Out of a lot of the hacking games I’ve played in my time, this has to have it’s seat right next to Hacknet, as one of my ‘Two best hacking games I’ve played’.

To some extent, it is pretty much an RPG, just for hacking.

You take up a contract - Or a ‘Quest’ - You do what the contract says - Destroy a mainframe, or change a social security record, et cetera - and then you get paid with a handful of credits - Or “Gold” - which you then use to upgrade your system, be it a Gateway upgrade, a new processor, or applications that will further unlock your hacking capabilities. - Or in terms of the RPG comparison here; You level up your character, you get new weapons, and unlock new skills.

Real player with 269.6 hrs in game

Read More: Best Hacking Strategy Games.

This is really everything I wanted from an indie hacking game. It is a vast and glorious sandbox brimming with opportunity. To tell its tale, let me start the story about twenty-five years ago, with a little gem from Interplay called “Neuromancer.”

Neuromancer was an amazing piece of work, for its time. A point and click adventure game, yes, but with a vast collection of BBS-like “sites” in “cyberspace,” which could be accessed and navigated spatially, a sea of semitransparent polygons on a sprawling grid. They called the book “prophetic” in its vision of what a global computer network might be like, but the game was similarly visionary, in that it offered a classic milestone-and-unlocked-door-driven main story, but with a vast and layered world of enriching side stories and tiny details easily overlooked, that add depth and character to the world in which your character lives. This was a level of detail and nuance and supporting gameworld-enrichment that Bioware would go on to become famous for, in its epic D&D games of the Nineties, and in its later adventure games, but in the Eighties, on computers that were much more limited in resources, this was a bigger feat, and a bigger surprise to the player. You could just play Neuromancer to win it, or you could play it to learn about it, follow the exchanges on the PAX and on private sites, the private message exchanges between AIs. You could learn so much more that way, if you were clever and patient enough to retain it, to piece it together, and to make sense of it all.

Real player with 109.0 hrs in game

Uplink on Steam



Very good game!

Real player with 17.3 hrs in game

Read More: Best Hacking Mining Games.

BEFORE YOU READ: I am very dumb, so I could be the only one having these problems, and I haven’t beaten the game, also I might suck at explaining stuff.

First: The Mini Games

This game is built off of the mini games, yet they’re all either, boring, luck based, straight up already existing games, or are mediocre. Let me go through the ones I’ve gotten to.


The game works like this: you have a block with starts out facing a certain direction, you put arrows into a bar below it to tell it where to go and lead it to a finish line. It’s boring, and there’s not much to say about it, it’s slow and tedious, on top of that, you have to wait and watch it follow the path you put. Let me tell you, it goes very slowly…

Real player with 1.2 hrs in game

ReHack on Steam

NCradle: An 80s Synth Adventure

NCradle: An 80s Synth Adventure

Very fun, if short game with a great soundtrack.

Real player with 1.3 hrs in game

Read More: Best Hacking 1980s Games.

NCradle: An 80s Synth Adventure on Steam













Scanning for

! ……………………………..

Connection Established ::

Connected to

! EnTech_Offline_Cycle_Backup

! (Actually the credits server lol)

! probe


! ………………………………

Real player with 38.0 hrs in game

While this game is being sold as a “hacking simulator”, a debate will likely rage about what exactly it simulates. In either case, it comes suspiciously close to being a realistic simulation of hacking. So close, in fact, I’m left wondering why the dev didn’t go the extra yards to make it inarguably so (maybe something he can shoot for in the future). Realism nit-picking aside, this game is full of very realistic nods to hacker and IRC culture, and in broad strokes, represents some of what goes on in actual exploits. While the experience of compromising systems is streamlined for the sake of keeping it an actual game (again, is it a puzzle game or a simulator?), in that “push a button, get bacon” sort of way you see in “hacker” movies, there was still much in the game that reminded me of taking the OSCP (for those who know my pain, you will find much in each mission to make you smile in that corpse-like rictus you had while laughing at emails and files during enumeration pratice in the Offsec lab).

Real player with 28.4 hrs in game

Hacknet on Steam

GRIDD: Retroenhanced

GRIDD: Retroenhanced

This game eats your quarters as you try to master it.

It’s Starfox but you’re hacking the Gibson.

Exactly the sort of game you’d expect to find at an arcade in the future if you were a character in Ender’s Game or Neuromancer.

