Invisible, Inc.

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Invisible, Inc. Game Poster Image
Tense, high-stakes spy thriller tests player skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Skirts a line, with espionage being the focus, taking out enemies being strongly discouraged. A lot of stealing, sneakiness is encouraged.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Your commanding officer scolds you for acting brash, abandoning your teammates.

Ease of Play

Easy to learn, though tough to master. Expect a learning curve even after mastering the basics.

Violence

Cartoony blood splatters when you take out enemies. Otherwise, blows to the head, gunshots are the extent of it. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Invisible, Inc. is an exacting, downloadable turn-based strategy game where you control a couple of spies on a variety of missions before a big showdown. Even on the easiest difficulty, there's a sizable learning curve in managing both your units while also managing the risk of each level. It's your standard sci-fi spy stuff with a cartoony look that gives an overall traditional approach to the subject material. There's nothing here even remotely objectionable or dicey from a content perspective, aside from some very lightweight violence -- which almost always makes the game far more difficult.

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What's it about?

INVISIBLE, INC. focuses on the titular spy organization's quest to uncover secrets and dangerous plots at corporations scattered across the world. Once inside, the agents split up or stick together to swipe precious intel or gear to aid them in an ultimate showdown. Whether you succeed or fail at each mission, the game presses on, so long as at least one of your agents is still alive. But, of course, failing at your missions and continuing without meeting their criteria results in a tougher go of things in each subsequent mission. It's all about focus, strategy, and teamwork.

Is it any good?

Invisible, Inc. is super, super hard in a really good way. Though the difficulty can be demanding, it's also highly customizable, which is probably the best way new and especially young players should approach this title. By moving around, making things easier, and opting to enable more rewinds, you'll learn how to best evade detection and what to do when spotted -- because that's where and how the challenge really comes in. Each character has different special skills (Internationale can sap power from devices remotely; Banks is great at breaking codes) that can make or break the way you'll approach each outing -- but anytime you're spotted, the game will deflate around you. More and more soldiers will be dispatched to take you out, more security cameras will be flipped on, and you'll find yourself in a corner. Anytime you're cornered or spotted, you have only one turn to get out of sight; otherwise you get gunned down, and it's up to the surviving spies to continue on.

If that sounds tense, it is. Extremely. But it's also what makes Invisible, Inc. so fun, rewarding, and worth sticking with. It will take a while for your skill level to catch up, but as in chess, it's a game that will rise to your abilities. That the challenge also is highly customizable is another gimme, so if you don't feel like being slaughtered and prefer instead to observe how the game works and how to learn, it's a great way to spend a bit of down time when you don't want a full campaign. All in all, this is a great and brutal game worthy of your attention.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Invisible, Inc. Do the limited blood and cartoonish presentation limit the impact of the violence? Can you play and fight your way through these games without the violence affecting you?

  • Talk about spying. Is it ever OK to be sneaky and try to avoid detection to serve some sort of greater good? 

  • If spying is all right, what will it take for the side being spied on to come to the same conclusion? What if the spy can't come to terms with being spied on?

  • Have you ever been tempted to act sneakily? What did you do? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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