A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship. Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive. Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies.
User reviews: Very Positive (103 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"You can reach out and grab any ship in the entire game, so every new ship is like a new toy to play with. It keeps the game interesting and dynamic."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (15)

February 4

New Game from Schell Games

Hi Folks. I just wanted to let you know that Schell Games has launched a Kickstarter for a new game called Orion Trail. If you're thinking it's Oregon Trail in space, well, you're right!

The art is done by Evan Brown, the art director of Enemy Mind, and the design and writing is done by Dave Bennett, who was instrumental in getting Enemy Mind the green light at the here at Schell Games.

If you've got a second, go check it out. I think it's going to be great!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/schellgames/orion-trail

http://oriontrail.schellgames.com/

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“Angry fun in local co-op with this side-scrolling shooter”
Polygon

“I found the interesting parts of the game to be trying out and taking over all these new ships, and in chasing the narrative throughout this overarching space opera. I found all those things compelling enough to drive me through the experience. This week, James recommends Enemy Mind.”
Extra Credits

“The two and a half months of Early Access time saw tweaks, updates, and bug fixes, and the payoff is an Enemy Mind that’s had a nice polishing shine applied to the game from front to back.”
Hardcore Gamer

About This Game

A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship.

Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive.

Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies. Deftly maneuver over twenty unique ships, each with different abilities for you to harness. Backed by an all-new chip-emulated soundtrack by the psychoacoustic artist Rainbow Kitten, Enemy Mind features an adaptive story system as innovative as its gameplay. Are you ready to unlock the secrets of Enemy Mind?





  • 8 levels and 70 waves of challenge
  • Side-scrolling space shooter for PC
  • Classic 8-bit art-style
  • 20+ different ships, each with their own unique power and ability
  • Adaptive story system that changes with your individual play style
  • Multi-player co-op supports up to four players at once
  • Original Chiptune-inspired soundtrack by Rainbow Kitten

More Reviews

"It's incredibly addictive!" Indie Retro News March 2014

"The game really is the whole package. GameCola Score: 9 - Excellent" GameCola June 2014

"Overall I was very impressed by what Schell Games was able to achieve with a genre that is not really known for innovation. The game is addictive enough that you will want to complete it a few times in order to piece together the whole story and of course the co-op mode will also eat up a lot of your spare time if you have friends nearby. While shooter fans will obviously enjoy the game the most I urge anyone that has an interest in polished, unique titles to try it out as it is definitely worth the effort. Rating: 8/10" GAMERamble June 2014

"Enemy Mind is an excellent and unique take on the shooter genre. Definitely worth the price at full retail." Nerd Age June 2014

Check out our website: http://enemymindgame.com/
Listen to the full soundtrack on our Bandcamp Page!
This old-school arcade shmup is brought to you by Schell Games, an independent game studio based in Pittsburgh, PA.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory and Directx 9.0c Compatible gpu
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.8+
    • Processor: 2.5GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    Recommended:
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Enemy Mind is a brilliant concept trapped in a game that's less interesting than it deserves.

The hook is simple, but oh so ingenious it begs the question why it hasn't been done before (the closest comparison that comes to mind is Driver: San Francisco): instead of playing as any specific ship, you have the ability to reach out and take control of any enemy ship you come in contact with, and it's just as cool as you'd imagine. Whizzing around as a tiny fighter and then jumping into a bombing tanker or alien starship creates a dynamic I haven't found in another game, one where enemies are less obstacles you need to remove but strategic pieces to manipulate the battlefield with. Prioritizing ships so as to save those with the most desirable features to take over later runs contrary to almost every traditional approach to shoot'em'up combat, and something that makes Enemy Mind feel so unusual to play beyond its novel mechanic.

It's rather a shame then that said mechanic is Enemy Mind's sole strength, and what it throws its entirety behind. Taking as just about every ship often feels weak, and unsatisfying, and though providing you with a finite amount of ammo keeps you from just sticking to a single ship for the entire game, it also becomes rather tiring having to constrain yourself so drastically in order to take enemies out as each shot needs to hit and that's not especially easy to do most of the time. As quickly and often as it comes, death is largely meaningless, with no penalty save the loss of your score and the requirement to replay a little before where you met your untimely doom. This caused the game to almost immediately lose all tension, and once the novelty of taking over enemies wore off I rather lost interest in what I was doing.