Gridd doesn’t hold your hand. You fail and then adapt from what you did wrong. You will be clumbsy at first. If you learn fast, you’ll reach a little farther with each go. It’s not for kids who aren’t up to the challenge. Gridd forces you to develop your skill and doesn’t skimp in the reward for your growth as you unlock the next mind-bending level of gameplay.

Real player with 15.6 hrs in game


Mechanically: Imagine the most obstacle-course-like parts of Star Fox, with a dash of Space Harrier, topped with an infinite runner/infinite dodger/dodge-em-up/whatever the eternally mutating nomenclature is currently, and you’ll be on the right track.

Stylistically: Pure 1980s neon tinged Tron meets Nightmares (the Bishop of Battle.) Grid lines, modern re-imaginings of vector graphics rendered in 3D and lit with bold colors. Essentially what you see in any of the screenshots is exactly how the game “feels” visually.

Real player with 11.0 hrs in game

GRIDD: Retroenhanced on Steam



The best “Zach-like” game yet. Even if it is by Zach.

Another excellent puzzle game from Zachtronics. If you’ve never played a game like this before, this is an open-ended puzzle game. By “open-ended” I mean there is a problem you are trying to solve, and you are given tools (in this case a programming language for what appears to be tiny robots) to solve it as you choose. You build a solution to the presented problem. You win if the solution works but how you get to a working solution is up to you. There are limits to your freedom both by the language and what the “little robots” can accomplish at one time. The puzzle here revolves around writing little program fragments that unfold through parallelization into pretty impressive results. It is a complete programming language (although a very simple one) and even has a little test-bed where you can make your own creation without a specific goal.

Real player with 107.5 hrs in game

The first Zachtronic game I found myself being able to complete and with extremely minimal help, more so due to that some puzzles are difficult to understand rather than writing the code itself. Even though the game does get hard, it does an excellent job of preparing you for the difficulty ahead. Even without any programming knowledge, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges this game poses. You can always see the exact end state the game wants you to leave the board in at any time, which serves as an excellent guide in what you’re meant to do.

Real player with 87.6 hrs in game




TL;DR (good deal of gameplay from free demo): Mainlining is a fun adventure game with a clever and unique twist where you hack computers, websites, and other devices to mine information on the different cases presented to you. The game doesn’t hold your hand, so the cases can present a fun little challenge beyond the first tutorial. Highly recommended! If you want to see a playthrough of the first (tutorial) case, check out this video (Demo version):


Real player with 12.6 hrs in game

Neutral Recommendation: Only Pick Up At A Discount

  • Gameplay: Interfacing with the game is fairly straightforward. You’re using a simulation of a computer desktop. The main complaint is that you can only backspace to make changes to text in the Notepad program. You cannot edit the text freely, so if you want to make a change to something at the top of the file, you’d have to erase everything and start over. Luckily, you’ll find that program is mostly useless.

The lame thing is that, for most cases, you can only turn in one-piece of evidence linking the person to the crime, although there may be several in reality. Also, you have to pick the right location for the person, so even if you have the evidence correct, if you don’t choose the right location, it somehow ends up as a False Arrest. It doesn’t really make any sense that you could have sufficient evidence, but a person is Falsely Accused because they were in a different location than you originally thought they were (i.e. at work instead of at home.) That’s just dumb…

Real player with 9.1 hrs in game

Mainlining on Steam

Else Heart.Break()

Else Heart.Break()

So many bugs, so little help. You have to coax the game into continuing the storyline. God forbid you didn’t spend five to ten minutes walking back to the hotel to sleep at night, otherwise you might fall asleep before you finish a key plot point action that has roughly a minute-long window to do. The premise seemed fun, but I am having the hardest time even getting the first few things done.

The backpack system is a mess, especially given the fact that you’re going to want to collect every floppy disk you find. There are tons, so you’ll be constantly flipping through them, dropping them places you’ll hopefully remember you dropped them, and potentially rediscovering them later.

