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 (177 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 (6)

March 31

Black Ice Minor Version 0.6.004 Patch Notes!

Hi everyone! This is a culmination of several indev patches over the past few weeks, mostly aimed at fixing bugs in multiplayer but also adding two new unique items, a bunch of small balancing changes that add up for better quality of life. I think you'll be quite happy with the results!

WARNING: This patch will break previous characters. They'll still load, but they won't be able to regenerate RAM. Please just create a new character. I tried really hard to avoid this, but was unable to.

  • BIG CHANGE: TL;DR: 10-Player multiplayer works with no problems now! I did a huge networking code update and you can *see* it in multiplayer games - all the projectiles move much more smoothly
  • Added a new unique item: The Disco Dodgeball. Must be picked up after fired, but can be retrieved by activating again
  • Added another new unique item: The Spicy Meatball, which is a bouncy fireball (with 100% ricochet but no innate piercing)
  • Added Gisborne Industries as a reference to Mike Bithell's new game, Volume. He's a really nice guy
  • Players in multiplayer now get a +15% XP bonus for each player past the first
  • If you cheat, you will be marked as such
  • April Fool's day joke :) Wait and see!

Item Balancing Changes:
  • Shotguns + high accuracy should feel more like shotguns now (more spread)
  • Nerfed bouncyball damage to be more in line with other weapons
  • Mine damage has been reduced (including spider mines). I doubt anyone will notice
  • RAM Regen from leveling has been decreased
  • RAM and RAM Regen from items has been decreased
  • Icebreakers cost more RAM per hack now
  • Lasbreakers do more damage now
  • Health per Second items now cost more RAM and heal less per level

Other Changes:
  • You can now see the highest level server you've hacked, which is important because:
  • Shops now sell loot only up to the level of the highest level server you've hacked
  • GITSfish health has been lowered, but their damage has increased
  • Bitcred drops have been quadrupled
  • Multiplayer city size is now set to max at all times - not infinite, but large.
  • Hacked buildings are much more transparent now, this should let people see the loot better (Known issue: They don't show up on Macs now)
  • The select button now closes the inventory menu on a controller
  • Player and enemy movement in multiplayer is much more accurate now

  • Invert controller toggle works now
  • Punchthrough achievement works now
  • The Main Menu should lag less for lower-power machines. I expect this to improve next major patch when I upgrade to Unity 5
  • Overlapping buildings no longer spawn near the starting area
  • Nemesized servers now show up properly in multiplayer
  • Mines are colored appropriately in PVP now
  • Loot (including dropped credits) from every server is now always the appropriate level
  • Shared XP in MP now has a minimum of 1, not 0

Proof that 10-player multiplayer works :)

4 comments Read more

March 2

Black Ice Major Version 0.6 Patch Notes!

Hi everyone! This is what I've been working so hard on, I hope you like it :) This, and showing the game off at PAX South, East, and GDC!

  • Controller Support! This should "just work" for any controller. Try it out!
  • UI Overhaul - many menus are updated, prettier and easier to use
  • Gorgeous new server/building paint jobs.
  • Added Scorporation minion. All minions are now shiny!
  • Added Antialiasing as an option in the options menu
  • Drastic performance improvements, especially on large cities
  • Added a Colorblind mode for item rarity colors
  • Loot Cubes are a lot more descriptive and easy to see
  • Added new modular projectile type: Bouncy Ball! Reflects off all walls/floors but pierces through enemies. Can hit the same target multiple times!
  • Mysterious new Dark Servers

  • Enemy blood particles are now the opposite color of enemies. Rainbow sometimes!
  • 1990 Mode looks better (bloom takes affect afterwards, causing a glowing pixel effect)
  • Scorporation damage has been reduced by 50%, and other balancing tweaks
  • Removed "Simple Reflections" mode. Reflections are now on or off.
  • Buildings drop bitcreds instead of items sometimes now :)
  • Added a big floating $ hologram above shops
  • F7 is now Quick Save

  • Too many to count, but the game is going to run a lot smoother, faster, and better, especially on lower-end machines.

