868-HACK (2013) is a puzzle game where you hack a computer program to collect as much data as you can. It's a unique puzzle as collecting data triggers more enemies to appear so you walk a delicate balance between collecting as much as possible, but not so much that you get overwhelmed by enemies. It's a gameplay cycle that requires deep thinking and instinct. It's simple to grasp, but difficult to master.
You play the game in short 8 level runs on a series of 6x6 grids. Each turn, you move one tile and can if you wish, pull a data siphon. If you choose to do this, you'll collect all the money and energy in adjacent tiles. But you need to be careful as this can also spawn more enemies to deal with.
By carefully choosing these boxes you aim to gain more points than enemies as well as unlocking new function power-ups that can, for example, restore your health, kill enemies, add to your score, and do many other things which can help you stay alive in the run.
There are several different types of enemies, and each one has different abilities, so you need to remember how best to deal with them, be it shooting them or destroying them with a function. If you collide with an enemy, you lose a life, and each enemy can move between your turn, so you need to ensure you keep aware of all of them at all times. You can also only siphon if you collect an item on the board, and then only once, so you need to ensure that you choose the best location that will optimise your run.
You aren't forced to stay in a level any longer than you want to, so it's a game of strategy and well-considered risk-taking as to whether you remain behind in a level to get more points or simply get through all 8 levels without dying. A bit like being both dungeon master and player at the same time. A novel challenge for fans of puzzle games, dungeon crawlers, and strategy.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall
, first checked 868-Hack 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 18 months ago.