Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron. The cyber-world is procedurally generated, the colors are neon, the loot is randomized, and the lasers are loud. Black Ice is currently in Beta, with updates on the way.
User reviews: Very Positive (131 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Face it - you want Black Ice in your hands as soon as possible, and I need feedback to improve the game and money to pay my contributors. I've priced the game so that it's a good deal now, ask your friends - or play the demo!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“I honestly don't know how long it will take me to get to a 1.0 version, but I am constantly releasing free content updates and I plan to do so for the foreseeable future.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Planned features include plot, quests, specialization options, melee weapons, item trading in multiplayer and of course Moar Enemies! Moar Weapons! Moar Abilities! Moar Explosions!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Black Ice is a functionally complete game with dozens of hours of gameplay and high replay value. Already implemented features include online multiplayer co-op, offline single player, item & ability modding, achievements, billions of items, and some very deadly enemies. (THIS ISN'T EVEN MY FINAL FORM)”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game will slowly increase in price up to the full version price of $20 as I add more features. This way, the game will always be a good deal and I'm not punishing people for buying early.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“I love hearing feedback and suggestions from my community. You can even see my public to-do list and vote and comment on your favorite potential features!”
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"Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron."
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Recent updates View all (4)

October 25, 2014

Black Ice Major Version 0.5 - Patch Notes

Major Features:
  • PVP - Shoot your friends!
  • LAN Mode - Play offline with reduced latency! Great for LAN parties!
  • Nemesystem - Dying has consequences, but revenge has its reward!
  • Two New Enemies - The Ghost in the Shellfish and the Scorporation
  • Minions - Summon your own combat AI!
  • Reflections - Oooh, Shiny!

Would you like to know more? Keep scrolling! I've got more details on the major features below.

Minor Features:
  • Cloaking Enemies affix - The Predator comes to mind
  • Rebalanced Server Difficulty - Now just look at your player level to figure out what level server to hack!
  • Retooled Level Generation - Easier to find servers of your level!
  • New Unique Item - The Porta Device - A Unique Mod which has a chance to teleport your attackers away
  • H or Q to hack - No matter which slot your Icebreaker is equipped in!
  • Halloween Surprise 2014 - Find your own #HackOLantern, or make one IRL and win a Black Ice T-Shirt!. Don't like the Black & Orange servers? Select "I Hate Halloween" in the top left of the main menu.

Not to mention Bug Fixes and System Enhancements all over the place!

Just select PVP from the Advanced Options when creating a multiplayer match to jump into PVP. You'll be automatically assigned to the Red or Blue team, although you can switch teams at any time by holding Tab and pressing the Switch Team button. Note that all servers and enemies are still active - and not friendly to you - so it's a race for each team to try to outlevel each other via hacking. Damage numbers are enabled for all players, which makes it much harder to hide from your enemies if you're hacking.

LAN Mode:
This takes a little extra work (instructions here!) but the benefit is that you can play multiplayer with no internet connection and with drastically reduced latency. And if you also own Disco Dodgeball, it's the same LAN setup :)

Dying to a server near or below your level will cause it to level up, but also will increase the odds of getting good loot from that server. And of course, the server will taunt you by displaying a large red skull hologram on the roof.

New Enemies:
The megacorps have been busy upgrading their security. First, the Ghost in the Shellfish is a big beefy crab-like enemy who can really knock your socks off (or your ass out of the hacking radius). The other new enemy is called the Scorporation. This high-tech scorpion AI packs a highly-damaging lasgun and can be very accurate, so keep moving!

Ever wanted your own pet AI? Now you can have one! Or eight! Minions are great for distracting enemies and can put out some damage to boot. Grabbing a health powerup will also heal your minions.

The world of Black Ice just got a bit brighter with the addition of high-fidelity raytracing reflections. This does affect performance, but you can turn it down to Simple Reflections mode in the options, or turn reflections completely off. One side effect of the Fancy Reflections mode: enemy death particles look super cool now.

Still want more info? Find me on Twitter! @BlackIceTheGame

5 comments Read more

September 29, 2014

Black Ice Devlog - 9/29/14

Hey guys! Here's another update.

PVP has been released and the word is that it's fun, although I'm waiting to hear back from you all for how I should balance it. Right now, I think the most fun way to play is for everyone to start new characters, then go hunting for each other while trying to get some hacking in. One thing we should talk about is how EMPs should act in PVP - I don't think being stunned would be fun at all, so I was thinking we could turn it into a 90% slow. Also, I think we might need Slowing debuffs to affect the jetpack, so that you can't just jet away. Right now, loot still drops for everyone in PVP - even the opposing team - and I'm not sure if I like that or not.

