Loads of games out there try to simulate – to a greater or lesser degree of success – what it’s like to be a hacker attacking remote computers with tactics that to a novice might seem near-magical. Among them are titles like Uplink o Hacker Evolution, but in this latest one – Hackers for Android – the game deploys features of real-time strategy games to offer a convincingly fun adaptation to the world of hacking.
The game sets you the task of creating your own network infrastructure and attacking other people to get credits that power up your hack tactics. That infrastructure, organized into interconnected nodes, does double-duty in defending or attacking as needed. Your aim is to inject malicious code that can pull down your rivals’ protection systems and infect all their system elements.
To start attacking your rival you have to acquire malicious software, and you can only get that by cashing in B-coins. This sort of second-rate Bitcoin can be mined from one of the nodes on your server, and also lets you both upgrade each of your ‘buildings’ (we’re using analogies here to make ourselves understood!) and get new software to increase your infection capabilities.
The point of all this might not be obvious enough to get some players hooked, as there is no real thread guiding you in the right direction, just a simple tutorial to show you how to scale up your power. Here the idea is to attack rival structures accessible from a world map and get both the resources needed to make yourself more powerful and victory points to measure your chops in the game. These points designate both the individual best players as well as the strongest countries in the game’s international rankings.
Obviously there are also the ubiquitous daily challenges and in-app purchases to speed up the game, as you’d expect from any free-to-play game these days. But by this point I guess that shouldn’t really take anybody by surprise….