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Hacker Evolution

Score: 91%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: exosyphen studios
Developer: exosyphen studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

People like to throw the word balance around when discussing game design. Weapons that are too strong, or maps that provide a tactical advantage to one team or another. I present Hacker Evolution as an example of great balance of an extremely technical component where they could have gone over most people's heads very quickly, while making it accessible to a huge audience. I know I just heard someone's mind click over thinking, "oh, they just dumbed it down." This is not the case. This contains all the creamy goodness of old fashioned console hacking, without the bitter after taste of having to actually know how to program.

So, here we are at graphics. Well, they have a graphic. Yes they do, and it's a good one. Obviously this game is specifically designed to be stream-lined graphically and not a monster, next-gen experience. The Heads Up Display is clean and gives you only what you need; in fact, it actually gives you more than you "need" for what is (please excuse the overgeneralization) essentially a text adventure.

What the game lacks in graphical prowess it makes up for in a well done techno sound track. DJ Velocity provides the perfect trance and techno kick necessary to make you feel like you are actually chilling at home, hacking servers across the world.


With Hacker Evolution, you play the role of a highly sought after hacker. Technology has reached a break point in its evolution where time travel has been made capable with information on the net. Now that information is traveling so quickly that is arriving before it is being sent, how do you control such a beast? You turn it over to Sky-Net. OK, so they don't call it that, but the Xenti group does construct an A.I. program to control it. We humans never learn, do we? As any good A.I. program does, it becomes sentient and begins to affect the past to suit its own needs. It is up to you to hack the planet and correct these mistakes and track down what is happening.

You are going to be provided with five areas of information in front of you the entire game. The first is the map. Servers you have found will appear on the map in their respective locations. You will also be able to tell by color if they have been cracked or not. Second is your console. Here you will enter the hacks necessary to bring down the evil Xenti groups. Your message window will display your incoming messages and point you in the right direction. Your computer status window is also there, showing how much RAM, processor strength and firewall capabilities you have. These can be upgraded as you go along. And, last is your status of money and the most important commodity in the game, trace. Everytime you crack and decrypt a server, the security on the other side has time to try and track you down. Being traced is a hacker's worse nightmare. Your trace is calculated in percentages. Reach a 100% and you have been found and the level is over. There are ways to lower it and precautions to take in order to lessen it. You will learn these tricks quickly.

A basic hack will consist of locating a server. Once you have located your target, you will scan it. Scanning tells you about its resources. You then decrypt to find a way in. Once you know all you can about the servers and the ports that are exposed, you crack it. This process is made very easy for the average user, without making it too easy.


So speaking of easy, unless you are already a hard core hacker, you are going to have to bring down the skill level a little in Hacker Evolution. Simplifying some of the steps doesn't mean that it is going to be a simple walk in the park. There is a lot of deduction and problem solving that you are going to have to employ. You may get away with not having to write your own back door scripting programs, but you are going to have to be very precise in your typing and syntax. This aspect not only made for a cool hacker experience, but also reminded me of the text games of old. Your frustration may come from continually typing in similar commands, but half the fun and challenge is keeping the steps clear.

Game Mechanics:

So what is it about the mechanics of Hacker Evolution that moves it out of a stereotypical text game and brings it heartily into the sim category. Again, we have to bring in the discussion of balance. Well, we have to actually tip the scale as it were towards the "sim" side. Of course, we can put the text game discussion to bed because we have a H.U.D. to look at and track our progress. Now, lastly, to kill the reference, everything you enter is used to control your virtual jumps from server to server and not how we control our entire environment. It was cool to me how quickly I really felt submersed into the environment with the music and the layout. All of the individual aspects were well put together and masterfully played out. I think that if we were to have taken out the future references, we could have heightened that feeling even more. Don't let this deter you though, you will be sucked in.

I am not surprised to see a hacking game this well put together as the folks at exosyphen have given us hacking treasures such as Blue Sky Hacker and BS Hacker- Unlimited. There are also mods that have been put together in a downloadable package. I highly recommend this game if you have the patience to type similar commands correctly and the problem solving skills to hack in, get the job done, then get out before getting caught.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Minimum System Requirements:

PC, running at least Windows XP, 500 Mhz or faster CPU, 128 Mb of RAM, DirectX 8 compatible video card

Test System:

Windows XP Pro, 3.2 GHz P4HT CPU, 2 GB Ram, 512 PCIE 16 ATI X1600XT

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated