Tech Support: Error Unknown lets you ask people to turn it off then on again

What if tech support helpline jobs weren’t a crushingly unhappy grind for poor pay but a gateway to a world of intrigue? You can catch a glimpse of that in the Tech Support: Error Unknown free demo released today. It’s one of those games where your whole view is presented as a computer desktop–Uplikes, as the genre is known far and wide in honour of Uplink–and we play with a variety in-game applications and scripted responses to resolve customers’ issues to their satisfaction.

Here we are, starting a new job as a remote tech support assistant using a mighty Quasar Spectrum OS computer. It’s a fake desktop with e-mail, a browser, and all that, and we’ll be using special software to resolve customers’ problems through text chat while cross-checking our employee guide. Quickly. And correctly. And without riling customers.

Communication is curious, as we’re only able to select our responses from a list of pre-approved phrases. Which is: 1) stifling but 2) not far off the reality oh no. Customer responses aren’t an advanced AI that would fool Alan Einstein but, y’know, I suppose it’s fair as a crude simulation of the job.

Though I will note that none of the customers I talked with were nearly angry and awful enough.

Tech Support begins with typical support problems but it seems that, as these games often will, it’ll later wander down a path littered with conspiracy, The Man, and even the word that makes me shout “Hack the planet!” every time: ‘hacktivists.’

Hack the planet!

Apparently it will introduce tools for spying on phones, illicit software we can sneak onto our system, moral dilemmas, and so on. I’m interested.

You can download the demo from Steam, Itch, Game Jolt, and the game’s site.

The full game is due to launch for Windows, Mac, and Linux some time in February. It’s made by Dragon Slumber and published by Iceberg Interactive.

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