Windows PC Game Review
Developed by Team Fractal Alligator
Published by Suprise Attack
Ever wanted to be a hacker but not got the skills? Then HACKNET is just the game for you!
The game opens with an introduction to Bit, an unknown hacker who instructs you how to use the software at your disposal to hack into other computers. The tutorial is rather simple to understand and soon leaves you to tackle projects alone, although help is at hand throughout with handy guides and of course the “help” command.
The screen is split into 4 spaces. One of them handles your input commands, one shows the computer or device you are connected to, one shows what devices are on your radar and the final space shows what processes are currently being executed.
After doing some simple tasks, you’ll get work from a hacker group called Entropy who’ll want you to perform different hacks such as adding information and files, removing files, looking for specific info such as passwords and scanning for other devices. Whilst all these seem quite simple on the surface, accessing these computers and devices are not as straight-forward. Many are protected by firewalls and proxies and so you must discover how to disable and bypass them and how to unlock the various ports, such as SMTP, SSH, HTTP and SQL, to gain access to run porthack – a program that will give you the password to access the system.
In the beginning, managing to hack into other devices is pretty easy though as you progress, you’ll come across systems that will trace your IP when you begin to hack into their system. Time is an issue for these particular hacks and the countdown will start as soon as you begin to overload the proxy or disable the firewall. Should you not disconnect from the device before the timer runs out, you must change your IP address or risk losing all your work. A reassignment of the IP address is too timed and so you must act quickly if you are to succeed.
Once inside these devices, you can probe around as much as you like (providing your not being traced) and read some of the humorous IRC transcripts and mails that have been left on their servers. There’s plenty of funny little tidbits hanging about and they help to make the world in HACKNET feel real, as though you really are hacking someone elses computer. Once you’ve digged around and got what you’ve wanted, it’s paramount to clear all the digital footprints that you’ve left behind which means deleting the files in the logs using rm * otherwise your actions will lead to you.
Each task, which is performed for the hacker groups, is scored out of 100. How fast you enter commands correctly and solve the task at hand is reflected in the score. I scored better on some and not so good on others, but all in all I managed to complete all the challenges without needing assistance from walkthroughs or guides.
The game itself isn’t terribly long at around 6 hours but HACKNET is such an involving game that you get easily sucked into the world it creates and the hacking becomes second nature that it feels as though what you’re actually doing has a purpose and effect. The game reacts in real-time and all the commands in the game can be used on any of the files in-game, not just the ones you’re sent to retrieve, amend, delete or investigate.
HACKNET is an exciting hacking game with its dose of intensity at times and deep satisfaction from performing the tasks issued by the hacker groups. The game is based on actual UNIX commands which makes the game as near to real-life hacking that you can get without actually doing the deed itself.
An engaging, solid slice of hacking gameplay well worth playing.