Neuromancer is a cyberpunk role-playing adventure based on the novel of the same name by William Gibson. Featuring a soundtrack by Devo, the game is set in the futuristic technocropolis of Chiba City. You play the part of a cyberspace cowboy (i.e. a hacker) whose goal is to discover why numerous other cowboys have disappeared. In order to do this you require information, but first you must acquire the means to obtain it. This involves finding a deck (computer hardware), some software to run it and learning various skills, which is a simple matter of finding skill chips and having them implanted into your head!
Once you have these items, you need to find link codes and passwords in order to get into the computer databases and find the information that you need to unravel the mystery of the vanishing hackers.
Most of the databases have more than one access level, which requires different passwords. These can be found by conversing with the characters you come across in the physical world, reading messages left on the Public Access System, and by breaking into databases. Some of the databases can only be reached from cyberspace. It is here that you encounter the graphical combat system that is at the heart of Neuromancer. The databases are represented by geometrical forms and all are protected by ICE – Intruder Countermeasure Electronics. In order to get around this you need ICE breaker software, of which many different types and versions can be found. There are also several virus and communication disruption programs to help you out. There are trips
into space to be taken, hardware upgrades to obtain, Artificial Intelligence systems to interact with, banks to break into and money to get hold of by both legal and nefarious means. You can even sell your body parts for a bit of extra cash!
The interface is easy to use with command icons and menu options accessed with either a mouse or keyboard. The conversation parser utilizes both pre-arranged responses through the use of “word balloons” or information that you type in. The game has a good deal of depth, the story is engaging and the graphics are good (for its day) – your character is nicely animated as he walks through downtown Chiba City. Progression through the game is well managed with clues readily available to help you solve the problems you encounter. Neuromancer is an excellent RPG adventure that is very well executed. Highly recommended!