Tech Support: Error Unknown
Developer: Dragon Slumber
Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Review Context: I can’t say that I’ve played a game like this before, but Hypnospace Outlaw is the closest and most recent game that I’ve played that I liked that can be compared to this even slightly.
Date of Playthrough: March 2019 – April 2019*
PC Specs Game Played on:
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Video Card: GeForce GTX 950 2GB GDDR5 ACX 2.0 SC+
Disclosure: This review was based off of a review copy.
Tech Support: Error Unknown, developed by Dragon Slumber, is a game that is centered around the concept of you being a tech support specialist, when you suddenly become in contact with a hactivist group trying to sway you in their favor. This is a game that didn’t enter my gaming radar until 2019, and the moment I heard the premise it was a game I knew I had to play. The concept of being a tech support specialist, coupled with having to make decisions that could bring an outcome is an original take on a real subject matter that makes this game all the more appealing.
When you start off your time as a specialist part of Quasar Communications, you are briefed on actions you can take as a tech support specialist, but more importantly. you are introduced to the Quasar Spectrum OS. The Quasar Spectrum OS looks almost exactly like a Windows operating system, but it only has a few applications. You can access and send your emails, which is a major staple of this gaming experience. In your emails you are continuously introduced to new rules you most follow by your supervisor, Kamala Corwyn.
As part of your tech support duties you will use emails, but the bread and butter of the game is using the tech support chat system. Like real life, there is a ticket system in which you are assigned tickets and can additionally request more tickets, but rest assured, managing them can be tough. This is where Tech Support: Error Unknown shines the best, as it is a great simulation for real-time chat, as if there are any delays in response time customers get annoyed and use foul language. I was very impressed by the simulation of typing speed and responses time in addition to the various different customers themselves. The game uses pictures of made up people, but the different customers feel unique when you deal with them, even if a lot of chat patterns seem repetitive once you’re been playing for a while.
When dealing with customers in the chat you are have a menu of options and responses to give to the customer, but should you give the wrong answer you will be penalized by your supervisor and lose points for that day’s daily performance score. If you get too many answers wrong you will be fired. The days act as levels and with each passing day new guidelines you have to follow are added, making managing the chats much more tasking and in sometimes annoying. Given that this is a phone tech support company, almost all of the responses are related to various things having to do with phones like fixing cracked screens, water damage, bluetooth issues, simple settings changes, all the way up to phone repairs and replacements. All the responses you have to give are largely based off of what warranty a customer has, which is interesting and easy at first, but as each day passes by the rules keep changing and can sometimes be hard to follow. Unfortunately, the game forces a shutdown ending that you’ve been fired if you give answers wrong, which made the playthrough difficult due to bugs with the responses pertaining to phone repairs.
So where does the other part of the game come in? That’s where this game struggles, as you are a tech support specialist with few interactions with the hactivist group, Indigo Fox. The first time you encounter Indigo Fox is enjoyable, as this is the main selling point of the game, only to be constantly waiting for future interactions. That’s not to say the encounter doesn’t bring other elements, as there are sandbox capabilities to break into the backend of the system within the terminal. You can play around there to see what you can do. You as a player have a choice to either help Indigo Fox or help track them and turn them in, but the game fails to keep that plot up to a satisfactory level. The game fails to keep you in any feeling like you’re stuck in the middle of a dilemma of a secret operation going either way. You do get other interactions, as you have a bank account you can use to purchase certain things with cash gained from your daily performances and random emails from other places. There are also many different endings and you can easily continue if you fail (like me) and try again. The main game ends at Day 30 and Endless mode is expected to be patched in the game.
Tech Support: Error Unknown doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles as far as an extensive soundtrack or great visuals, but the game doesn’t need that. The plain Quantum OS interface is good enough, as the interface is rather easy to navigate, but can be cumbersome to handle the many different windows if you aren’t aware of the order of your actions. Due to the fact that interactions between yourself and Indigo Fox are few and far between, you will walk away from Tech Support: Error Unknown being more appreciative of it as a tech support simulator,as opposed to what the game is presented as. This is a mixed bag because the foundation is clearly there and well done minus some chat response bugs. This is definitely a game that can be built upon further to make it better, but as of today I have to stop short recommending this to anyone that expects it to be more than just a tech support simulator, which it does really well.
Similar Games Liked:
Hypnospace Outlaw (PC)
*[Editor’s Note: Extra courtesy was given for this particular game to fix errors due to this being made by one central developer.]