When you picture hackers in darkened rooms, illuminated only by the sickly green glow of their monitors as they break through firewalls and defeat corporate security, a love story isn't what usually comes to mind. And yet, a "hack love story" is just what Ukrainian developer Konstructors is aiming to deliver in their latest title, Sorry, James. Described as “a child of Sudoku and Minesweeper, raised by Tarantino” in a creepy conspiracy thriller with AI overtones, this newly-released “text-based puzzle game” is definitely shaping up to be something a little different.
Players control James Garner, a security engineer at leading weapons tech company, Mantis Corp. A contact reaches out, asking you to decrypt company files, but these files turn out to be chats between AI genius Thomas Beker and his girlfriend Elisa, who's just a regular girl. What could such different people have in common, and why is any of this important to your employers? What mystery is hiding beneath the surface, and what will you risk to delve deeper?
In a manner reminiscent of Her Story, Sorry, James drops you into a distinctly retro-looking desktop with just a chat app, some file folders and a decryption program to play with. There's a powerfully atmospheric grungy hacker vibe, with gameplay that consists of solving puzzles to decrypt a series of documents and chatting with your contacts. It's clear from the start that this is very definitely an adult experience, featuring explicit discussions of sex and BDSM. In total, we're promised 50 puzzles, 3-6 hours of gameplay, and conversations that are based on psychology research and real-life conversations.
Sorry, James is available now for Windows PC on Steam, where you can also download a brief demo.