Checking the chamber before loading.note
Receiver was created for the 7-day FPS challenge to explore gun handling mechanics, randomized levels, and unordered storytelling. Armed only with a Colt 1911 A1 and an audiocassette player, you must uncover the secrets of the Mindkill in a building complex infested with automated turrets and hovering shock drones.
— Official product description
, you have a gun.
Let's clarify for a moment. In Receiver, you actually
have a gun. If it has a safety, you can toggle it. If it has an external hammer, you can cock or uncock it. If it has a slide, you can pull, lock, and release it. If it has a magazine, you can remove it, and if it has a cylinder, you can swing it out — and you will, because it doesn't
have a telepathic link to tell you how many bullets are in it, and reloading is strictly by hand with individual loose bullets.
You, and your gun, have to navigate a procedurally-generated urban maze
full of killbots to find the cassette tapes and learn what's really going on. Good luck.Note: The RC6 update
in September 2012 added, first, a flashlight (notably neither Ten Second
— the batteries run dead after a few hours
use), and second, two new guns accompanying the original Colt 1911 A1
: a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver
and a Glock 17 pistol
modified with an FSS-G fire-selector
A tutorial on manipulating the guns in Receiver
may be found on the analysis page
The game is available on Steam here
; those who purchased it from the developers through their Humble Store
link can get a Steam key from that site.
- All Or Nothing Reloads: Averted by the nature of the game — because each step in the reload 'animation' is a separate action, it is just as easy to stop at any point and return the gun to the firing state as it is to finish loading.
- A Winner Is You: The ending, aside from piecing together the puzzle, are the cult's brochures.
- Big Labyrinthine Building: The setting.
- Bottomless Magazines: Even leaving aside the obvious aversion of this trope for the player, the machinegun turrets only carry about fifteen rounds each. That said, trying to run them out of bullets is awfully dicey...
- Cessation of Existence: The Mindkill causes this.
- Check Point Starvation: There are no check points and no save points. You play from the start every time.
- Closed Circle: The game takes place in one (massive) building.
- The Conspiracy: The cult believes that some sort of entity - extraterrestrial, human, government, corporate, or otherwise - is manipulating all electronic signals to suppress humans.
- Cool Guns: A Colt M1911, a modified Glock 17, and a Smith & Wesson Model 10.
- Deadly Dodging: Because of the particular way in which the machinegun turrets are implemented, it's possible for the fire from one turret to hit and disable a second if you line them up ... and if the second turret doesn't kill you first.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: You can't run if you're aiming your weapon.
- Double Meaning Title: In the world of the game, a "Receiver" is a person (like the player character) who can hear the messages of the people who made the tapes, but the word can also mean the functional part of a firearm.
- Emergency Weapon: Your pistol is your only weapon. If you run out of bullets, all you have left is dodging and hiding.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: The player character is the only one in the building to have survived the Mindkill.
- Featureless Protagonist/First-Person Ghost: You don't actually have a character model. Whatever you're holding (the gun or the magazine) just floats in the air in front of you, and items you pick up just slide along the ground to you.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
- Gotta Catch Them All: The eleven tapes.
- Gun Porn: Of the "elaborate-detail" kind. For example, in the video announcing the RC6 content update, the narrator says: "You can also spin the cylinder [of the S&W Model 10] using the mousewheel. There's no real practical reason to do this, but it seemed incomplete to include a revolver without the ability to do that."
- He Knows About Timed Hits: Subverted with the Justified Tutorial: the narrator goes over the controls by summarizing an imaginary manual, treating the keyboard and mouse controls as figures in a diagram (e.g. "the weapon can be discharged with the trigger labeled LMB in the manual" and "engage the safety in figure V for your protection": the Left Mouse Button pulls the trigger and the V key toggles the safety).
- Justified Tutorial: One of the tapes is a guide to operating the gun. The game's unique control scheme necessitates it.
- Luck-Based Mission: Not only is the map randomly generated and enemies randomly placed, you start with a random number of bullets and spare magazines. If you start with just one bullet ... well, you'd better be careful, haven't you?
- Musical Spoiler: The electronic soundtrack changes as you approach enemies ... and tapes.
- No OSHA Compliance: In many, many parts of the building, there are no railings to protect you from a fatal fall.
- One Bullet Clips: Averted, as previously described.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: You. Even a ricochet can kill you dead.
- One-Woman Wail: At certain times, you'll hear vaguely Middle Eastern chanting. Given that the game was meant to give you a religious experience, it ties in.
- Randomly Generated Levels: The rooms are (mostly) the same, but their relative arrangement varies, as does the starting position of enemies.
- Resources Management Gameplay: This comes up in two different ways:
- First, from the perspective of supplies: the only resources are bullets and magazines. Bullets are rare. Magazines are even rarer.
- Second, you can carry as many bullets outside of magazines as you want, and leave your spare magazines loaded with however many bullets you prefer. If you have time to switch mags, generally you'll also have enough time to add more rounds into a mag, as you'll either be hiding out of sight of a Turret or Hoverbot between shots, or trying to take out a hoverbot coming right at you, and they tend to reach your position before you even have time to switch mags. Some players prefer keeping just one spare mag just in case.
- Revolvers Are For Amateurs: Naturally, since you have to operate all the relevant mechanisms in-game.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: The game's excruciating level of detail in the workings of the guns can make this trope averted, subverted, or played straight depending on your preferences. The revolver is the simplest weapon to operate, powerful, but slower to reload than the two magazine-based handguns and has the smallest bullet capacity. On the other hand, since you also have to add bullets to your magazines when they are depleted, this adds another layer of complexity to using semiautomatics not normally seen in fiction.
- Some Dexterity Required:
- The major selling point of the game is the complexity of the controls involved with manipulating your firearm. For example, to reload the magazine of either of the two semiautomatic pistols, rather than simply pressing "R", you tap E (ejecting the magazine), ~ (holstering the gun, to free your other hand), Z repeatedly (once for each loose bullet being insterted), ~ again (to draw the gun), and Z (to insert the magazine) ... and, if the slide is locked open because you fired the last bullet, T to release the slide and chamber a bullet.
- Along the same lines, to run in Receiver requires tapping the "Forward" key repeatedly, with your speed depending on how quickly you button-mash — in part because running around all the time is a very good way to get yourself killed, so the developers wished to discourage it.
- Subsystem Damage: You can shoot off various parts of the Hoverbots and turrets to neutralize them without having to destroy them. Taking out the Hoverbot's tazer or the turret's ammo supply will make it unable to attack. Taking out the optical sensor on either enemy will effectively blind them.
- Unfriendly Fire: When bullets are fired, who is shooting them is entirely independent of what they damage. Fixed turret drones can actually damage other drones with their bullets, but using this as a tactic is not remotely recommended (it usually just gets you killed). And you can literally shoot yourself in the foot and die.