An Intro Guide to Beneath a Steel Sky

This is a spoiler-free guide for people who wish to check out Beneath a Steel Sky, a point-and-click adventure game created by Revolution Software and released in 1994. This is not a walkthrough and is just meant as an intro to help people get into the game and a little background on it.

the main character standing on a platform in a factory while a security guard is looking for him

Why Should I Play It?

Even though it was released a few decades ago, it still holds up very well! It was an early game by Revolution Software, who would go on to create the Broken Sword series. The cyberpunk mystery was co-designed and features art by Dave Gibbons, most famously known as the artist for Watchmen, giving the game a distinct style. The game also has a charming mix of comedy and earnestness. The game became a cult hit and eventually led to a sequel, Beyond a Steel Sky, in 2021.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s very easy to start playing the game. The game was made freeware in 2003 and is available on the ScummVM website. If you haven’t used ScummVM and want everything configured for you, it’s all set up in a free download on GOG.

This next part is completely optional. The ScummVM Music Enhancement Project is a site containing alternate/enhanced versions of soundtracks for games that run in ScummVM, They’re all available for free and have instructions for how to replace the music. If you would like to see how the two soundtracks compare, you can check out this video here and see what you like more.

Tips for Playing Beneath a Steel Sky

For the most part, Beneath a Steel Sky is easy to get into if you’ve played other point-and-click adventures but here’s a couple things to keep in mind when playing.

Read the Comic Prequel
Packaged with the game was a comic that sets up the game and explains the backstory. For the most part this comic also appears in the game’s intro but it’s still worth reading to see an extended version with more art by Dave Gibbons. You can read the comic here.

Save Often
You will want to save regularly and rotate between a few save files. There are a few points in the game where you can die and the game does not automatically restore you to a safe point when it happens. It’s not in a ton of places but it’s still a good idea to save just in case. It’s also a good idea to rotate between a few save files. There aren’t really any softlocks except technically at the end where forgetting an item in a room may lead to a dead end scenario in the next room, but it’s nothing to be concerned about as long as you have a couple save files you are actively switching between.

Using Hints is Ok
Compared to a lot of adventure games from the era, Beneath a Steel Sky isn’t on the more difficult end of the genre. But everyone finds different puzzles to be difficult and if being stuck is ruining your enjoyment of the game, feel free to look up a hint. I think the page for the game on UHS Hints does a good job of helping with puzzles without giving away too much.

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