Piece of Cake Studios tested its debut game, Hacktag, on Steam Early Access last June. It’s a stealth co-op title about infiltrating big corporations and stealing their data, and it enters its full release state February 14 for PC.
Unlike other stealth games, which favor more military tactics or espionage, Piece of Cake opted for a colorful aesthetic, featuring friendly anthropomorphic animals and bright colors. Two players split up the roles of field agent and hacker, and both have to work together to crack codes, solve puzzles, and sneak past security to steal data. Online and local multiplayer are available, and a story mode takes players through three different corporations that parody real-world companies like Google. It focuses on puzzles, but players can also choose what to do with the data they obtain — whether they want to be a whistleblower or mercenary.
Hacktag has asymmetrical play, though both the field agent and hacker roles have analogous challenges. Where the field agent has to avoid patrolling guards, for instance, the hacker has to avoid getting caught in a firewall. Piece of Cake’s cofounder Bérenger Dupré says that the studio also wanted each player to have a unique story experience as well, even if they’re playing together.
“As the game is two-player co-op, each player will follow his own story and that’s why he or she will have unique NPCs,” said Dupré in an email to GamesBeat. “For instance, a player may have to do a mission from his dad, while for another player it will be from his ex-boss, etc. As it is a multiplayer game we wanted to have several stories to ensure that players that play randomly together wouldn’t have experienced exactly the same story, so they each feel more unique as a character. ”
Though the core gameplay is co-op, the studio has added a single-player mode because of player feedback.
“Thanks to the feedback from our Early Access community, we have completely changed the interface and the reward and progression system,” said Dupré. “But the biggest new additions are new mission types and the solo mode where one player switches back and forth to handle both the Agent and Hacker roles. We had been playing with the idea of a solo mode for a long time, but it probably wouldn’t have been possible if we had not decided to enter Early Access.”
Piece of Cake also intends to continue updating the game after release. The study has created a system that will enable them to update the game with seasonal content. And though the initial release is only for PC, Dupré says the studio’s got its eyes on consoles as well — specifically, the Nintendo Switch, which would be a good fit for the multiplayer gameplay. However, at this time, Hacktag doesn’t have any definite plans for console release.