And I say this having completed Enemy Mind in a meager 2 hours, which is about twice as long as it has interesting things to show you. New enemy types are continually trickled in, but many of them were immediately written off as being rather a lot less functional than those I'd been using already. I wanted to become invested in the narrative, which pieces together the memories of the pilots you've taken over to try and give context to what exactly is happening, but it's so abstract and difficulty to piece together that I was all but entirely lost by the end and only had the haziest of ideas how I got there. I imagine there's a compelling story here, but it tries to tie itself into elements of gameplay that are more interesting in concept than ideal ways to tell a narrative.

Enemy Mind's genius mechanic is so strong that it's worth checking out for it alone, but it's telling that I'm more excited about its ideas being recreated and innovated on in other games than I am about the game itself. It's a solid curiosity and a great proof of concept, I just wish its broader foundation was as engaging.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
The concept of the game is really cool and it makes for some very interesting gameplay. The game itself is just long enough to stay interesting, and it has some fantastic boss fights that make great use of its concept. I think I would've liked some more enemy types, but beyond that it's a rock solid game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 5, 2014
It's a neat little game with an interesting mechanic that sets it apart. That said, I'd still recommend you stick to the classics like Ikaruga or R-Type. Enemy Mind requires a bit too much precision when firing, and it's kind of maddening that your enemies can turn around to fire while the ships you control can't (well, some of them can, but not enough). That said, I enjoyed it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2014
A very fun and unique SHMUP. Taking possession of enemy ships is very fluid and adds a very interesting spin. The controls are tight, the music is okay, the graphics are good enough. It is not very difficult, but there is still potential for high-score competition.

The plot is great and mirrors the possession mechanic. The way in which the plot is revealed is cool and adds to replayability, which is good because it is fairly short. Overall I greatly enjoying playing this game.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014
Pleasantly difficult without being a bullet hell, Enemy Mind has addictive storytelling delivery coupled with classic side scrolling shooter gameplay plus the perfect little twist to keep everything fresh. If you sleep through bullet hell shooters, this will be too easy to be fun, but anyone else who's tempted should give this a go as soon as possible.

Plus, local multiplayer!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
Definitely an interesting game. I've always been a fan of shmups and the unique mechanic of taking over enemy ships was what sold me on it initially.

The controls are a mixed bag. If you're more accustomed to 16-bit era shoot-'em-up games, you should be fairly comfortable with them. It's about on par with Super R-Type or Gradius III. If you're used to more modern shmups, however, it may be a problem.

The game itself is fairly short, which is to be expected in this genre. There are 8 levels in all, each with multiple waves of enemies. Each level ends with a boss fight. Some involve fighting a large formation of standard enemies, others involve fighting larger crafts which utilize the ship-swapping ability in different ways. The game can be difficult at times, but considering that you have infinite continues and you continue from the beginning of the last wave you've reached (which is also what happens when you lose a life, oddly enough), it's a little on the easy side. I managed to beat the game in about 3 hours. The replay value for the game stems from the storyline, which varies based on actions you take. So if you don't really care about that kind of thing, it's kind of a wash.

Fortunately, there are also some unlockable extras, like an arcade mode that does away with starting at the beginning of each wave (but eliminates contiunes), a boss rush mode, the original proof-of-concept game and two parodies of other games.

Gamepad support is great. I had absolutely no problems with my 360 pad. Best of all, there's even an option to switch between both analog sticks and the D-Pad to control both the ship in-game and the menu controls.

In summary, if you're looking for an old-school horizontal shooter with some unique mechanics, I'd definitely suggest picking this up. On the other hand, if you're looking for a bullet-hell shmup, this game probably won't offer much.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
Space Shooters/Shoot 'Em Ups will never be my favourite games, partially because i'm just not good playing these kind of games and partially because most space shooters doesn't offer anything new or interesting. With that in mind I still tried this game.

