Ever wondered what it would be like to be an expert hacker? What if the world’s largest corporations also have some of the world’s largest secrets? You now have the power to find out.
Hack RUN is an interactive fiction, hack simulator developed by i273. When you open the app, you’re greeted by a command prompt and some instructions. The whole app runs off of DOS command. It can all be a little overwhelming at first, but the ‘help’ and ‘FAQ’ options will get you on your way.
The point of the game is simple: Hack into a globally-known corporation’s network and find as much dirt on them as you can. Actually doing so, however, requires some thought. By using a number of commands and gateway upgrades that you acquire, you dig through employee’s emails, figure out the usernames and passwords of sales representatives, and work your way up and up. You gain a level with each accomplishment, and every level gets more and more challenging.
At first, the game seemed a little too simple and repetitive, and almost a little pointless. If a player starts to feel this way, I strongly encourage them to press on and keep playing. The ride is well worth it. And when I say ride, I mean that this game has many surprises. I haven’t played an App Store game with a story this interactive since Cause of Death (which I highly recommend to anyone who loves crime scene investigation and dialogue-based games). The story unfolded over time, and there were plenty of times where I was so blown away that I just had to put my phone down for a second and shake my head. It’s extremely intriguing, interactive, and well-written. There are so many little details that I could tell the developers put a decent amount of thought into.
Hack RUN can be pretty difficult at some points, but it’s not meant to be an easy, smooth ride. The game is a puzzle. It’s safe to say that this game won’t appeal to everybody. Not everyone likes a challenge, and not everyone can handle staring at green text for very long, either. It takes a lot of patience and mind work to finish this game without a whole lot of outside help. But for those who do enjoy this game, I’m confident that they will like it very much.
Unfortunately, the full game is $2.99. I know that seems like a lot, and I’m sure that it’s the main reason that most people haven’t played it yet, but believe me when I tell you that it’s worth it. There is a free version of the game if you wish to just dip your toes in it a little. If you do decide to look this game up, beware the sequels. There is also Hack ZERO and Hack Time. Hack RUN is the first installment in the series, and I’m not sure if the stories go hand-in-hand or not. Just in case, though, be sure to play Hack RUN first.
Hack RUN is an extremely innovative game. It may not seem very realistic to people who really use command prompts quite often, but it’s the only hack simulator I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a game that you can play at your own pace, or time yourself to get quicker and quicker at beating it, Hack RUN is great for that.
Hack RUN is available for iOS, Mac, and Android. i273 also has a Facebook page where users can play the game on a PC/laptop computer, which feels much more natural than from a smart phone.
As always, thanks for reading. Play hard.