Sunday, September 17, 2006

Retro Review: Hacker for Commodore 64

1985, the days when your phone line was only used for making telephone calls, it's been two years since the release of the film WarGames, and computer hacking and computer security are in the limelight. Activision release Hacker, with the unique byline "You found your way in, but is there a way out".

Designed by Steve Cartwright, produced by Brad Fregger and released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari XL/XE, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX and ZX Spectrum.

Hacker is an adventure/trading game based on what was then a unique idea. The game was shipped with minimal instructions to get the game going, but no information on how to play, thus building the notion that the player was to about to experience a real hacking experience,

You start into the adventure as a real hacker would do, lacking information of what is to come, only driven by your ambition. Consequently, the game opens with a plain text screen, prompting you for the login password. Of course you've no idea what the password is, but after a few attempts the computer throws a glitch and automatically logs you on.

Once in, you'll soon find out that you've accidentally stumbled upon a conspiracy of global impact. The player gains control of the robot (powered by magma no less) which can travel around the globe via secret tunnels, deep within the earth.

In major cities, you surface and talk to contact persons, who'll trade items for cash. When delivered to the correct city, you can exchange these items for a piece of evidence. If all evidence is collected, you're to inform the FBI. As if figuring out the correct routes and trades wasn't hard enough, frequent system malfunctions and security checks test your skill along the way.

Hacker on Mobygames
Hacker on Wikipedia
Hacker on lemon64
ZZap 64 mag scan
Hacker on ebay

Clickable inkies

10 comments:

gnome said...

You know I love this kind of post... Just amazing AND an unheard-of game...

The Elderly said...

i remember the excitement of the opening screen as if it were yesterday..... gaming bliss.... pioneers we were...

gnome said...

Still are, still are... Despite the constant coughing...

The Elderly said...

aye the coughing..... strangely "pioneer" in Ireland is a colloquial expression for someone who has renounced drink as evil......

gnome said...

Oh my, yu got some wierd ones there too.. Woow... Better play Hacker and have a drink then...

The Elderly said...

yep that sounds like a plan.... i hear theres a good chance Wii will have a stable of downloadable c64 games..... life is good!

gnome said...

As long of course as they dont charge 500 Wii (aka 5 euros)points for each C64 game...

The Elderly said...

..darn they'd never, no now then again they might... why is everybody squeezing the poor guy......

Now a wee/wii bundle of c64 games for a fiver and they'd have a customer...

nostalgia comes at a price i suppose.....

gnome said...

AS long as it's reasonable, I'm all into it...

The Elderly said...

tee moo!

:)