Controller GUI:

New Loot Cubes:

New Bouncy Ball Projectiles:

Dark Servers

20 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 10-player 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
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Early Access Review
Black Ice a a "Cyber-punk Hack and Shoot"... I love it. It is like no other game i have ever played and it is most certainly worth the money. The infinite loot, randomly generated Buildings, It's easily one of the best games I have ever played.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
This indie title gets me to keep playing. It has great atmosphere and a unique feel to it. The gameplay is interesting, this game is underrated. Not to mention, the devs are great and have responded to everything I've posted so far!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Early Access Review
Great game been playing releases since Alpha.

Very solid game play and style. When shown to friends they immediately said it looked like Tron, So the style is noticeable! It could be repetitive if you don't enjoy hacking buildings and fighting waves of enemies, Although this is person taste reminds me a little of diablo in that sense of things except first person and with guns.

The main downside for me is the developer still won't add my request of giving some of the spiders top hats, monocles and mustaches. THEY COULD BE SO CLASSY!
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Early Access Review
This is a game that absolutely gets the most out of procedural generation and random loot generation, and when combined with simple but nice graphics and style, and throw-back hacker feel, you get one hell of a game. The fun in this game comes from slowly progressing and increasing your character as you hack new servers and find ever better ways to combine your abilities, minions and damage.


Black Ice is a simple game at heart which means it doesn't suffer from many of the annoying problems seen in mechanically similar games. In The Binding of Isaac, Ziggurat and Paranautical Activity, for example, you'll often find yourself tracking through multiple rooms to find something you forgot about, or travel back to get access to a new area. In Black Ice, the radiating positioning of terminals eliminates backtracking, and the jetpack later reduces travel time further. In Borderlands you're often becomes a pain in the butt not being able to hold everything in your inventory and figuring out what you want to throw away, and to then cart it all back to a shop and sell it all, whereas in Black Ice there are actually more drops, but they never get annoying, and are a small reward after each server because after slotting in what you want, you can completely forget about them until you find a shop and one-click to sell all.

These simple but effective gameplay designs solve small annoyances seen in other titles and really add to the quick pace and play.

The other half of what makes this title so enjoyable is the fantastic atmosphere and feel. Any fan of Johnny Mneumonic or Hackers who loved that 90s unbreached and new world of computer technology feel will know what I'm talking about and feel subtle instances of connection and nostalgia here.

* There's great mod support and open settings and configuration in general, which is a delight. There is mod functionality and great technical customization out of the box.
* The progressive, customizable and balanced level up system is done very well and combines with weapons and abilities to make for a depth of strategy in combat approach.
* The music is wide and plentiful and while it's mostly mild or bland, none of it is bad and some tracks do stand out.
* While it's hardly worth mentioning, it's so rare that I have to commend the On/Off Switch buttons on the UI showing which state they're currently in, and switching to. For whatever reason this annoys me when it's missing and I click Yes and end up with No.

Early Access Specific

Most of my Early Access Specific sections in reviews come with warnings and reasons to be careful, but with Black Ice the developer constantly surpasses expectations and obligations and is clearly comited to making the game better and more immersive in any way he can find. The main planned features which don't exist at the time of review are quests and some level of plot, melee weapons and multiplayer item trading. None of these can reasonably be expected to negatively impact the game, especially in the hands of clearly intelligent and intent developer and other than the ♥♥♥♥ling possibility of multiplayer introducing a shallow trade-to-win feel, there shouldn't be anything to make you think twice here.

You can currently pick up Black Ice for £6.99/9.99€/$9.99 and the developer has stated “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.” This provides an incentive to buy earlier if you trust in the developer and as a result, the only comment I can pass is that if you were on the fence because of Early Access on this title, you really shouldn't be and now is a great time to buy an already fairly complete game.


