Backlog Burndown #18 – Invisible Zero

Invisible Apartment Zero, Backlog Burndown

Greetings Backloggers! Thanks to some timely support from the team at Vysoko Anime Productions, I was able to resume and complete Invisible Apartment Zero this week! Huge props to them for diagnosing my game crash and giving me a workaround after seeing my post on the Steam community forums.

Invisible Apartment Zero is the prequel episode to Invisible Apartment, tells the story of how our protagonist Kacey became a hacker on the run in the megacity. Originally, the four total episodes were released separately, however a 2016 update rolled them into a single launcher. Under this format, the first chapter appears on Steam as the game, with episodes Zero, Two, and Three showing up as DLC.

Invisible Apartment Zero, Backlog Burndown

Kacey spends a lot of time contemplating life.

Chapter Zero follows the same format as Chapter One; storyline choices mostly either move the story along, or display a broken smart-earring to signify a bad end. One design decision that I particularly appreciated was that on encountering a bad ending, the game simply rolled back to your most recent survivable choice. If there had only been two choices, the game automatically picks the other choice and moves on. Only if there were three choices does the decision menu appear again.

Invisible Apartment Zero, Backlog Burndown

Kacey and her boyfriend share a moment.

As a prequel story, Invisible Apartment Zero is tasked with showing readers how Kacey came to be. Her story involves seeing something she shouldn’t have, telling her boyfriend, then setting out to try and find him after he gets disappeared by shadowy forces. It opens up several more questions more questions that weren’t mentioned at all in the first episode, and which I hope are addressed in the final two episodes.

Invisible Apartment Zero, Backlog Burndown

As futuristic cyberpunk teenage hacker rooms go, Kacey keeps hers remarkably clean.

Backlog Verdict: Unless you’re a very slow reader, each of these episodes clock in around an hour, and are fairly linear. If you enjoyed the story in Invisible Apartment and wanted Kacey’s origin story, then this episode is worth playing through.

Previous Backlog Count: 1,199

Current Backlog Count: 1,997 – Finished Invisible Apartment Zero, and moved Vanguard Princess into the Retired category. I’ve always been rubbish at fighting games, and throwing two hours at Vanguard Princess told me one thing – I’m still terrible. After trying and failing, repeatedly, to get past the first real AI opponent on Easy while using a seriously overpowered character, all I can say is that getting good at this game would take way more of a time commitment than I’m willing to make. It’s too bad, really, because the game looks very pretty and has a crazy over-the-top anime style that I love.

Next Week: Looks like I’ll be tackling another short VN.

Backlog Burndown is a semi-regular feature on Marooner’s Rock. Read previous columns in the archives, and suggest future games to play in the comments!

Aaron is proof that while you can take a developer out of the game industry, it’s much harder to take the game industry out of a developer. When not at his day job, Aaron enjoys teaching Axis & Allies to his kids, writing sci-fi stories, playing classic space sims on Twitch, and riding around the American Midwest on his Harley.

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