Published on July 22nd, 2011 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor
Hack This Game 2 Xbox Indie Review
Developer: Utopioneer Games
Platform: Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Indie Games)
Price: 80 MSP ($1)
Utopioneer Games is at it again with a sequel to the first-ever hacking simulation release on the Xbox Indies Marketplace–the well-known (and perplexing) Hack This Game series brings a whole new genre of puzzler-style number sequences that can stump even the sharpest of brainiacs out there. While it’s worth mentioning that the “hacking simulation” itself isn’t realistic, as it’s not really like hacking into anything other than a fabricated computer system, and even that is done with a series of brain-busting and challenging puzzles.
Fans of the first Hack This Game title are sure to love the second release as it’s basically the original release vamped up with a variety of new puzzles to solve. These new nonplussing and befuddling puzzles, sequences, and riddles are more creative than the first release and they include shapes, patterns, music notes, color wheels, etc. Hack This Game 2 will have even the most dedicated puzzler fans out there staring bewildered at the screen, trying to figure out what five digit combinations of the four face buttons A, X, B, and Y will hack the precious File.
Hack files and unlock their contents under the File Tree by correctly solving the obscure brain teasers, each getting more challenging as players progress onward. The new server mini-game is pretty straightforward and offers gamers some relief from the stresses of hacking a computer mainframe. There are four servers, each designated by one of the four face buttons–A, X, B and Y–that must be held down in order to “hack” into the server itself.
Just like the first title, every five hacked files gives way to a server mini-game where players must hack the server undetected–if they’re detected, presumably by an anti-hacking enforcement agency, players must start over. Hey, it sure beats getting jail time! The server mini-game is different than the first title, however, and is more challenging.
This mini-game is creative and original, yet it’s quite frustrating as they’re only hack-able when the green light is displayed. As you hold down the button a progress bar fills up, when full the server is successfully hacked. What makes this difficult is that the lights go into a sequence from green, to yellow, to red, much like a traffic light. When the light hits red, players must let go of the button or risk having to do it all over again. There are no checkpoint systems, so even if you have all three servers hacked and you get a red light you’ll have to start all the way over.
While there isn’t much to this game, the creative and clever puzzles can keep players entertained, especially if they’re the type of gamer who enjoys small and varying brain games. While the Indie title itself is shelled in a computer hacking theme, the gameplay mechanics flow more like a constantly-changing puzzler with a variety of challenging stages and levels.
Another new feature found in Hack This Game 2 is the tint change option, which can be used by pressing the D-Pad in all directions. There are four colors–one for every direction–each of which corresponds to the face buttons on the X360 controller; green, blue, yellow and red. This tint option is sometimes key to successfully solving certain puzzles to unlock the files and progress onward to the next stage, so when you’re stumped, be sure to toggle the tint a bit.
While this game isn’t for everyone, those who prefer this rather original niche in gaming are sure to enjoy the second iteration in the Hack This Game series. Utopioneer Games has created another seamless and original puzzler with a myriad of challenging and ever-changing puzzles and brain teasers to test gamers’ logic and critical thinking skills, all while maintaining the styles and interfaces that are accustomed to a hacking sim title. Mostly recommended for players who like cleverly-designed brain teasers and puzzles, since the majority of the levels can be frustrating and trying to most gamers.
+ Simplistic design
+ Original hacking sim Indie Game
+ Creative interfaces
+ Variety of puzzles and stages
– Challenging and difficult
– Specifically designed for fans of puzzles & brain teasers