The Invisible Hand is an interesting game about being a day trader. You spend most of the game as an analyst for an investment firm.
While it’s pretty hard to capture all of the intricacies and nuances of the stock market and interacting with it, the game does a fantastic job of gamifying it. The game slowly eases you in by introducing one mechanic at a time.
The game gives you a pretty good glimpse into how firms make a profit by taking advantage of the stock market. Invisible Hand starts out by teaching you how to take a long position on a stock. Basically, you believe that a particular stock will increase in price so you buy when the price is low and sell later when the price has peaked.
Being able to analyze enough information to be able to predict this is obviously difficult but thankfully the game makes this quite easy by providing a social media feed with predictions, news articles, and also access to a dark web portal. Sometimes the social media posts are incorrect so you have to look carefully at how many likes the post has, as this is how the game relays to you how reliable information is.
The game keeps introducing new mechanics such as taking a short position, earning dividends, and employing lobbyists to affect the market. You can combine these mechanics, such as shorting a stock, employing lobbyists to make sure the stocks drop, and taking a long position on a competing product, all in the name of profit.
The game also has some comical and introspective commentary on the nature of taking advantage of such a system. As you play the game, you take some rather ethically questionable and quite illegal actions, such as starting a civil war in another country, in order to make money. As you become engrossed in the numbers on the screen, you become rather detached to the human element that is affected by all of your actions.
Overall, The Invisible Hand is a pretty neat game. The game gives a small glimpse into the world of investing in stocks for the uninitiated like myself. There is a loose narrative structure in place as well and the story goes places. I can compare it to games like Not for Broadcast and Papers Please. The narrative is not as crazy or in depth as those games but it does have some substance to it. It took me around three hours to complete the game and I found it to be an enjoyable experience.