A quick update on the weapon models - they're still being worked on. My artist has been busy with other work.

One of the things I did over the weekend, which I can hopefully push to the Indev patch tonight, was tweak Hack Difficulty. The way it works now is that a server with Hack Difficulty 5 will spawn enemies appropriate for a level 5 player and drop items requiring player level 5. Item levels on items is no longer listed, since it's now always the same as required level. I did everything I could to preserve exponential enemy HP and mostly linear enemy damage.

Finality is now level 150 instead of 500. Shops are around 100-120, and they sell loot up around the player's level, capping out at the shop's level. I'm going to have to redo the achievements - I don't think anyone's going to get up to level 5000. One thing that might cause trouble here is that players that are exceptionally strong might be able to hack servers above their level, which of course they won't be able to use until they level up a bit. I'm not sure what the best way around this is, but one thing I could do is have servers drop gear a couple levels *below* their level - but that's confusing. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

The other major feature I've been working on is Minions. A lot of people have asked me for an ability to convert an enemy to their side, but I thought it'd be more fun to summon them directly. I can always add the ability to temporarily convert enemies later. Right now, you summon enemies by targeting a position up to 10 squares away, which spawns a minion as if it was being spawned by a server (with all the same particles). It takes one second for the minion to appear, and they last until they die or 30s. They follow you around if they can't find anything to kill.

Currently you can summon as many minions as your RAM supports, but I was thinking a better solution might be to only allow one (Strong!) minion per item, but it would be permanent and you could unsummon it by pressing the item button again. I could also play around with summoning them in packs of 3.

Minions will have more HP and damage based on the item level and rarity of the item, but I'm also thinking about introducing minion-specific item affixes, so that you could build a character that relies entirely on minions. I don't think I want minions to scale with your weapon damage and health because I want you to have to choose what type of character you make instead of being good at everything.

Have suggestions or comments? Let me know!

7 comments Read more
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“It tickles your cyberfancy.”
Alice O'Connor, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Sometimes, you just need to shoot lasers at neon spiders.”
Chris Priestman, Warp Door

“You don’t get much more user-friendly than that. It's worth every penny.”
Bonnie Burgette, Indie Game Mag

About This Game

Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron. The cyber-world is procedurally generated, the colors are neon, the loot is randomized, and the lasers are loud. Black Ice is currently in Beta, with updates on the way.


  • Fast-paced First Person Combat
  • Billions of randomly generated items - Railguns! Rocket shotguns! Jetpacks!
  • Seamless online multiplayer- PVE and PVP!
  • A shiny, procedurally-generated neon world
  • Extremely open development
  • A wonderful original soundtrack (On Sale Here!) by epic composer V-Axys
  • Award-winning, addictive gameplay with high replay value
  • Mod Support
  • Photosensitive Mode

The Promise:

  • Every update for free
  • Zero microtransactions. This game will only ever cost you money once
  • Zero DRM
  • No copyright takedowns on Let's Play videos
  • Bug fixes will always be high priority


Black Ice is only this cheap for a limited time! This is an early access price, the cost will increase as more features are added. Black Ice will sell for $20 at launch. Additional updates will continue post-launch and for the foreseeable future.

I hope you're not afraid of spiders.


You can contact the developer either here on the forums, via email (, or on Twitter

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OSX
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Early Access Review
A unique rogue-like with a Tron-esq style. A good sense of progression with satsfying weapons.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Early Access Review
Yes, yes yes, yes yes yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Early Access Review
It's not perfect yet, but it's pretty damn good, especially for only $10. The dev is super dedicated, super involved with the playerbase, and super nice. If you're like me, and a good loot system will get you into a game, then I'd highly reccomend picking it up. It's not perfect, but then again, I think you should know that buying an early access game.

The good:
-Really good visuals and audio. Very Tron-esque vibe.
-It's very generous with its rewards. You're leveling up and finding loot very frequently. No complaints about that- I think we all prefer that to when you've got to grind it out for ten minutes just to get one or two guns.
-It's obvious this is a labor of love. The dev is very active online promoting this game and getting feedback from people.
-The weaponry has a lot of variations. It really does a good job of encouraging you to mess around with different strategies and loadouts.
-Did I mention it's only ten bucks? It's a hell of a lot of game for that price.

