Spinnortality: Become the Megacorporation

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I’ve always been partial to the megacorporations in cyberpunk fiction. They are ominous, brooding, reptilian, unwavering in their ethics (or lack thereof) and almost omniscient. They pervade the broken-down countries that require aid only to then profit off the back of poverty and cheap labour whilst enforcing a near militant stance.

They are the big bads of cyberpunk, and I love them. And for those of you like me, Spinnortality: A Cyberpunk Management Game, a game developed by James Patton, might be of interest:

Spinnortality is a cyberpunk strategy and management game where you run a giant, evil megacorporation. Players take on the role of the CEO of a global company in an unsettling cyberpunk near-future.’

This game is quite similar for those of you who have played such “just one more turn games” such as Civilisation or Age of Wonders, though it is far more similar in theme to the recent Plague Inc. video game. The concept sounds simple enough: you create your own megacorporation, corrupt civilians and try to take over the world whilst trying to attain immortality. But I assure you, there is a lot more going beyond this veil of simplicity.

As stated on the Kickstarter page, some of the game’s features include:

  • Building products such as a Metacritic for friendship, artificial organs, and an ‘auto-career’ service.
  • Researching awful products, then use marketing campaigns to convince everyone that they’re awesome.
  • Buying media outlets to manipulate social norms.
  • Bribing politicians to influence national laws.
  • Managing black ops to rig elections, crash stock markets or trigger riots.
  • Keeping public relations under control by donating to charities.
  • Pursuing world-changing agendas.
  • Becoming immortal by transferring your mind to a new body.

Whilst I was only privy to the demo (which means everything is subject to change), I found myself drawn to the depth of what I was presented with. Having to manage my workers, money, and identity, I found it challenging and rewarding as I attempted to make the evillest megacorporation possible (though I would not recommend this!). It did take a bit of time to get into the game, like most 4Xs, but with a pretty useful tutorial and a lot of energy drink powering me up, I found myself immersed in corporate politics. With the click of the button, I bribed media outlets. With the cheeky smile of a demon, I made sure my employees couldn’t sue me for taking away their medical insurance.

But what I liked most about my time in Spinnortality is that it felt Gibsonian, and I think that helps immensely when tackling a game about megacorporations.

Though I did enjoy myself while playing, I can safely say that this is not for everyone. It is, as it says in the title, a management game, so expect lots of number crunching, excel spreadsheets and thinking. Lots and lots of thinking. If you liked the previous 4X games I mentioned previously and love cyberpunk, then this is the game for you. But if not, then probably a pass.

On a more personal note, I think the game aesthetically is a bit dull. Though the UI is well-designed, I felt that there could be more flair for a cyberpunk video game. The soundtrack is also monotonous, but again, you’re playing as a CEO, so perhaps this was intentional. I would have preferred a far more eighties/nineties aesthetic, dripping with a vaporwave soundtrack and pixel art, but we can’t all have what we want.

The game definitely has potential and I look forward to seeing more from Patton whether this game is funded or not. If you’d like to help, you can Kickstart the project here. The reward tiering seems fair, and the game has garnered some positive press from PC GAMER, Strategy Gamer, and ALPHA BETA GAMER. You can watch a small playthrough of the game on Civillain’s YouTube channel and follow it on various social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube.The project is near its goal target as of writing this, so head on over and get ready to take over the world!

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