Happy? Content? No grey clouds looming over the horizon? If so, this game is not for you. Or is it?
Most days, I feel content. I work in the food vat department, you see. It is not that great; I get by but recently I have had the feeling that someone or something was out to get me. Friends are whispering behind my back, my work hours are changed all the time, my lunch time was reduced from eight minutes to five and the security guards all eye me suspiciously I do not know why - I have done nothing wrong, I just like to look at trees. What is wrong with that? All this suspicion is getting to me; you could say I am becoming paranoid.
The Paranoia Complex seems like a computerised and poorer version of the role-playing game Paranoia, produced by West End Games. The game takes place in a sealed city underground, in the alpha sector - Paranoia called the city the Alpha Complex - in the not-too-distant future. Society is run by an all-powerful computer and social success is measured by security clearance, ranging from red to blue.
Your aim is to serve the computer which, of course, is deranged by eliminating traitors - real, suspected or just the gullible who you can frame. As you eliminate the traitorous scum you can rise in security level and ultimately he big enough to determine how to escape from the complex completely.
The display is Gaundet-esque, top-down, reduced screen, lumpy scrolling. On entering individual buildings the top is removed so that you can see in. Equipment and food are two essentials in the game, so you will need to hunt traitors, serve the computer and earn plenty of credits. Scattered round the complex are computer terminals where you can buy foodcards and extra goodies like bots. Having a hot trog round after you with all your heavy kit is recommended.
Programming the foodcards is fun, because you have to hold down ten keys simultaneously, otherwise the programming goes wrong and you eat the equivalent of a very hot curry.
Working out what to do to who, how to do it and with what to do it is where the enjoyment comes from this game, so do not play it as a maze game with shooting or you will be disappointed.
The graphics are nothing special, neither are the sonics, but the gameplay is well-balanced and when you get into it, Paranoia Complex has much more depth the most action-orientated games.