The first thing you'll notice when launching Enemy Mind are the amazing graphics. Ofcourse it's no Unreal 4 Engine but the graphics make you really want to play the game instead of being an eye soar like most space shooters. For the most part Enemy Mind doesn't do very much different but what sets this game apart from the other space shooters is the ability to change/jump to enemy ships so you're able to controll them and use the different weapons. If you're ship is almost controlled or you're ammo is depleted it's best to move to another ship. In my opinion this is a pretty original idea I've never seen before.

Still.. Enemy Mind may look great and may be pretty fun, it's not a game i would spend hours and hours on. But, if you are a Space Shoot 'Em Up lover, I don't think you can go wrong with this one.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
So far, I really, REALLY love this game.

If you are looking for a nostalgia hit, you'll get it, but with some extra added in treats.

You get the best of both worlds, esplosive, lazer filled space battles and clever, tactical play.

Don't take the game too seriously, and you will have one hell of a time. :D
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
Second Impression (5 hrs in): Something I noticed as I played through this time: I think the narrative changes depending on how you play. I find this to be, on the one hand, fascinating due to the game's simplicity, while, on the other hand, it's incredibly tedious.

See, if the narrative is designed the way that I think it is, then it's almost up to chance on what you'll get. I mean, there's definitely an element of skill to it, but it seems very "hope you know the level design and can plan way ahead."

So that part is a little disappointing. That said, the narrative *is* pretty interesting and it did surprise me when I realzied what exactly was going on. And the story's culmination in the final boss battle was fantastic. It's so simplistic but really rounded out the game in a great way and made it feel complete.

That said, I do have a few other complaints. The last two levels or so seem pretty grueling. There's this part, right before the last boss, that nearly drove me out of my ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ mind. It was harder than the damn final boss. Some bosses are sort of recycled. I say sort of because their difficulty is ramped up. However, thei reappearance in what is basically a "super" form is disappointing and it diminishes the special feelings of the first enconters.

On balance, this game is an interesting take on the side-scrolling shooter. With an engaging story and fun game mechanics that require the player to adjust as they play, Enemy Mind is sure to leave a positive mark on everybody who plays it.

Initial impression (1.4 hrs in): I dig it. Imagine Gradius had a baby with Kirby and you get Enemy Mind. You, as the player, do not control a single, permanent ship. Instead, you hop around from ship to ship, each with a finite amount of health. Once you run out of bullets for a ship, that's it. There's no ammo pickups or anything. You have to literally jump ship and hop into a new one.

Each ship has a different firing mechanism, effectively replacing the traditional "power up" system. So half of the strategy is knowing when's the right time to use particular ships. However, some models clearly stand out from others, and this style of gameplay lends itself to a certain disadvantage on your first runs, as you don't really know what's coming.

In fact, that's primarily where the challenge lies, at least for me. Do I have a ship that's good for the situation? Sometimes I don't and it's not a big deal because I can still concentrate harder and make do. But on a few other occasions I don't and the difficulty escalates much higher because it's simply not a viable choice in the circumstances. This is probably the game's one downside so far: not every ship is viable in every situation. This it what makes particular ships stand out clearly from the rest, because they have versatility in every situation. You'll find yourself looking for those, a la dominant strategy. However, I do not think this detracts from the game's fun all that much.

So far, so good. I look forward to playing more soon.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014
An interesting take on a classic retro shooter, even a surprisingly compelling story given how minor a role it is in the game. The only complaint is on some of the very late waves it felt like it was about making sure you were prepared for things you couldn't anticipate, which led to a few unavoidable restarts. Overall though, definitely would recommend.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 7, 2014
Enemy Mind is a 2D sidescrolling shooter with a twist: you don't have a ship of your own. Instead, you control other ships, doing as much damage as you can until you're nearly dead, or out of bullets... then, you just jump out into another ship.

Pretty simple, huh? Well, with a decent variety of enemies, it creates some chaotic situations! It also has an interesting way of telling the story, although it's not very accessible for most people (as it requires you noticing it, and then replaying a lot of it).

