Recompile is a sci-fi action-adventure where you play a virus which needs to travel through the cyberspace of a space station's computer system in order to restore the sub-systems and the AI of the space station.
The game's levels are split up into 4 biomes (HEX, TET, OKT & ICO) which are usually 1-3 levels with a boss fight at the end. These 4 biomes are connected via a hub area where you can return. The major difference between the biomes comes from the traversal and hacking challenges since stylistically all levels have the same visual design. Throughout each biome you can unlock new abilities and collect some text log entries while fighting against some defense programs.
The combat is rather simple. You first unlock a regular gun with a modest firing rate but later you will unlock weapons which mimic a shotgun or a grenade launcher. You can jump and dodge around and at a later point you can unlock a slow-motion mode which allows you to slow down the action and helps you aim your shots. The enemy variety isn't very big and the enemies (with a few exceptions) aren't very memorable.
You can also use hacking in combat to turn enemy programs into allies or to destroy them, which uses some shard currency that you unlock from destroying enemy program. You will also need to use hacking to interact with logical programming operators (AND, OR, NAND, XOR) to solve some puzzles and open/activate some doors or lifts, but you can solve them all by randomly activating/deactivating them without having to think to much and by the end of the game you will hardly see any of these.
Visually the game looks decent with laser-bright colors in contrast to a dark background. The level platforms look glitched from afar and fix themselves when you get closer. Unfortunately there isn't much visual variety and not many memorable locations in the game. The music is okay, mostly ambient or some calm piano tunes which give the game a bit of lone vibe.
My personal highlight of this game are the text log entries which you can find as collectibles. As a sci-fi fan I enjoyed reading them and learning about the crew of the space-station interacting with the station's AI. It also sort of serves as the plot of the game since the in-game actions and the locations have no big meaning to the game's plot. This is also the biggest downside of the game: I wish that the plot and the fate of the crew was better represented in the biomes/level that you traverse. But there is no connection between them - this might be the result of a very limited development budget since world-building and story presentation would have required more time and effort.
All in all I enjoyed the game: The sci-fi story is good but lacking in presentation, the gameplay and traversal is fine, combat is simple, hacking is forgettable. The visual style is unique but there isn't much variety in it. It took me around 8-9 hours to complete the game with all achievement.