Jailbroken is a sci-fi metroidvania (exploration / platformer) game with fast-paced combats and an intriguing story, set in an apparently abandoned space station where you play as one of its crew members who has just woken up from a long sleep. You will soon discover that the deeper you go into the station, the more you will be delving into the foundations of your own identity.

[The game is under development since July 2020, it’s estimated to be released in 2025]

[You can follow the development of Jailbroken, day by day, on Twitch]

The Combat

Bullets fly fast in Jailbroken. Not so fast that impact is inevitable, but fast enough that it’s best to seek the nearest cover. Threats can come from any direction so most characters have a 360° degree of aiming freedom. To avoid taking damage, there are certain passive protection mechanisms, such as a kinetic shield, or movement abilities such as “dash” that will confer momentary immunity. It is up to the player to choose a more confrontational or more stealthy strategy.

Walking, Climbing, Jumping, Flying

There are places on a space station that are too dangerous, which the crew can only access remotely using what they call Remote Engineering Interfaces (REI). These anthropomorphic machines, which engineers and maintenance personnel connect to at their control stations, allow them to perform the toughest and riskiest jobs both inside and outside the spacecraft. The REI is equipped with a propulsion backpack that allows it, among other things, to jump higher, reduce fall speed, hover in the air or “fly” in zero-gravity zones. The REI’s structure makes it possible to carry heavy objects, avoid impact damage, climb obstacles or withstand extreme temperatures.

The Weapons

Trained personnel have a wide range of weapons at their disposal to ensure security and order on the station. Low-intensity automatic weapons (basic, ignition or plasma machine guns) use a type of nanometric ammunition that takes a long time to consume, so it is not paid attention to during combat. Each weapon allows the attachment of a secondary firing device (e.g., a grenade launcher), which usually has a small amount of ammunition. Each weapon inflicts a different type of damage, which can be electrical, igneous, corrosive, laser or kinetic (impacts). The player will have to quickly choose which weapon to use depending on the enemies’ weaknesses.

Your Companion

Don’t panic, you are not alone. Space stations are equipped with an army of “assistants”, drones controlled by AIs running on central servers that help the crew to optimize their tasks. Each AI is equipped with certain functions depending on the guild it is associated with (security, maintenance, research, protocol, etc.), has limited permissions and a personality adjusted to the user to make giving orders to them more natural and intuitive. To avoid learning problems, the personality of each AI is periodically checked and “pruned” by the central computer. An authorized operator can perform firmware updates or add functions to an assistant by physically connecting it to a computer (remote modifications are not allowed for security reasons).

Your Enemies

Sometimes software does not work as expected and… accidents happen. Most machines have very basic intelligence, they do their job and respond to specific voice commands but, unlike the assistants, they lack personality. If you are unlucky enough to run into a confused security robot you would better run, it will not stop chasing you until some time after you are out of sight. Some of them can hear you so, if you find a good hiding place, try not to make too much noise. In case you have no choice but to fight, a good knowledge of the enemy’s weaknesses can save your life. Some are armored, though not fully armored, others may not be very heat resistant. Remember that kinetic shields do not protect against flames or laser weapons. If there are no enemies in sight, do not be overconfident, the station itself might mistake you for an intruder.

REI-cycling : D

The space station is capable of manufacturing its own REIs by recycling scrap from used spare parts, space debris or other broken REIs. Normally, it is the maintenance robots that pick up the unusable materials and send them to the spacecraft’s warehouses to be turned into parts, which are then distributed to manufacturing stations called “assemblers” or “forjas”. A mechanical engineer can enter a design into the assembler’s computer and, automatically, the system will send everything it needs to build the object. There is a standard REI model, equipped with a jetpack and tools such as a welder, but the original design can be modified to add extra abilities, such as better armor or increased storage capacity, in exchange for using more materials. Should there not be enough raw materials for such upgrades, the player will have to choose wisely which ones are most worthwhile for the current mission. Another option is to go out for more scrap, which can be found floating around in space, in crates scattered around the station or ripped from robots by brute force.

Holey, Smashed, Burned or Blown up

REIs were invented to avoid human casualties. Someone controlling an REI may feel dizzy, at most, in case the mechanical avatar is smashed. When that happens, all the junk it was carrying will be scattered on the ground. If it carried data of any kind in its secondary memory, such as a manufacturing design, it will be inaccessible. A new REI will have to be created and go back to the source from which that data was downloaded. The total destruction of the REI will hardly occur by surprise, in Jailbroken there are neither instant-kills nor fall damage. There are assemblers throughout the space station to be able to respond immediately to the needs of all modules, avoiding the problems of transporting machinery from one area to another.

The story

Jailbroken’s story will serve as a guide for players to know where they should go, but they can just explore until they get to where they need to let the plot progress. While certain events linked to the main story are necessary to open some paths, players interested only in the gameplay will be able to skip and ignore the dialogues altogether.


Silicon Heart is a small Spanish studio funded in 2020 by Alejandro Villalba, a programmer with more than 15 years of experience, 7 of them making games (2 released, 1 failed), specialized in C++/OpenGL/GLSL and C#/Unity.