The bad:
-The user interface needs some work. Sorting through your inventory and picking the best stuff is kind of a chore. Also, the menus are kind of small; a lot of them only use up between a third and a half of the space available.
-The economy needs balancing. Anytime I came across a shop, I had enough money to buy whatever I wanted, and then some, even before I unloaded my extra loot.
-The stat bonuses you get when you level up also could use some balancing. An extra 1% to accuracy isn't nearly as enticing to me as getting another 15% bonus to loot for the same value.
-The world feels kinda empty. It's just you, buildings and enemies (which, aside from one spot, only spawn when you're trying to hack buildings.) Some little environmental differences would make a big impact.

Overall, I think it's easily worth the purchase. I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth out of this game, and I'll still keep playing.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2014
Early Access Review
Below you'll find both a video and written impression of the game.
Black Ice may look simple on first impression, but I assure you, the progression and character building system in this game is quite robust and very fulfilling. You can upgrade and customize almost every aspect of your character, including your attacks, traps, and even your jumps and dashes. Almost every aspect of the toon is upgradable. The game draws inspiration from others like Borderlands or Diablo, and the loot system reflects this. There is a giant plethora of items and abilities to collect and upgrade, with various rarity and random stats, and modifiers. It's arguable that Black Ice's robust random loot system is already on par with the game's inspirations, which is saying a lot considering that this is still in early access. I can not praise the progression system of this game enough. It is incredibly addictive.

The aesthetics of the game are striking, and very eye catching, with a pile of visual interest. With that said, it's not perfect and there are room for improvement. The architecture of the digital city is bland, with mostly rectangles with neon outlines. I understand that the game is trying to keep the visuals simple, but that doesn't mean that's an excuse for ignoring all the little details. Bridges, window frames, interesting shaped buildings, street lights, wires, signs, etc, all these sort of accents you would find in any cyber punk city would go a long way for Black Ice, if it wants to keep gamers in awe at it's visuals. The game is not ugly, but once you're past the visual impact of the game, it can get boring to stare at after a while.

As far as game play is concerned, the shooting itself is fairly par. This could also be said about Boarderlands, but like Boarderlands, it's really the progression system, and the loot grind that will keep players interested. It's certainly my main reason to keep playing. Once in combat, out side of a few random boss encounters, you'll run into mostly the same mobs over and over again. This is probably this game's weakest point at the moment. The game does lack a degree of enemy variety, and because of that, also combat variety, and hopefully this will be resolved in the future.

Overall Black Ice is a very strong foundation that features a very well fleshed out progression system, with tons of potential for custom character builds. The loot random generation is some of the best I've ever seen, and will more than likely be your main reason to keep playing. Though not perfect, Black Ice is a great game, that is already a lot of fun, even at it's early stages.

- Fantastic progression system
- Excellent random loot generation
- Addictive gameplay
- Eye catching visuals
- Great music

- Enemy variety is lacking
- Visuals could use some refining with better detailing
- Those sensitive to grinds need to be aware this is fairly grindy (in a good way imo)
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Early Access Review
This game is simply incredible. When my friend first approached me about playing it with him, I was skeptical, I admit. I'm not one for FPS games. But Black Ice manages to make weapon collecting a game within itself, and using the weapons is fun and enjoyable. The ideas behind this game are spectacular, and the visuals and graphics can be changed to various styles. Additionally, the soundtrack is phenomenal, always making hackers feel on edge in a world that can sometimes feel very lonely when playing singleplayer. When playing multiplayer, getting better weapons and having the highest DPS feels like trophies in a rivalry with friends. This game makes any player feel like levelling up is worth it and is not just a number.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
Early Access Review
This game rocks my socks. Guns, Lazers, Confetti Explosions when people die. What more could you ask for! Buy 4 coppies even if you dont have 3 friends.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Early Access Review
Just got this game and IT IS AWESOME!!

