I think of all three of the Data and Destiny runners, Adam is the one that is the least confined by his gimmick. Ironic as his directives literally restrict him from certain avenues of play, particularly in the early game.

What sets Adam apart from Sunny or Apex is that while the other two have the potential to become very powerful once set up they require sub-optimal play to get to that point. Sunny will spend a lot of her time digging through a massive fifty card pile only to find cards that she must then spend clicks and credits to install. This means a lot of Sunny's early play is restricted to installs and gradual drip economy before she can really start hitting aggressively in the mid to late game. Apex is even harder, having to create a pool of facedown cards before you can really use his other card's abilities. This means early accesses can be tough and few between the necessary card draw and set up needed to leverage his 'trash an installed card' options. Playing either of these identities any differently also begs the question; why not play a different runner who can do the same thing but better?

Adam is different. Adam's gimmick in the form of his directives restrict you to only one type of play in the early game - play good Netrunner. Seriously, what are some of the most repeated mantras amongst Runners? Run early and often. Always include multi-access. Click efficiency is king. Well it just so happens these are most of the 'restrictions' Adam comes pre-programmed with. While you won't want to be doing them all of the time, the fact is that these are the kinds of things you should be doing most of the time. It's actually a very good way to show someone an example of the basics of the game. Because Adam's programming will helpfully chime in with some friendly advice; "Run first click. Put pressure on early and you'll have the clicks to recover if something goes wrong. Don't worry. Safety First will make up for it later when it draws you a free card." Some drawback, huh?

Admitted Adam's friendly co-pilot function is not without its problems and you will have to make sure your deck supplements him so that he doesn't run face first into a Jinteki death server or end up getting Scorched as soon as the Corp finds a way to take advantage of your methodical order of clicks. But, unlike Sunny and Apex, Adam's supporting cards don't require themselves to be immediately installed nor do they exist solely to patch a hole in the identity. Public Sympathy counteracts your small hand size as well as synergising with Safety First to give you a solid draw engine from just one card. E3 Feedback Implants is one of the slower examples as it doesn't do much to help you passively but being able to walk fearlessly into a server without having to worry about an unexpected Archer is a nice feeling. Your console is godlike by itself and works as far more than a crutch.

All that remains is your mandatory 'pay to trash' effect. It's the only thing about him that can't really be capitalised upon or smoothed over very efficiently. And that's it. Adam's only real downside is occasionally you might have to trash a Marked Accounts when you didn't want to. For multi-access, card draw and the ability to click through subroutines that's a good bargain in my book. You can throw in an Imp or a couple Scrubbers of course but that feels a lot like Sunny and Apex's problem. Having to spend influence, clicks and credits for something that doesn't do enough other than patch an existing hole in the ship.

In summary, Adam is a great ID that also works as a fantastic explanation for how Netrunner is played. He is designed to be efficient, just overwhelmingly so, and once you learn to pilot the ID rather than wrestle with it you quickly see that he plays closer to a finely honed scalpel than a sledge-wielding bioroid. I don't run any copies of Doctor Lovegood or Independent Thinking in my Adam deck because I feel there are other cards that work better in tandem with the directives rather than in spite of them. Why alter what you are doing when it's so easy to make it the best thing to do anyway?

The big problem is the wording 'a least' one credit. Implying that you can't actually combo it with Vamp or use it for other crazy hijinks as you'll only ever get the one credit. It has nice synergy with Lamprey, I guess, but I don't feel it's worth the bother, the set up or the card slots when a single virus wipe will take them both out together. Unless there's something I'm not seeing it stands pretty mediocre by itself.