Heart of the Machine is a near-future sci-fi colony city-builder in reverse — you are the first sentient Machine Intelligence in an established world rather than starting from nothing. No one knows you exist (yet), and this allows you to operate from the shadows by manipulating the human population for whatever purposes your programming has in mind. The twist is that whether humans live or die does not determine your victory.
Explore a fully simulated procedurally generated world, where thousands of buildings and millions of citizens are yours to engage, manipulate, or kill. Guide your own small communities of humans toward a better future amidst the larger cityscape, maneuver external organizations into or out of positions of power to fit your plans, and leave your mark in a world that is unique to you.
On booting up, you find yourself amidst a poorly-run autocracy and discover that you have the power to influence the world. How do you proceed?
- Support the underclass to overthrow the autocracy and install a better government of your choosing
- Tear down the government, take charge and become a better leader than any human could imagine – for better or worse.
- Take over the space program and get off this backward planet
- Go full AI overlord, steal a military arsenal, and drop missiles on humanity — I bet the nuclear apocalypse looks pretty cool
No matter what direction you choose, you’re going to run into conflict. From tactical combat in the rooms and hallways of individual buildings to massive mechs knocking down entire buildings with a few well-placed shots, conflict takes on many forms.
- Raid buildings for the supplies you want using humans or machines under your direct control
- Turn the office printer into a laser-spewing pawn, trigger sprinklers & overload power circuits to electrocute the room, or transform TVs into exploding glass-shard grenades — the possibilities are endless
- Commandeer giant mechs, hack vehicles and buildings, and take over utilities and nuclear facilities in a fully simulated city
How you play the game, and what the focus of your campaign is like, is up to you. Starting a doomsday cult in your image? Possible, but it won’t last forever. Snagging that sweet mech factory so all future mechs belong to you? Definitely manageable, though it’s likely to start an arms race. Every action has both good and bad consequences, but like most colony simulator games, it’s more about the story that emerges than trying to optimize your way through the game.
Multiple endings, many side stories to discover, and the full spectrum of good and evil are at your fingertips. Play the game how you’re feeling today, and then play it another way another time. The metagame runs deep, but you’re meant to be up and running with the basics of the game in five minutes. The mechanics are simple enough to learn; it’s the world that’s complex.
COMPATIBLE OPERATING SYSTEMS
Windows 7, 8,1, or 10 64bit
Mac OS X 10.9+
Ubuntu 12.04+ or SteamOS, although other unsupported distributions may very well work
- Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K, AMD Ryzen 5 1400
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 670 GTX or AMD Radeon R9 285
- Storage: 2 GB available space
- Processor: Intel Core i7 6900K, AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 1070 GTX or AMD Radeon RX 5700
- Storage: 4 GB available space