Safe House – Impressions of the 60’s Inspired Spy Management Game

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In Safe House, the new game from indie developer Labs Games, you play as the director of a secret spy headquarters. Your mission is to destabilize the government of the fictional nation of Kazataire. Safe House launched May 22, 2018 and is available on Steam for $9.99US/$11.49CAD.

A Typical Day

Each day you will have the option to construct new facilities, assign soldiers and spies to various missions and then run the overall operations of your headquarters. Throughout the course of the day, rooms will be highlighted with a flashing border to tell you that there is a task ready for completion. Your trusty “Safe House Manager Reference Manual” will be your best friend as it contains all of the code words, ciphers and instructions for each of the task you must complete. Successful tasks will increase your cash flow, enabling you to expand your headquarters. Failure will not only cost you money but also help fund your enemies efforts to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Safe House Impressions

If you build it…

Your base starts out with 2 rooms available, a loading dock and the front office. As the day progresses, packages will be dropped off at the loading dock and it is your job to verify the shipping codes and decide if they should be accepted or not. The front office “Book Store” will see a steady stream of agents who will present a challenge phrase and you must decide to accept or reject them based on a 3-step code word guide.

Safe House Impressions

As you successfully complete challenges you will be able to add more rooms to your headquarters which will offer different challenges to complete. In the Infirmary you will care for wounded agents by giving them the proper blood type and medications, use the Forgery Workshop to forge IDs or coerce information out of captives in the Interrogation Room. The Black Ops Barracks will allow you to send out soldiers and spies on destabilization missions, if successful you will earn experience to level up your troops and increase your chance of success.

Final Thoughts

The 1960’s aesthetic, music and base management idea fit really well into the spy theme, however the user interface is an enemy much worse than the government your are try to overthrow. Camera movement is very slow, making navigation tedious. Mouse clicks fail to register on a regular basis, requiring multiple attempts at performing tasks. In a game that requires you to constantly open a folder and navigate menus this makes for a very frustrating time. If Labs Games can fix the UI issues with future updates, I think Safe House could have a bright future. However, in its current state I would not be able to recommend it.

Have you played Safe House?  Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.

Mike (AKA SnekPlayz) has been playing games since the days of the Commodore Vic 20 and enjoys playing most genres from Action Adventure to FPS to Racing. He is a part-time streamer on Twitch at https://twitch.tv/Snek_Playz

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