I'll say right away that I've had a lot of fun with it! I think it's an unique addition to the genre and certainly worth trying out if you like these kind of games.




There's isn't all that much to say about presentation. It's clearly inspired by the older 8/16bit era, but it's a modernized version of it, with cool visual effects. It manages to stand on its own and not relying purely on nostalgia to look appealing.
Every ship is distinguishable, which is needed for the player to know who to control at certain times. One problem I had, at times, is the blending between the bullets and the backgrounds. It didn't happen too often, but I did get killed a few times from bullets I couldn't see.

The music was actually pretty awesome! It's also very modern sounding chiptunes. It packs a punch! Definitely get the soundtrack if you can, it's awesome, and adds to the whole atmosphere of the game.



Now, about the game itself, starting with structure.
You go through 8 levels, each subdivided into several waves. You have several lives, and you can gain more with combos, but once you deplete them all, you only go back to the beginning of the wave, having the chance to keep going from that point onwards with your score reset to 0.
This makes the game forgiving for those who simply want to beat it, leaving the challenge for the score-attack audience, which is a great way of doing things, in my opinion!
With that said, it still has a few challenging waves, and the game doesn't save your progress regarding the waves. You need to beat each level in one sitting (which isn't really a problem, since the levels aren't very long). At the end of each level, you'll see your place on the Leaderboards, with the surrounding players.



In this case, I want to write about story-telling. Not a very common aspect that I take notice of, especially in an arcade game!
But they've done it in an interesting way, so here it is...

The game has 2 races in war, and you can possess ships from both. At the end of each wave, you'll get a short exposition, from the perspective of the race you're in control of. At the end of the level, the same happens, with a longer exposition.
This means that to uncover the whole story of the game, you can't just go head first and shoot everything. It makes you fit the story pieces together, little by little. There are people on the community hub doing this and taking screenshots of the different plot scenes, if you're interested.

While this is a confusing way of doing story (and will leave you with barely anything if you don't make an effort to uncover it), it's understandable. In this genre, the story isn't very important. Most players will care about beating the levels, not the backstory. However, if you're not like that, you have a little extra! Not caring doesn't diminish your enjoying of the game, but caring does certainly enhance it, so it's great!


Finally, let's talk about the mechanics. There's isn't all that much to say about it, really.
As I said before, you can take control of enemy ships, and you can shoot, and move around. That's pretty much it.
Each ship has very limited ammo, so it constantly keeps you switching around. And each type of ship also has diferent movement/speed, and shooting patterns (some shoot all around, some are stationary turrets, some shoot vertically, some are stuck to the edges/ground, etc.).
It's up to the player to evaluate each wave and act accordingly. It's generally not too difficult, with a few exceptions.

The Boss fights were also a good change of pace, although 2 of them were recycled in a slightly harder version. I won't spoil the last Boss, but I'll say that it was a pretty fun fight!

The downside (for some) is that going through the campaign once will probably not take you longer than 3 hours. But, in addition to the campaign (that you can easily replay, trying out different ships, piecing the story together, etc.) they also provide extra modes that you unlock through the campaign. One is an Arcade Mode, one is Boss Rush, once is a Rock Simulator (yes, you control a meteorite), an early prototype of the game, a flappy bird clone, and the Credits sequence (yes, you can shoot the developers!).



So yeah. If you're into this sort of games, you have my whole-hearted recommendation! I really enjoyed playing through it, and there's certainly more content to keep you entertained, aside from the core campaign.
Really cool game, well done!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 8, 2014
This has to be the best modern Gradius style bullet hell I have played. It has a story that keeps me wanting to hear what happens next. The newest gameplay element is the ability to swap between the craft your piloting and attacking crafts. This presents the freshest experiences I have played (in bullet hell shooters) in ages. Please do yourself a favor and play this now.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 5, 2014
Beautiful shmup with a nice twist: Extremely limited ammo on your ship. But, hey, that's not too bad—Just teleport right to an enemy ship and take control of a new weapon with some more ammo. Delish. It's also got a really cryptic and interesting story.

