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|8.7/10 - 3 votes
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|Text Adventure, Games Like Hacknet
You haven't lived until you've played this game because:
Uplink is Introversion's masterpiece. It never drops the pretence of being anything other than reality, drawing you into a world of freelance hacking. Not real hacking mind, because that's boring and involves installing Linux, but proper movie-style hacking with timers counting down to the moment your invasions are detected and traced, and screens of jumbled numbers turning to zero digit-by-digit as you decipher them.
Entirely freeform, it's possibly the most tense thing you'll ever play, and trust me when I say you could easily pack hours into it without noticing. Once the storyline starts you'll be irreversibly hooked too.
Uplink is best described as Elite minus spaceships, minus travelling, plus hacking, multiplied by tension, all divided by Swordfish - a genuinely unique and enthralling experience, overlooked by so many. You owe it to the nerd inside of you to play this, especially considering it's now only $6.
People probably didn't play it because:
Duh, look at it. The closest it comes to any real graphical output is a low-res world map and some LAN schematics -people seem to forget how much fun you can have with text and buttons and bleeping noises. There are no guns, no tits and lots of bits where you have to type. People just don't understand it.
Stand-out moment of brilliance: Being contracted to ruin a man's life by whatever means necessary. Personally, I decided to hack into the Global Criminal Database and add 'murder', 'breaking parole' and for the hell of it, 'sex with an ape' to this guy's criminal record. Once I authorised his arrest, his misdeeds hit the news within three hours. Job done.
The panel's view:
Will: "Of all these games, it's the most unappreciated for everything it's done. It's also the least played." Log: "With Psychonauts, you can see someone else being clever; with Uplink, it's making you feel clever - it really gives you a ball-tingle when you're playing it Even the tutorial isn't too explainy, making you work things out"
A total surprise winner. It came in as a game that only one person at ZONE had played, and became a team frenzy of hacking excitement. Go and get hacking straight away.