Localhost, a bite-sized indie game where you try to persuade computers to destroy themselves. I enjoyed it for its grim atmosphere and the surprisingly complex themes it tackles in its brief playtime. Given that Localhost is a shortish indie title that you can find over at Itch.io as part of the platform's growing library of weird and interesting games, we decided to talk about why you should give it a go.

The Concept Is Well Executed
Localhost is strong from the get-go. You play a network administrator who's supposed to wipe some hard drives. The problem is that the hard drives talk back. The four drives all embody very different personalities. Some of them are angry, some are sick, and others are lonely. You have to convince them to unlock their drives so you can destroy them. You have conversations with each of them, trying to understand their motives and anxieties and what they want from life. For the most part, the writing is strong, making every conversation feel riddled with tension and despair, so it's never a boring experience even though you're essentially just navigating conversational trees.

The Soundtrack Is Aces
No, seriously. Localhost is a gloomy game and the music that plays in the background, with a tune for each A.I., perfectly fits the despairing tone. The little soundtrack is fantastic, with steady beats drowning in a sea of synth.

The Game Presents Complex Themes In An Effective Way
This is not just another ho-hum story about Artificial Intelligences wanting to live. The A.I.s are distinct and all have their own virtues and flaws. One of them might have an honest confessional about their failures as a lover only to snap at you moments later. Others showcase nefarious intentions about what they would do if they were allowed free. Localhost's demand that you take all of these things into account makes it so your decision to either salvage these drives or wipe them clean is neither easy or a relief, no matter what you do.

It's Short
Need something bite-sized to play during lunch or on a plane? Localhost takes 45 minutes tops to play it, making it perfect for when you need a break from that massive RPG you've been grinding away at.

The Ending Is Fantastic
So what happens after you make all the hard choices? I don't want to say too much for fear of treading into spoiler territory but I can say I was pleased with the abrupt, brutal ending that served Localhost's themes about the value of life in our technology-driven future well.

You can grab Localhost here for $4.99.