• Title: Cyberpunk 2020
  • Author: Mike Pondsmith
  • Published by: R. Talsorian Games
  • Game System: Interlock (2e)
  • Primary Setting: Cyberpunk / Main Timeline
  • Category: Role Player Game
  • Pages: 254
  • Year Published: 1990

Table Top vs. Video Games

Some people still wonder whether video games are an art form or not. However, for those directly concerned and those who play, the question does not even arise.

Because just as many TV series was still snubbed by critics ten years ago. The next few years will bury these sterile controversies that pit tabletop with video gaming.

Since Cyberpunk 2020 was written in 1990, the game has morphed into two groups before the proliferation of the internet. The purists who still play the original tabletop version and those who play the online version; whichever one you choose, it’s still OK because you can enjoy the game either way.


The actual shock, the wonder at the base of all artistic emotion, had occurred just ten years ago with the original Cyberpunk 2020.

The game, whose long-awaited the third installment was released on August 26. Was in its time, not a technical revolution, but a gameplay revolution that skillfully blended FPS and role play. And where the player had a freedom of choice and action rarely achieved.

But more than the gameplay, the absolute delight for me was the screenplay of literary caliber. This one ridiculed the competition in its time and had enormous cinematic potential. There was even talk of adapting it into a film for a certain period).

I would have given a lot of money for that plot, and if I was offered a publishing contract, I would be willing to write it on the spot.

Story Line

Cyberpunk 2020 pdf is a pure concentration of cyberpunk that brings together all the themes of the genre.

Heroes in long coats and sunglasses “enhanced” by nanotechnology, megacorporation’s equipped with paramilitary forces. Similarly, global networks, artificial intelligence, corrupt governments, a planet ravaged by a mysterious virus, everything goes.

You had to have a well-hung stomach to play it, as the black atmosphere was to be cut with a knife, and optimism was barely discernible through the permanent night that enveloped the story. Still, the immersion — and the surprises — were at the rendezvous for those who stood firm.

So I come back to this art thing. How can we claim the opposite when we have been scored at this point? Thirty years later, I am still haunted by the places visited, the dialogues with the characters.

And even by the reading of Info Cubes, utterly useless to the plot but written for the gesture’s beauty. And this music! I shudder just by listening to the first notes. The compositions are masterpieces that will remain unknown because we ignore video games’ potential.

Be ready for the Nostalgia feeling  

Nostalgia is pervasive, and I’m probably not the only one. The game is the subject of a meme that says, “If anyone mentions it, many will reinstall it.” This game may well be the ultimate cyberpunk work because of his total approach to the screenplay and themes.

Mike Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk is an ode to popular culture. This time, it is not a sad story that we are talking about, but the quantities of works where machines enslave us.

The game has an original presentation: the pages are icy, coppery on the slice, and have numerous illustrations alternating red, black, and white colors. Only the choice of the Helvetica font for the text seems questionable, given the topic discussed.

Typical dystopian subjects and Cyber ware

The author has the advantage of being a master student in robotics and knowing his subject well. Therefore, the book informs us about the state of dystopian futures and the future innovations that all seem very plausible. But fails to describe the reasons that would push robots to rebel against humanity, when this is the heart of the subject.

The focus is more on how robots work, primarily through their sensors and how they might use them against us. More generally, it is the question of algorithm-based intelligence that is addressed and the differences that this implies with the human brain’s functioning.

A dystopian future full of robots

Based on this, the author extrapolates the different methods that robots would use to enslave us and resist them. Still, his advice shows a blatant lack of imagination, so that the novel manages to inform us, but fishes on its part of fiction, which seems forced and unconvincing.

Unlike Max Brooks, who had chosen to approach the subject very seriously and where a parody was expected. The tone adopted by this story is meant to be slightly humorous; however, this falls flat in the end because it feels forced.  Moreover, the story had more scientific credibility than a typical cyber ware apocalypse, which is excellent for gaming purists.


I encountered the first iteration of this game in college, and I was convinced, this tome starts on the wheel and plunges us into his universe in a post-apocalyptic world.

I had been sold this game as a cyberpunk futuristic world. Still, despite futuristic cities plunged into the night and into the water because of global warming. We find ourselves instead in a story tinged with a tale of a robot revolution and a question about the future we all ask ourselves.

If there’s one real and actual reason to play this game, it is for the critical question that it portrays how to survive humanity made pandemic.

What kind of future do we think we are leaving for our kids as we are intent on destroying what precious dwindling resources we have.


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