Real player with 56.7 hrs in game

This game drove me crazy. I finally finished it, but I wouldn’t have been able to without consulting the online forum repeatedly. There is a lot of great potential here, but most of it is wasted. The first thing to realize is that this is not a “programming game”, in the sense that none of the difficult aspects of the game have anything to do with tricky programming puzzles (unlike, say, Zachtronics games). This game is a role-playing point-and-click adventure that happens to feature programming (hacking) as a key component. The game features an in-game programming language called Sprak, which is a pretty simple imperative language that nobody with any programming experience will have any trouble with. However, very little real programming is necessary to progress in the game; usually you just modify tiny snippets of code and then you’re done. (Basically, the game makes you into a script kiddie.) The one difficult aspect of programming in the game is figuring out just which built-in commands are available. The game helps you a bit with this, but every programmable device has a different set of built-in commands, and some critical ones are only found in a few places. But the biggest problem with this game is the plot. The plot progression is wildly uneven, with long stretches where nothing is happening punctuated by short bursts where critical stuff is happening all at once. Plot triggers are very easy to miss, and if you do, you will wander around forever trying to figure out what you should be doing, while none of the in-game characters will talk to you. Worse, many triggers require you to behave in exactly the opposite way that the game suggests you ought to behave, or thwart your expectations in other ways. Contrarily, many things the game suggests you should be doing turn out to be completely unnecessary and a waste of time. The worst part of it, for me, was that the programming part of the game can’t start until you get a hold of something called a “modifier”, and it is by no means easy to do so. I probably played for 20 hours or so before giving up and consulting the forums to find out how to get this absolutely critical piece of equipment, without which the game cannot progress. The best (non-spoiler) advice I can give you is to talk to every person you meet, and keep talking until all possible conversation paths are exhausted. Also, the game world is large enough that it’s very easy to get lost, and although you have a map, it’s pathetically bad, with many important landmarks left off. And when you finally get a modifier, you still aren’t out of the woods. You have to figure out how to join a kind of “resistance” against an evil system, and again, it’s very easy to completely miss the trigger that will get you into this group. Once you do, the game (finally!) starts to take off. This is fun for a while, but nothing you do matters much until the final confrontation happens, which will be glaringly obvious. However (once again!) what you need to do to fix things will not be obvious, so you are left wandering around again while nobody will talk to you, wondering what you should be doing (this seems like a theme here). When you finally realize what you need to do, doing it is quite easy as long as you can get into a particular room. There are floppy disks scattered all around the world that contain hints and clues, as well as code examples that you can learn from. You will need to spend a lot of time looking at these unless you (like me) run out of patience and just consult the online forum, and then you can literally finish the game in five minutes. There are multiple endings: several “you lose” kind of endings and one “you win” ending which is so unsatisfying it feels like you just lost a bit less. To sum up, I think this game had huge potential, but it was ruined by poor execution. I almost can’t fault the developers for this; to do a game like this right requires more resources than a small team can provide. I think in the hands of someone like Valve, with expert writers and large numbers of playtesters, this game could have been something amazing. As it is, it’s more of a proof of concept. (OK, great, concept proved! Now go make a real game!) If you’re going to play this game, save yourself endless frustration and consult the online forums when you get stuck.

Real player with 51.0 hrs in game

Else Heart.Break() on Steam

Rogue Bit

Rogue Bit

Very awesome unique game! Had a greate pleasure solving those assembler puzzles. I wish it lasted a lot longer: completed it on Switch pretty quickly, just decided to buy in Steam to express my delight to the author and also to play in the level editor, which is missing on Switch. I have lots of ideas of my own puzzles to implement on this mechanic :)

As for the final recommendation, I think not everybody will like such game. If you are a programmer of some kind, I think you will certainly like it, but if you are completely unfamiliar with coding and related stuff, such as computer architecture and binary logic, you’ll probably not highly appreciate it. But it definitely deserves a like from me ;)

Real player with 10.7 hrs in game

Amazingly well done! The cuteness of the single bit, all alone inside the

giant machine, trying desperately to escape using only its power to XOR

with other memory (without accidentally wiping itself out), as you valliantly

try to help it escape by making sense of the many arcane and curious

algorithms running a single step each time the little bit tries to move.

I love how screens show the single bit moving into the register and

reappearing elsewhere in the vast memory after the instruction.

Real player with 5.5 hrs in game

Rogue Bit on Steam

Zero Days VR

Zero Days VR

Nice documentary about virus and the new way of wars

Real player with 0.6 hrs in game

It’s an interesting story , esp if you have any interest in IT tech. As a VR experience fell completely flat I’m afraid. Paid £5.50 but felt lik eit’s a £1.50 product (if you have that tech interest). All of what;s covered and more you can gleam from wikipedia if its the story you want. If it’s the VR experience that’s drawing you in there are soo many more that will wow you for the same or less money.

Real player with 0.5 hrs in game

Zero Days VR on Steam