Who knew that hacking could be so fun?!
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game reviews are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. Let's try out those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Introversion Software
Platform(s) PC, Mac
Genre(s) Hacking Simulation
The idea of creating a fun yet realistic game about being a hacker seems kind of impossible. To make a game about hacking fun one would have to portray hacking in a very unrealistic way, right? Hacking is just too complex and boring to really make for good gameplay. What would the core mechanic in a hacking video game even be?! Well, those are the things I thought before I tried Uplink. And I have to say, I was wrong...
Uplink is a video game about hacking. In the game, you take on the role of a new hacker who is joining an underground group of mercenary hackers-for-hire, and essentially are taking hacking contracts from various sources. Your core gameplay mechanic is managing your computer's resources as you run your various hacking programs on each mission. You'll need to use a variety of tricks to obscure your computers identity so that you cannot be traced, and you'll need to run a variety of programs to hack passwords, prevent administrators from detecting you, copying and deleting files, and so on. It may sounds a little boring, but trust me, it is not.
Each time you hack into a computer you have a limited time to work your magic before you get booted out or worse yet, caught. Not to fret though, you can run certain programs to delay others from discovering you, or to quickly access files that you need. One of the real triumphs of this game is that it makes hacking feel like an art form, or like you are some wizard casting a series of spells, each having specific effects and granting you powers to briefly have certain abilities. It honestly is surprising how much fun it is to be a hacking in Uplink. And while I know it's not a 100% accurate depiction of hacking by any means, it is nonetheless far more accurate than most TV shows and movies, which is very refreshing.
In a world populated by platformers, RPGs, first-person shooters, and strategy games, Uplink feels like a very unique and refreshing game. It captures the feeling of being a hacker and does so in a way that is actually exciting and interesting. If you've ever dreamed of techno-rebel in a dark cyberpunk future, look no further than Uplink.
➙ Must You Play It?
A refreshingly inventive game about being a hacker in a dark cyberpunk future that is not only fun to play but remarkably realistic. A must-try for all the computer geeks out there!