Information is power. And with that power, it’s how you use it that matters. The field agents depend on you for safe haven from enemy agencies. Respond quickly and you will assure your agents are safe and ready to go on the next mission. Fail to recognize the correct code phrase and your life and entire operation are compromised.
Initially, I had problems starting up the game. I had to lower my graphics resolution and switch to my desktop to make sure I had enough power running it. Finally, after a good 30 minutes of tweaking, I got Safe House to finally work. Though I did have problems, I do wonder whether or not it was a test to prove my worth as an agency handler. Turns out, it was just human error on my part.
Safe House is a spy agency management game. You are assigned as a manager for a spy safe house by your higher up named Lewis. He details you on your current assignments and checks up on you as the game progresses.
The game setup is similar to Fallout Shelter or X-Com’s ant colony base mode. You have 1 large building under control, but it’s split into several rooms. These rooms can be customized to perform different functions, such as a codebreaker room to intercept messages from rival spies.
In addition to the room creation, Safe House tasks you with screening and other tasks. For example, there is a code phrase task you’re assigned with at your reception room. A visitor will walk in, saying a phrase. From there, you’ll click on your dossier in the bottom left corner, matching the correct response. If you successfully complete this process, you gain funds for your operations. Fail in this task and you lose money, empowering other spies to be better funded and knowledgeable.
The rest of the game progresses with more tasks, and expanding your safe house work rooms. At times, Lewis will check in with you to report how you’re doing and how this reflects the safety of your agents.
As a callback to my introduction, unless Safe House cleverly tests your worthiness in real life to play the game, it needs better guidance. Yes, players can run through trial and error to figure out what to do, but it disrupts the game experience for players. Safe House immerses you in this seedy spy underworld, but you need guidance to get started.
One highlight that Safe House has is the art style. It’s 2D vector graphics, but its colorful palette breathe life into a game that surrounds you with secrecy. Major props to the team that chose to try something different and reminds me of a Cold War era setting.
Despite the problems I ran into, Safe House has a lot of potential. The second endless mode listed on the menu provides hours of replayability, but I can’t help but want more in the game. If the developer were to tweak some navigation menus of the overall safe house building and a slight example mission before your first mission, new players like myself would be better equipped to handle missions.
Without more refinement and guidance of the controls, I can’t recommend buying this game for full price. The game is in the 9.99 category, but save this one for a seasonal sale if you’re on the fence.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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