I recently have been playing Uplink which you can get off Steam for about $10. This game is an older game made by an indie development team I think around 2000 or 2001. The game is really genius. It puts you in the role of a hacker working for some weird hacker corporation. You take out contracts from corporations who want to sabotage people and companies, steal and destroy data, and start viruses. You then go out with these contracts, break into the target system, and do the task envolved.

But this isn’t the end of it, even if you break into the system, you have to cover your track or the corp you broke into will take the IP that you used to get into the system and trace it back through the hops you made (you have to set up hops to try to avoid getting traced). So then you have to go to a previous hop and delete its log files so they can’t get back to you and put you in jail.

The game also utilizes computer upgrades, including security upgrades like motion detectors and self destructs, but I haven’t even come close to needing these so I don’t really understand their use. You can also buy software upgrades to get better versions of software, but you quickly learn that you shouldn’t even bother with the lower versions and save your cash to go straight to the top version. 1

This was a minor problem, the real shining point of the game though is that you feel like you are a hacker. Even if that isn’t what being a hacker is like, it doesn’t matter. To me I feel like an honest to god hacker and it was great. I got sucked into this game for about three days when I suddenly hit a wall. I didn’t get to the highest rank of hacker, but there didn’t seem to be many new missions past like the 7th rank (I got to rank 9). And there were really only about 5 to 7 missions in all to choose from (outside of the storyline mission which was kind of cool). So I can honestly say the biggest flaw with the game is a shortness to it. It didn’t really last as long as a game should.

Now I understand that it is only an indie game and a shorter game is likely, and that it is $10 so I shouldn’t expect much. But to me the indieness of the game came in the form of rather lackluster graphics. (There was almost no graphics in the game which is understandable for a first outing from a studio). And I also felt cheated out a tad because if you make 10 ranks of hacker, you shouldn’t provide 7 ranks of missions. By rank 8 I had maxxed out my hardware with the very best, and the missions were way too easy. It just wasn’t making sense that there weren’t any new missions to undergo.

Still for the money, it was definitely worth it and this was overall a really great game. I hope that at some point they make an Uplink 2.0 which may have a more deeper and engrossing experience.

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  1. I think this is partially because you can’t sell you software back to recoup expenses, nor do you get discounts for already buying a previous version. This added to rather small cost increases to price makes it so there is really no need for you to go up through each level.

3 Replies to “Uplink”

  1. Uplink is one of my favorite games of all time. Uplink 2.0 would be awesome, but I’m hoping more for an Uplink-style, hacking MMO – with the same, minimal interface – possibly even a web one.

    I’m a big fan of Introversion Software. You should check out their other stuff – Darwinia (also on Steam, I believe), in particular, won some IGF awards.

  2. Aye, I bought Darwinia at the same time as Uplink, but started with Uplink. Have recently been getting into Darwinia and may have a review on it in a week or two. My first impressions on the game is that it is marvelous but not my type of game.

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