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 (105 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 may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until 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!”

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 (3)

September 29

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

September 24

Black Ice Devlog - 9/23/14

Hey all, just thought I'd share the results of what I've been working on in the past couple of days.

First off, PVP is pretty much working, but I'm not satisfied with it yet, so I'm not ready to release it. In particular, you can damage and kill other players, kill counts are working, you spawn randomly throughout the city and cannot teleport to other players (even on your same team). There are two teams - Red and Blue - and you can switch between them at any time, but it kills you. You don't lose credits when dying to a human or by switching teams.

What's not working about PVP yet is that you still share XP with nearby players on opposing teams, you can still see damage numbers for all players, and it doesn't feel very satisfying to kill players, on account of there not being a death animation or any sort of confetti. I also still need to do some work to get debuffs working - and I might need to change some, like Frozen and Stunned, which really would be too harsh in PVP. Damage scaling is also not in yet, so you'll die really fast at high level right now. These are all relatively easy to fix, but will take some time, and I'm not sure PVP will be a ton of fun until they're in.

I tried to get Item Trading working, but I kind of ran into a wall on this. The problem is that the way I serialize player data to save the game or to send data over the network is no longer being supported, so while I can save an entire character no problem, I'm having trouble compressing the Item class so that it can be sent to another player. Actually, I got it working for *some* items, but not others, which is almost worse than not working at all.

The end result of this is that I'm probably going to have to start using another serialization solution, which unfortunately is going to break everyone's saves. I know, this sucks, but another advantage of this is that I might be able to find a solution that might be fast enough to enable autosaving, which I think everyone would like.

I also have been talking to my artist (the permanent one that made the GITSfish, not the temporary one that made the Scorporation) and he's going to start working on some weapon models! The current plan is to have one for each of the following: The Disc, Lasguns, Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns. For the modular weapons, I'm planning on adding some particle effects to differentiate these weapons. I'm going to try to make the weapons only show up when you're firing them, but if the conjuring time is too long and the weapons feel like they take too long to fire, I might need to just have them visible at all times. Maybe that'd be better anyway. One of the challenges to this is that I'm also going to have to make the projectiles come out of your hands instead of your face, which could affect accuracy if I don't do it right.

Another thing I'm planning on doing is showing only weapons in your left and right click - and in fact, restricting players to only being able to place weapons in the left and right click slots (but you could put other items there) - unless the players went into the options and selected the option to allow them to place any item in any slot. It'll be like Diablo 3's Elective Mode, and hopefully the effect will be that new players understand the system better, but experienced players will still have all the freedom they've come to expect.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

2 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
  • A beautiful, 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

    • 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
72 of 82 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Black Ice is a colorful, eye-catching FPS where players will jack into cyberspace and experience it's wide and open world.

The game boasts a combination of Borderlands-like loot addiction, with the retro-future aesthetics of the TRON world or the computer science concepts of Snow Crash. I had to check it out and see if it lived up to these claims and came away more than impressed.

Vibrant and neon minimalist structures sprawled out before you, seemingly endless. The expansive and cluttered glitchy landscapes of Black Ice call for some serious exploration with the promise of great discovery and rewards.

The more you hack, the deeper into the thick of the mainframe you get and the more colorful buildings of various size and level will be found.

You'll start off fighting smaller building you find in order not to overwhelm yourself with hordes of high leveled enemies and your puny starting weapons. As you fight, you'll level. As you level you'll find better loot, and damn does it feel good when you locate that one super rare rainbow rifle with insane DPS.

The amount of randomized loot is massive with stat modifications to each one creating a near infinite array. It seems to scale with your level making the progression feel great, keeping you constantly hunting for that next sweet piece of destruction.

The music from artist V-Axys is rad and it befits the cybernetic nature of the atmosphere perfectly. There's a really good variety of track already with some serious quality and you'll come across different pulse-pounding rhythms with each new structure you hack and battle your way into, keeping the encounters fresh and intense each time.

The addition of these new tracks is one that wasn't in the game last I played and just shows the dedication that will be going into making the game into the most engrossing experience possible, it's already looking fantastic.

Black Ice is just a hell of a lot of fun, especially with a friend. With the amount of procedurally generated cyber-land to scour and the increasingly awesome and empowering loot held within the hackable towers players just won't want to stop playing

You'll always spot something in the distance to check out, some new piece of equipment you'll want to keep leveling a bit more just to try out, and every time you feel like you're about to stop playing you'll get just one more reason to keep going. It's very hard to put down.

Due to the quick, addictive pacing and progressive nature of the game it's the perfect title to pick up for quick hacking sessions as well as to get immersed in the deep leveling and loot system for hours with a friend.

Black Ice comes highly recommended to anyone who's a fan of Shooters, Co-op, craploads of meaningful loot, or retro and cyberpunk aesthetics in general.
Posted: July 9
Was this review helpful? Yes No
146 of 216 people (68%) found this review helpful
26.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Wow, I can't believe this game - it's exactly what I wanted! And it's made by such a handsome developer, too!

Edit: All joking aside, here's a real review. It's biased because I made the game, but then, all reviews are subjective anyway

I made Black Ice because I wanted to experience hacking as described in Neuromancer and Snow Crash. I also wanted to play Diablo 2 and Quake 3 at the same time. You'll be compelled to hack, excited to find your next piece of loot, but hesitant, filled with a moment of dread, because you know that if you make one mistake, you're dead.

You want customization? All the abilities are items you find. All the items are procedurally generated - billions of 'em. Want to fill your bar with 8 guns and a jetpack? Fine by me. Want to stock up on healing items and be an unkillable tank? Do it!

You can take your character from the demo to the full version single player to multiplayer. You can (and people have) spend hundreds of hours jacked in, finding the best loot, hacking ever bigger servers. The enemies (and the loot) scale with difficulty level, which up quite a bit. The game is a complete experience right now, but I'm still adding stuff. I'm adding new enemies soon, but even now, enemies can come with powerups or in different combinations that ensure every hack is different.

It basically boils down to this - do you like blowing things up in first person, but you also love action RPGs that you can really chew on - with approachable but deep mechanics? And then you also love cyberpunk and bright colors? Buy my game. Or at least try the demo! Where else are you going to find a game with a really responsive developer, no DRM, no microtransactions, great multiplayer, and tons of depth to explore?
Posted: July 8
Was this review helpful? Yes No
30 of 38 people (79%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Ever read Snow Crash?

Check out a piece of the metaverse in this psycho tron-like eye♥♥♥♥♥ ride with FPS twitch action like Quake.

Jack in and hack servers but beware of the Black Ice entities that will stop at nothing to get rid of your rogue software.

I totally recommend this game for it's fast and interesting cyberpunk gameplay, super neon graphics and it's great if you're itching for a few minutes or a few hours of adrenaline pumping FPS action.
Posted: July 9
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24 of 33 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I have been following this game for quite a while now and I can certainly recommend it to any one who wants a cyberpunk fps multiplayer chaos fueled funfest. grab your keytool and lets get hacking
Posted: July 9
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Hey, you. Yes, you. Stop scrolling and read this.

Do you see this game that I'm talking about? It's called Black Ice. It's this cyberpunky hack-and-shoot game thing that's made by an amazing developer who works really hard and cares about his community more than any dev out there ever (seriously, he even makes his plans for world domina... err... for the future of the game completely public). It's also a better game than 90% of the games in early access at the moment and likely better than at least half of those 50 unplayed games you have.

Get this game. Now. Don't make me repeat myself.
Posted: July 25
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