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[..]Of course -- gorgeous visuals or not -- a text adventure is only as good as its story, and Cypher definitely excels in this category. You take on the role of a data smuggler in a dystopian Japan whose services increase in demand as the powers that be rule over the world with an iron fist. The game begins with you in the midst of a smuggling deal gone wrong, and you quickly find out that a whole lot of people want you dead by the end of night. Any wrong move can result in your demise, a fact you’ll be reminded of on several occasions.
CYPHER‘s attempt to modernize the classic text adventure has a lot of interesting ideas, but the lack of polish on the text itself keeps the game from living up to its potential.
All in all, Cypher is an intriguing experiment that seems to have good potential to revitalize the classic text adventure genre. The developer has an obvious passion for text adventures, but it seems more enamored with the feelies and extras than what is really important in a text adventure game: careful writing and a halfway intelligent parser. Unfortunately, an awful parser and the lack of basic copyediting stymie any but the most persistent efforts to appreciate the game. I cannot recommend this title to any gamer but the most tolerant and forgiving fans of the genre.