinks and celebrating a 100% success rate on the pool table. Yay me! But when I got home, I remembered (somehow!) that I should be playing a game for the blog. So I started to play Beneath A Steel Sky, and promptly went to sleep.

That's nothing to do with the game, by the way, more my blood-alcohol level. Having carried on today, the game is very engrossing. I actually started it once before, but couldn't get off the first screen. I was never a great one for point-and-click adventures, but having played a couple recently I'm getting the hang of them a bit, and finding them pretty entertaining.

Beneath A Steel Sky is by the team that went on to make the Broken Sword games, which makes sense because as soon as I started playing it, there was a sense of familiarity. Unlike the modern-day intrigue of Broken Sword, though, Steel Sky is a futuristic sci-fi effort. It's a setting that's right up my street.

The game made a big impression right from the start, with a superb comic-book intro. I seem to recall the game being released on the Amiga and coming on about eleventy-thousand disks. I couldn't help but wonder just how many disks were used on the intro alone.

You have to ask, because obviously a balding, fat, ginger bloke wouldn't be given any kind of responsibility.

Once you start getting into the game, finding objects and people to talk to and piecing things together, the game starts to open up and become more interesting. As well as the Broken Sword familiarity, I also felt a likeness to Blade Runner here in some ways... again, no bad thing. And there's a nice vein of humour here, which I like... when games like this are too dry, it's a bit of a slog to get anywhere.

As with The Dig, which I played back in February, it's a bit tricky to write about something which is so story-driven. But after the ninety minutes or so I spent with it I'm certainly sufficiently invested to want to carry on. If you feel like giving it a go, it's free on Good Old Games (, or if you're quick, it's 59p on the iPhone/iPod Touch.