The other day I was listening to an old Crate and Crowbar podcast, when I heard them mention a game I remembered reading about a while ago and had thought sounded interesting. Limbs Repair Station, which was created for the Cyberpunk Jam 2014, is a game in which you, unsurprisingly, repair limbs in some futuristic cyberpunk workshop. Well, I’m guessing there as we only actually see the desk and city skyline. It has a certain Papers Please like quality to it, but its not anywhere near as stressful as it has a less urgent time limit and no meta game like Papers Please has with the players family and the resistance. No, Limbs is a much simpler game than that, but it frees you to enjoy playing with these cyber hands; screwing on fingers and replacing capacitors.
The gameplay is fun, but quite limited. This is after the product of a game jam, and thus created in a very short space of time, so it doesn’t have a lot of variety or content, but what is there is fun and the requests for repairs you receive from customers add a little flavour to the world. Repairs themselves are relatively simple once you learn the different parts, of which there aren’t a great deal. A customer may ask you to replace a weaponised hand as they abandon a life of crime, explain that they tried to punch through a wall and broke all their fingers which now need replacing, or simply report that their hand is giving them electric shocks. It is your job to find the fault at hand (leave it) and fix it.
Sometimes a customer will arrive and state that they are becoming, for example, a doctor. This requires you to examine your manual to know which tools need to be equipped to the hand, and also what the grip and precision requirements are for that profession. Precision and grip are two stats controlled by altering the power of the hands capacitor and resistor. It is also your job to check that the warranty information for the hand matches the barcode, and that the warranty is from an approved company. There aren’t a great deal of different jobs to do, and essentially your only goal is to repair as many hands as possible before the working day ends. There is also no hard failure state that I’ve seen, a slip of paper appears and explains why the hand isn’t fixed yet or some such or why the warranty is faulty.
Limbs Repair Station doesn’t have a ton of things to keep you busy, but it’s an excellent little game to play around with for an hour or two. This sort of game proves one again how awesome ideas can come out of game jams, and this is a game I would definitely like to see expanded upon and released for sale some day. The current version can be played in your browser for free here.