Floor 13

DOS game, 1991

PSI Software Designers
Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Managerial, Turn-based, Detective / Mystery, Spy / Espionage

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The game sets itself apart in the gaming landscape with its dark, dystopian theme centered around government surveillance and conspiracy. Set in a shadowy government agency in the United Kingdom, players assume the role of the director of "Floor 13," a secretive department responsible for maintaining the government's public image by any means necessary. This includes surveillance, interrogation, and even more extreme measures to suppress dissent and manage public opinion.

One of the standout features of Floor 13 is its non-linear gameplay and open-ended decision-making. Players are presented with various scenarios ranging from political scandals to terrorist threats, and they must decide how to deal with these issues while balancing the need for secrecy and public approval. The game does not have fixed paths or solutions, allowing players to explore different strategies and outcomes.

The game's interface is mostly text-based, supplemented with minimalist graphics. It offers a user-friendly dashboard through which players manage operations, read reports, and make decisions. The visual simplicity of the game is offset by its complex and engaging narrative, which immerses players in the morally ambiguous world of government intrigue.

However, Floor 13's unconventional gameplay and dark theme might not appeal to everyone. The game requires patience and strategic thinking, and the lack of traditional action or fast-paced gameplay can be off-putting for some players. Moreover, the game's focus on morally questionable activities like spying and coercion can be unsettling, though it's integral to the game's narrative.

The story is shaped by the player's decisions, with multiple possible endings based on how effectively they manage the department and handle various crises. This open-ended structure adds to the game's replay value, as players can explore different strategies and outcomes. While it may not satisfy those looking for fast-paced action or high-end graphics, it remains a fascinating and challenging game for players interested in strategy and narrative-driven gameplay.

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