The Invisible Hand (PC) | Review

There’s been a surge in people getting interested in trading lately, thanks mostly to the GameStop stock phenomenon led by Reddit’s WallStreetBets subreddit. It’s led to some people earning a lot of money, and others losing much more. Things that were previously a joke – like dogecoin – surged and are now worth more than a hundred times what it was worth just six months ago. It was no surprise that, given this intense interest in this area, someone would try to capitalise by making a game that sees you play as a trader, and The Invisible Hand is that game.

It’s never easy to create a game that has no real predecessor, so kudos must be given to Power Struggle Games, the developers, as what they’ve created is a pretty enjoyable – if basic – insight into how a trader works. I’ve dabbled a bit in the market, but not to any great extent. I do have some idea of what to do, and for the most part, the game lets you execute it. The best part of trading, as everyone knows, is watching numbers go up and the worst part is watching numbers go down. That’s basically all you do in this game and it is pretty fun for the most part. You’ve got access to a bunch of things that enhance your chances of money going up, but as long as you use common sense, you can create scenarios that are pretty interesting – such as destabilising an entire country just to make a few extra dollars.

Sadly though, that’s all I can really say positive about The Invisible Hand. Not that it has any glaring flaws either though, it’s just a one trick pony type of game and the other facets to it are not up to scratch and fairly dull. For instance, you can basically get by in the game by:

  • sitting down at your computer,
  • going to the right monitor,
  • reading the tip,
  • executing the tip,
  • going to get the strongest coffee
  • waiting

And basically repeating that over the next few days until you get to the end of what is a fairly short and unremarkable story. Also, instead of being able to continue on and become the richest trader in the world, once you hit VP, that’s game over. An endless mode would certainly be a good bit of polish to this game, as having it cut short just feels like a bit of a waste.

The visuals and soundtrack aren’t much to write home either. I was baffled to learn that you could actually pay extra for the soundtrack to The Invisible Hand, because you could play me a song from the game right now and I’d have no idea where it was from. It left absolutely no impression on me whatsoever. Graphically, the game looked kind of like how I’d expect a mid-2000s game to look like. Fairly ugly. Most of the characters are weirdly wearing sunglasses inside as well, which I didn’t understand. Is this a trader thing? Or are they all just so bad at their jobs that they can’t afford transition lenses in their glasses?

Overall, I didn’t find The Invisible Hand too engaging. It’s fine for a first game in a genre that has yet to really take off, but I can’t imagine it’ll rank anywhere near the top ten when rip-off devs come to make their own versions of it. Without some significant polish, it’s not a game that I’ll be running to replay any time soon. It’s just firmly in the “meh” category in my Steam library.

2 Stars

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