Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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The Hacker is a very neat idea but one that's going to appeal more to those who remember the 8-bit home computer era. Much like PC Indie game Uplink, The Hacker is all about taking the role of a hacker as they work their way through numerous computer systems across the world in order to uncover a suspicious plot. This sets the game up to offer puzzle after puzzle through a mixture of mini-games.
It's impossible to not be distracted by the appearance of The Hacker. Looking like a 1980s Operating System, green text and all, the game doesn't really offer any traditional instructions, instead focusing on the storytelling aspects. A breadcrumb trail of intrigue leads the player into exploring further and further across eight global server locations.
The puzzles themselves are a varied bunch, some being extremely straightforward while others turning into much more challenging fare. The easiest puzzle is essentially the game of Memory with the player having to spot where a previous icon was placed on the screen. Others take nods from classics such as Pipe Dream with the need to create a relevant circuit board to collect all the data. Hardest of all is one mini-game that requires the player to move two items to their docking ports, with the catch being that they both move at the same time and objects are needed to manipulate them in the right direction.
Most of these puzzles only take a few minutes to complete but it does keep things interesting. Experience points are gained upon each puzzle completion, with the option of spending these points on new games to play such as an interpretation of Snake.
The difficulty level is a little inconsistent with some puzzles proving much harder than others despite being earlier in the game. Other than that, however, The Hacker is a great idea that stands out from the crowd. Mini games alone might have made for a mediocre title but with the backing of an original interface and storyline, The Hacker is well worth a look at a bargain price.