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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [03.24.02]
Category: Hacker Simulation
Developer: Introversion
Publisher: Introversion
Price: $24.99

Get the demo!



Ok, here's where it gets juicy. The control here is as simple as it can possible be. After all, it's just an operating system. You point here, click there, drag and drop this to that. Mechanically, it couldn't be any simpler to get a handle on. And that's good, because it doesn't really divert any attention to what's going on in the game itself. Because when you're electronically trying to sneak from point A to point B without getting caught by the feds or whomever else, you really don't want to be disturbed with control issues.

Uplink's take on the "Start" Menu

This is a pretty exciting way to portray hacking. It's not quite accurate by any means, which is also a good thing...I'm sure Introversion didn't want to release a training program for hackers. But while not 100% accurate, it IS 100% believable, which is the important part. In the game, you buy programs to crack passwords, copy files from A to B, track traces, and delete logs. In the real world, you have to do this manually, because systems are so different. The IP addresses contained in the game are in the same dotted decimal notation in use today, but most of the addresses themselves are fake, since no IP address using the current standard can be more than 32 bits. That means you have 4 numbers of 8 bits apiece, which can never have a value higher than Corporate IT guys look at this game and laugh at how fake it is compared to real hacking, so don't expect to learn how to hack any real systems here. But even though they laugh at the fakeness of it, they find the gameplay itself enjoyable.

our status bar shows all sorts of critical information, including your current CPU usage, and IP this case, the 100% accurate depiction of a connection to yourself as

Instead of writing your programs like most hackers, you buy them in Uplink. This is a nice timesaver I'm sure most hackers would love to have access to. As you make more money hacking, you can buy more advanced tools that can track traces, and probe systems to see where their weaknesses might be. Beyond this, there isn't much to say about the gameplay without repeating myself, other than the fact that it's a nice adrenaline rush, and you're always saying to yourself "Ok, just ONE more system...”

SO many systems, so little time

Score: 20/20

Replay factor:

You know, I don't even think this game HAS an end. Theoretically, it could go on and on, so long as there are missions available. There is no multiplayer online play, though as mentioned earlier, Introversion is working on that, and will most likely release that as a sequel rather than an expansion. This is the first area where the game really doesn't live up to it's potential, since the thought of hackers competing to hack into a single system and trying to foil each other sounds incredibly exciting if it can be implemented properly. But it is also probably something that is pretty difficult to implement properly so hopefully time will see this come about. Even without multiplayer though, the replayability is theoretically unlimited. And there are a LOT of secrets buried in the game to be found. Just as a little taste, there is a password-protected ZIP file located on the CD. I have no idea what's in it, but the password is only discovered during the course of the game. I can't wait to find out.

Score: 10/15

Uplink is possibly the most unique offering I've seen come to the PC game industry in a very long time. It's interesting and engaging, and it doesn't even need flashy 3D texture-mapped gigatexel quadrilinear wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am graphics or quadraphonic-ultrasurround-8.1-stereo-wake-your-neighbors-subwoofer sound. The Graphics are simple...the sound is simple. But the game most definitely isn't. And the best part is the fact that it's interesting because of itself, and not because of flashy graphics and sound. The game itself is what grabs you...just wanting to find out what happens next, and what you can do next. And, of course, wanting to upgrade to that 16-way processor gateway.

Ratings (See How We Rate)

First Impressions: 8/10
Manual: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Graphics: 18/20
Sound: 15/15
Control/Gameplay: 20/20
Replay: 10/15

  • Finding out the plot
  • Hacking banks
  • Simple controls
  • Easy to learn, hard to master
  • It's a hacking game...what more do you need?

  • No multiplayer
  • You can't buy it on shelves yet

Final Score: 90%