Despite the fantastic user rating on Steam and the developers dedication to community feedback improvement, there are still issues and problems worth pointing out here, and they're mostly down to the same thing that makes it great; the simplicity. It helps keep many problems at bay but also results in a lack of variety and it's very easy to get bored with the world as a whole and to become mindlessly numb after repeatedly churning the process of fighting enemies, cycling through loot, bumping up stats, repeat ad infinitum. However, the developer seems to be open to the idea of mini-bosses and side objectives and this may very well be implemented at some later stage which would add some level of variety.

* The difficulty curve is perhaps far too shallow at first and doesn't pick up for a while. It's easy to go 30 or 40 levels without running into many difficult situations if you spend time customizing yourself in the right ways.
* Multiplayer is likely to change a lot over Early Access, but it's currently very basic and doesn't add much over single player other than being able to approach some enemies slightly differently and trade items.


Currently priced at £6.99/9.99€/$9.99 make this cheaper than The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, but more expensive than The Binding of Isaac Collection or Dungeons of Dredmor Complete, and price matches it with Paranautical Activity, all of which are similar in terms of play time value. So overall the price feels fair just now. There's also a 4-Pack option which brings down the price by somewhere around 25% if you have friends to group buy with.

Since the price is set to eventually double the current price and arrive at $19.99, albeit with a plot, more enemies, abilities, weapons, trading and functionality, it's worth mentioning that I feel it may well be overpriced at that stage, and that waiting for a sale after then may very well be a better choice.

* There's a list of retailers included on the bottom of the website and shopping around is advised since the single and 4-Pack options were both slightly cheaper for me from Humble Bundle.
* There's a free demo available on the website and Steam store page.
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
370.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Early Access Review
I'm something of a gameplay purist & this is one of the purest a gaming experiences I've ever had. It's probably the only truly 3D FPS game out here, where you're forced by the design to watch your six at all times. It makes for one heck of an experience; an excellent throwback to adrenaline-spiking 80s arcade games like Robotron. Only thing missing is a big neon score-counter at the top center that whizzes off digits as you rack up kills.

When the hacking starts, you'd better move like you're on fire or you'll find yourself staring at the gameover menu faster than an AIMbot beam. My ADHD levels are pretty steep, which means I get bored quickly if I'm not constantly reminded of why I need to not be daydreaming. Black Ice is like chess on speed. The line between stimulus and response becomes so blurred so as to be nonexistent: how am I gonna get that rare item over there without breaking the hack? I could probably make it if I just slot a teleport mod and -- OH ♥♥♥♥ THERE'S A DOZEN SPIDERS RIGHT BEHIND ME (and while you're whipping around to take care of this turn of events WHAM, you're rammed right outta the ring by like, 3 taRAMtulas who spawned while you were debating your next move 3 seconds ago).

The only break you get is when you ain't hacking. Otherwise there isn't a single moment where you're not fighting for your life with angry, colorful threats coming from every direction. If you hack more than one server the game will approach hyperactive levels of frantic panic faster than you can figure out which minion to spawn. With all the bright colors, pixel explosions, and naturally intimidating sharp objects, it gets pretty freakin' intense. Add to it the slick, hallucinogenic, in-your-face minimalistic style interface that puts in you in a whole 'nother kind of space and you have an experience that sucks you in from the moment you hack the first spam server. Also, the dynamic BGM is all kinds of radical, pumping out infectious tunes that get'n your head and stay there.

I'm a rediculously jaded old-school gamer. I can tell whether I'll like a game before I'm even done with the training level. But I've been following this game for more than a year now and I always find myself playing it for much longer than I'd planned. It's truly a Game in every sense of the word; a unique design that's as simple as it is effective. There's literally nothing but a reticle between you and cyberspace (which may soon be aimed by a powerglove), so it's hard not to get sucked into this abstract realm for minutes, nay, hours on end.

Final rating: 5/5. Note: This review is of the *single player* experience only.
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