Arbitrary number rating: 8/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
Refreshing mechanics. Blurs the line of the definitions of enemy and ally.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Frenemy Bind is a game about making friends while taking control of their brains and shooting enemies with their brains. Best bit about it is when your friends join in and take your brains and then F*CK EVERYTHING UP, I JUST WANT THE GOD-DAMN BATTLE CRUISER, DAMN IT all the while theres a plot going on and then sometimes some voice mail you need to read or something. Also theres a squid thing, no wait, several squid things that are like porcupines or something but they want to be on XFactor or something thats why they sing all the time, THIS ISN'T SINGSTAR DAMN IT, THOSE DAYS ARE OVER! Overal its a great game, 10/10 would take to dinner but would probably split the bill because I just paid my rent and money is tight.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
One of the few indie games that tries to add an unusual mechanic to an existing genre that does it well. The main mechanic doesnt get old at any point, as the developers have found a number of interesting ways to use it and, most importantly, it still remains polished and exciting in typical combat. Although ideas seem to run dry towards the end, the game is short enough that this isnt a problem.
I bought this in the EC Humble Bundle but would still recommend it at the full price, there isnt a massive amount of content, but the content you get is polished, interesting and most importantly straight up fun.

TLDR if you like 2D shoot em up's and the main mechanic sounds interesting to you its worth playing.

Only problem i can find is a pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥ encounter towards the end (literally the last thing you go up against before the final boss) that seems pretty unfair. Either that or im just ♥♥♥♥ at the game, check that part out for yourself.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
If you've been looking for an old school shooter with puzzle-like mechanics and an engrossing plot- Oh who are we kidding? Nobody thought a game like this would come out. But it has, and yes, it is awesome.
For you shoot 'em up fans out there, Enemy Mind plays like the love child of R-Type and G Darius. The perfect blend of frentic action, deep thinking and mind control.
What's mind is yours. Play as a psychic entity capable of commandeering a huge variety of vessels from two sides in a space war. Hop from ship to ship, controlling everything from fighter craft, missle platforms, laser squids, inanimate asteroids and ramming drill ships to proximity mines and even segments of the giant boss enemies.
So yes, buy Enemy Mind. It's great.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
You get to hop between all the different enemy ships and control them mid-fly in this inspiring and exciting retro space shooter in spirit of games like R-type. The challenge is spot-on and the levels and ships all look and control fantastically for a two-button shooter.

There's coop if you're into that but the single-player game is highly replayable. No achievements which puts you in complete control of what and how much you want to play whenever you want to. There are also fun yet useless side games (one immitates flappy bird with a spaceship and another has you going through an entire chapter as a floating meteor in space) as well as a boss rush mode. Oh and the graphics are sharp, detailed and the soundtrack is pitch perfect.

The only nag I have with the game is that although it has great variety in enemies, there isn't much in the bosses. The later ones are just stronger versions of the original with a new move.

The shooting is frantic and enjoyable and the story is vague enough to justify the happenings, although you're better off ignoring it altogether. Enemy Mind constantly puts you in a strategically action focused situation and all of it is exhillirating for such a small game. It will put a grin of satisfaction on your face the moment you start playing.
Buy this!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Ech, it's worth trying, and it has some great ideas, but it needs heavy refinement. Controls for some ships, particularly the multi-directional ones, are really ugly to work with. This becomes the primary challenge later in the game, especially when fighting the Oroborous boss. Segments where you have to swap with debris to get through a debris field are generally dull, and quickly become frustrating when said debris veers offscreen unexpectedly. This is further compounded by the fact that your swap-shot disappears at the edge of the screen, so it is possible to be lining up for a shot and find that your shot disappears upon firing. This is also aggravating when you are expecting it to come back, but it gets too close to the edge of the screen and vanishes.

So good idea, but I can't really recommend it to anyone. Needs way more polish.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
A good bundle game. I probably wouldn't pay full price for it, as the game does need a lot of refinement. Enemy Mind has a great concept of being able to switch between ships, and I hope that one day somebody will take it further. I'd recommend this if it's in a bundle (such as Humble Bundle or others), or if it's on sale for ~50% or more.
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