This has to be one of the coolest idea for an indie game we’ve ever ran into. In Uplink, you play as an Uplink Agent, which is essentially a black hat hacker working under a corporate shadow. You access a computer hosted on a separate location from where you are playing and begin your acts of mischievous in the cyber world.

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Context

Adminitingly we have not invested a major number of hours into this game yet, but we know that this indie game is going to be worth it. At the time of writing, I am currently at about 3 hours into Uplink only. We are playing it via Steam and on the PC. It is also to note that this game was made all the way back in 2001!

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Classic text-based goodness

Time and time again, we try to reinforce the lack of importance in super ultra realistic graphics in indie games, Uplink is a very good example of this. Uplink does not have any large animations nor does it have much graphics at all, the majority of it is text-based and we find that this works beautifully in combination with the genre that it fills. Since you are playing as a hacker, it seems more “realistic” to be playing from a Linux style command line interface anyway. Utilising this, Introversion has made an extremely well crafted hacking cyber world experience.

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Horrible use of open space

If there was anything to criticise UpLink for is it’s horrible use of open space in the game’s user interface. As you can see from the many screenshots that we have provided, there are a lot of black spaces around in the screen. I find this extremely annoying as the Database screen (or any other interfaces) could have been a lot bigger for me to see, but instead it is tiny and hidden in the corner in a space less than 25% of the total available space. There are some other issues that feels extremely counter-intuitive like the F12 button as ALT-F4 for the game, what happens when you want to take a screenshot with the default layout for Steam overlay? the game quits…

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Live the hacker fantasy

The problems aside, the indie game allows you to immerse in that hacker fantasy we all secretly have. It feels like one of those 90s hacker movies involving worms and viruses but with a modern day corporate twist to it. In UpLink you hack into just about anywhere on the map (ficticious locations of course) and do a whole variety of cyber naughty deeds for people to are willing to pay for it. Hacking into academic database, identity theft, research work theft and large scale sabotage is all 1 part of your 5 a day. Perform an IP_Lookup, then an IP_Probe, bounce your signal from servers to servers while you run a password_cracker, tracer and proxy_disable software, once you are in search for the file in question, launch the file_del software, but its not over yet, you still have to hide your tracks, find the log files in the admin section somewhere and run the clean up tool log_del and disconnect, tada! you are now a certified bad ass.

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In General

Seriously, UpLink is worth checking out if you want to become a fully certified black hat bad ass for a while. However, Uplink should maybe be avoided if you don’t enjoy games with a lot of animations and nice graphics. This indie game is something that is truly an original game, you won’t run into games like this every day.

UpLink on Steam

UpLink on Introversion Software website

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It has a lot of open space because when it came out resolutions weren’t as large as they are now.

    I don’t understand why you’re reviewing this critically acclaimed game now… What’s next going to review Doom 2 and hold it to modern standards?

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