Day 343: Hack This Game

Posted: 2011/10/20 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #343, and today’s game is “Hack This Game”.

Remember “Hacker” and “Hacker 2: The Doomsday Papers” on the Commodore 64? No? Well, that makes me feel old (at the ripe old age of 38).

“Hack This Game” comes to us from the developer of “German 101” and “Spanish 101”. While the gameplay here is different, it was nonetheless refreshing to return a bit to a game where hacking into a computer system is the object. It’s a hybrid puzzle/hacking adventure, and stands out as a great 80 Microsoft Point purchase.

First, from the developer (Utopioneer Games):

“Hack this game is a puzzle game that simulates hacking.”

A short and sweet description that gets to the point, and describes the game aptly. For the most part the game has you hacking passwords, giving you clues to work out the right sequence you need to hit the face buttons in. It also (oddly) throws in the odd quick time event (QTE), but the password hacking is this game’s bread and butter. Anyone who’s played the board game “Mastermind” will be right at home logging in and going, and people who play memorisation games will have an edge with some of the puzzles. Most people will be able to proceed through the bulk of the game’s puzzles, and if you get stuck the clues will sometimes offer enough information for you to search it online if you’re so inclined. If you get really stuck, Utopioneer Games has hints on their website to help you get past the trickiest puzzles.

The game’s presentation deliberately invokes the green monochrome monitors of yesteryear, has you evading tracer programmes trying to track where you’re hacking into the system from, and ultimately does a really good job of conveying the feeling they were going for. The game’s one downside is a lack of replay value (perhaps unless you leave enough time in between that you forget the solutions to a lot of the puzzles), but that’s easily excused given the game’s uniqueness and 80 MSP price point. Strongly recommended.

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