Many older gamers will go on about how great 8-bit games were and how kids these days don't know what they're missing, but to be honest, most of those old games are pretty terrible by today's standards. It often seems as if retro is just a by-word for bad graphics and ridiculous difficulty levels.
Manipulator is not one of those. It certainly looks retro, with its stick figures and monochrome visuals, but it actually looks better than anything you would have found in the 80s. It is a platform shooter with a twist - you have no weapon. Instead, you play a psychic - The Manipulator - who can take control of enemies. By doing so you can use their weapons to destroy obstructions, flick switches or dispatch other enemies. Once you've finished controlling an enemy, you can leave them somewhere out of your way or get them to stand next to explosives so they blow up.
The graphics, as I mentioned, are simplistic but very stylish, and the eerie sounds adds to the overall atmosphere of paranoia and tension. Instructions are given to you as you play, although they appear discreetly in the bottom left hand corner, and I missed most of them first time round. Unfortunately there's no control screen to reference, although when you follow the onscreen instructions the learning curve is very good.
This is one of the most polished and innovative indie games we've played in a while, and is a must-have for any fans of platform games.