When a guy that your friends with online sends you a mysterious message, you’re suddenly plunged into the world of computer hacking. Can you finish what he started? Oh yeah, by the way… He’s dead.
So don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything for the story, the game tells you this before you even write a line of code. But the team that did the original coding, Team Fractal Alligator, released the game on the 13th of August 2015. The game can be bought on steam only. This indie game is built around the idea of a Linux machine that mainly uses a command line for the majority of actions. This means that, logically, the Unix language is what’s used on the command line, there is a GUI that can be used but its functionality is limited.
Even though the game uses a very small range of Unix commands, the fundamentals are there. To name a few, you can change directories by using cd, for example ‘cd /bin’. To delete items, use rm with a file name after, or use * to be delete everything in that directory. And to reboot, your computer just use “reboot”. If you’re impatient there’s always the choice to use “-i”, this will reboot the system immediately.
The story to the game is a great one, Bit, the dead guy starts by introducing the basic commands that you will need to be able to play the game. These come through as emails and brief you on your task. Bit then explains that he doesn’t have the time to teach you everything that you will need to know and passes the task off to the factions that you complete contracts for. Each of these factions that you work for has traits that set them apart. I wouldn’t class the groups as White Hat (non-malicious intent) but they’re definitely not doing it because they want to piss some people off.
Some of the early missions that you are given are around removing files from servers so that people can restart playing a game, or removing files that have been stolen from a company. The tasks do become more complex and require you to use a different range of skills that you have learned. One of the hardest missions that is encountered is one where you have no guidance. Unfortunately, this does come a little early and may cause some players to leave the game disheartened, never to return to the game.
You are tasked with hacking someone’s computer to remove a file. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well, they perform a counter hack and remove your GIU. All you are left with is a command line and you need to be able to get back up and running, then get some well-earned payback.
One of my favorite things about this game is the text files that are randomly placed on computers, there are some amazing gems. A few are always in the same place. For example, I found one on multiple play throughs, on a task where you need to hack into a school system to find a password for an admin account. There is a memo that is sent around from the IT department suggesting not to mention to the students that the proxy server will be down for a while. For those who are unaware, the proxy server does a few things, it can mask your IP, and can also block access to various websites. This is probably why you couldn’t get onto YouTube and game sites while in school. The memo continues to say that while the teachers may not know what the proxy does, the students do, thus downloading copious amounts of porn into the school systems.
This game is easily one of my favorite titles currently available. I just have one small problem with the game. It’s so short. There are a fair few hours of gameplay but when you’re enjoying the game a lot, the time flies past. There Is paid DLC that is available that gives you another faction to work through where you work in a team to pull off large data heists which give a few more hours of gameplay.
But, because of this small problem, I can only give the game a maximum rating of 6.5/10. Despite this rating, I completely recommend this game. But wait… I’m not finished…
The game recently and an update. On the 4th of June 2017, the game received support for the Steam Workshop (YAY :D). This means that the game can now get mods known as extensions. These can range from themes (The layout and colors of the GUI that you work with) to original music for the game, to more gameplay created by the community. This removed my biggest problems with the game being too short. There’s now potentially an infinite amount of hours available for the game.
I have to say that this game is hugely worth your time and money. As said before, the game can be bought on Steam for an amazing price of £6.99 and if that’s not cheap enough for you, it goes on sale fairly often whenever Steam throws one up. I think I got mine during a summer sale at just over £2. This game not only is a brilliant game but is also a great introduction into the hacking game genre. In time, I hope to review more of them for your faces.
Time to revise my rating, I’m giving the game a 9.5/10.