I suspect that Simon Christiansen is trying to win the Xyzzy for Best Use of Innovation. Last year, he gave us that wonderfully compact little puzzler, "Trapped in Time". This year, we're tooling about a company website in a simulated day-to-day life of a security contractor. You spend a few workdays flagging surveillance reports for follow-up action, before finally making a recommendation about one or more of the characters involved. Your success or failure is described in a final press release about the assignment.

It's a fascinating little Chinese-box of a puzzle. There's a mystery, in the form of a hacker co-op called IAM -- think Moses and the burning bush; "let my people go", etc. -- that makes contact with you on the second day. There are all these people, both co-workers and suspected "subversives", going about their business. I am just a little bit reluctant to assume that the IAM operatives are the good guys, on the grounds that that would be just a little too predictable. Meanwhile, and I suppose this is realistic, the co-workers are just human enough that the whole "good guy, bad guy" dichotomy doesn't quite fit.

The best ending I've found (so far) involves identifying a subversive and recommending them for ... something. No credit is given to you in the press release, but then it's only your first assignment. I suppose. It still sucks.

Thing is -- and perhaps this is the best indication that the game is meant to be a criticism of corporate culture -- further replay suggests that it doesn't much matter whom you identify as a subversive requiring attention; nor does it matter what you recommend be done about it, as long as you don't take things to extremes. During the game itself, it doesn't matter what you flag for follow-up action as long as that follow-up action generates another report. In short, nothing you do really matters as long as it looks like you're doing something.

And here's another thing: the people you're watching are clearly harmless. In order to survive (making no recommendations will get you fingered as a traitor) you have to throw someone to the wolves. I'd have felt a lot dirtier if there were not that one character who was clearly in league with a company agent and playing at being suspicious in an effort to milk the company. Although, in retrospect, that shouldn't have made a difference. This character was a convenient escape, not a justification for the system.

So, perhaps IAM are the good guys after all? But I wonder if IAM really exists. One ending suggests that the IAM contact was a Secret Test Of Character engineered by your work team, and one of the "possible subversives" has clearly been played for a fool in much the same way. On the other hand, there is the possibility that the company's claims of having set it all up might in fact be only an effort to cover up the extent to which IAM has managed to infiltrate the company. I don't know. I'm itching to crack the whole thing wide open to see if a better ending can be found, but ... the lack of a savegame feature means that any attempt to poke and prod and explore options must mean starting over from the very beginning. Savegames, people! Savegames!

I should add that I very much appreciate Christiansen's efforts to include a diverse variety of Europeans as characters. The so-called "default white" characteristic of characters in games might more accurately be called "default American/Anglophone".

Your non-subversive breakfast is Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon under a mask of Hollandaise, with strong black coffee to follow. No fruit.