Tons of baddies? Check
Easy to learn leveling system? Check

Seriously though, drop some Molly and get in the game!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Early Access Review
Black Ice is. Amazing. 'Nuff said. I would post a longer review, but I'm too busy playing this game!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Early Access Review
OMG best 10 bucks spent in while. Of course the game based on Tron and does feel like it too. Kinda also reminds of EYE Cyber Mancy and Borderland as well. Tons of random loot so its a loot fest. Also there charater build the way you want your charater to be so rpg fans will love this game. I give it a solid 9/10. Hope some of my friends get this game the online kinda empty with players, that the bad part about it. Unless you have friends that own this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2014
Early Access Review
This game is awesome. Its one of those games where you can just blast music really loud, sit back, and have fun. It doesn't require too much concentration and is overall a very chill and laid back game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Early Access Review
I won't lie when I first bought this game I was unsure how it was going to be but now I play this as much as I do big titles.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Early Access Review
Ive never played anything quite like this. The art style is cool. Gameplay is tight. Hacking of the servers is pretty original in my experience, and the "get stronger and get better loot to hit harder" gives me the "one more hack... then ill go to bed" kind of denial on how much im enjoying myself. Multiplayer is a blast! Tag teaming servers that are far above both of you and somehow comming out on top feels like youve just co-op'd the 300.
First time i ever hacked a swarm server and saw enemies just pouring over the top of the building i was after actually made me challenge my spray and pray strategy for a moment. I ended up having to turn and bolt as they overtook me. Dropping a mine as i fell back, it smeared those foremost to me that were already full of holes, and bruised up the ones i hadnt tagged yet. After disappearing behind a red building in my hack range, i patiently popped heals and jumped back out, only to come face to face with a lot of digital spiders and some creepy flying monoliths. I Sprinted right past them, turning and blasting as I dropped the speed increase, shotgun and machine gun blasting away and chewing up their digital pixels like candy. They didnt even touch me. Backpeddaling and sighting in on the monoliths as the last of the spiders disappeared, i strafed left to right, dodging what they throw at me as theyve been consistently tagging me the whole time. Near death, I pop heals again, barely saving myself from the Game Over screen. Behind another building i see that only one remains. A quick pop out and he blows into pixels. Yay me :)
Anyway,that was an epic fight. Ive had plenty of those, even considering the games whopping 2 different enemy types. Enough talk, let me get back to playing this... 85/100. 14 points for repetitive combat and the same 2 enemies. (wait, 3 with the flying shark thing). 1 point because i have already restarted 3 times due to updates.Thank you for God Mode guys! I appreciate the chance to not HAVE to grind back up if i dont want to.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
Early Access Review
Retro arcade hacking/fps? Is that a sentence? YEP! 9/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
Early Access Review
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2014
Early Access Review
Summary: Borderlands + Tron x rainbows = instabuy

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2014
Early Access Review
A very colourful, addictive, intriguing, if rather repetitive FPS/RPG that I've been getting a ton of fun out of even at this stage in development. My only criticism is that the game thus far amounts to the same formula of "find a node to hack, stay within the vicinity and eliminate all enemies until a timer ticks down", but as someone who really likes the cyberpunk aesthetic, I certainly found myself coming back to it to see how far I could get. It's also pretty cheap, too, so if you're looking for something to pass a bit of time with in a manner similar to games like "Binding of Isaac" or "Race The Sun", I would say that Black Ice has got you covered!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
Early Access Review
The good: FPS, levelling, items and abilities, cool concept, good bit of fun with friends.
The bad: Somewhat limited when you get up higher levels (there is a substancial difficulty slider though)
Thoroughly enjoyable. If you don't care for a story and just want some simple FPS fun with underlying depth through level and weapon progression then you should enjoy this.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Early Access Review
I really loved this game. While it doesn't last very long (4-5 hours), the overall experience was pretty awesome. Multiplayer is also pretty fun, although it would be cool if there were more servers. The only thing I thought it needs is an auto save function on the worlds, because when it crashes you have to restart all of your world progress.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
Early Access Review
In short? This game satisfies my A.D.D. 'Nuff said.

Black Ice is currently an Early Access game which means that there are many tweaks and additions to be make before the final product. The User Interface, Level Design, and Character Models are simple and the goal is basic. Hack servers. Each server looks like a colorful building, in essence, when you "hack a server" you active a horde of enemies that you must shoot your way through. When all the enemies are defeated, the server has been hacked.

You can hack as many servers as you like, so long as they are within range and spawn one wave of enemies after another. Though the difficulty could be a little harder, it still scales up well enough as is. Combine mass murdering of flying colours with an engaging soundtrack, how bad can things really be?

The only problems I have had while playing this game is pressing the wrong button. I have experienced no technical issues whatsoever. If you like killing things, I recommend getting Black Ice during it's Early Access as the price will double upon the final release. So long as technical issues don't arise, this game will only get better. It's worth the 10 bucks folks.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
Early Access Review
This is a great game for all of you casual fps players. The game revolves around a simple concept that still provides hours of fun. While I haven't yet had a chance to try out the multiplayer mode, I can tell you that the sigle player gameplay is original and interesting.

All of the mechanics are well thought out and balanced. For example, although the disk weapons deal more damage for their level than any of the other weapons, they take longer to travel to the enemy and back when an enemy is farther away.

All in all I would give this game a 9/10, however, the developer is very friendly and responsive to ideas from the community so: 10/10
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