Platforms: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles, Macintosh, MSX, PC-8800 Series, ZX Spectrum


Main Genre:
Adventure , Strategy


IBM PC version of Hacker
IBM PC version of Hacker
Hacker is an adventure/strategy game based around the theme of hacking into an unknown computer. In keeping with this theme the game included no instructions (other than loading instructions), no clues, and indicated no rules so the player needed to figure out how to get in to the computer and what was going on. It begins with a mostly blank screen with the text "Logon please..." and it's up to the player to solve the puzzles from there.


The game begins with players attempting to login to an unknown computer. The initial game screen is almost entirely blank except for the words "Logon please..." requesting players enter a password to continue. No further instructions are provided, although some limited clues can be obtained by typing certain commands such as "help", and additional clues to the correct password can be found later in the game. Eventually, the security system will malfunction if the correct password isn't entered allowing players access.

The next part of the game has players attempting to identify parts of a robot. Each part needs to be correctly identified before players can continue, and the sequence restarts if a wrong guess is made. The part names are complicated and technical sounding so it isn't immediately obvious what the correct names are and some trial and error may be needed to complete this section. After the robot has been correctly identified, players will then be able to take control of it and proceed to the main portion of the game.

Once players control the robot, it is learned that the computer system belongs to Magma, Ltd and their plans for world domination have been shredded and stolen. The player's task is to locate all of the document parts so they can be presented to the U.S. government to stop Magma, Ltd. Each part of the document is in the hands of a spy who is located somewhere around the world. By guiding the robot through a series of tunnels players can locate and negotiate with each of the spies to try to get the document parts. Players begin the game with limited money, so it may not be easy to convince many of the spies to part with their documents — either information or additional money may need to be located in order to convince a spy to part with the document piece. Locating each of the spies will take some exploration; the tunnels the robot travels in are maze-like, and the entire set of routes isn't immediately visible. Additionally, Magma, Ltd. has been alerted to the break in; from time to time a security satellite will block progress and ask questions only a legitamate user would know. Clues can be obtained throughout the game to answer correctly so the player may need to pay careful attention.

Hacker doesn't include the ability to save the game's progress; if the player fails in the mission the game needs to be restarted. In case players had a difficult time getting started, the game included a sealed envelope which provided details on how to obtain some hints. As the packaging states, however, this is a temptation that should be resisted...


Platform: IBM PC/Compatibles
Designed by: Steve Cartwright
Produced by: Brad Fregger
Computer graphics consultant: Hilary Mills
Special thanks to: David Crane, Rob Swigart, The Washington Post
Package design by: Robert Schonfisch


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