Hacknet (2015) is a simulation where you play a hacker completing missions and hacking into systems just by typing. Designed to be as close to real hacking as possible, you use actual commands and hacking tools to explore servers, chat rooms, and gain access to vulnerable systems. Along with numerous mind-bending references to real-world code, some self-referential, it provides surprisingly insightful commentary on current internet culture, safety and security, exploring how it can be an asset for both good and bad.
When the creator of the world's greatest security system mysteriously dies, you start receiving messages from his virtual "ghost" who implies his death may not be an accident. With their help, you learn the basics of hacking and start to choose jobs to take on.
It's all played entirely by reading and writing lines of code, which enable you to infiltrate systems and expose dark secrets of these powerful companies. It's up to you what you do and how you play. As you progress, you learn more powerful techniques to get deeper into the secure data and uncover a web of secrets. Along the way, you make surprisingly tough moral choices, such as whether to assist the dying of a terminally ill patient by hacking into their pacemaker.
The result is a game that requires a great deal of persistence and skill to overcome the many challenges you face. But that's exactly why it's so fun. The uncompromising dedication to realism means that each action feels important, each successful step feels like a victory, and every move you make has lasting consequences.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall
, first checked Hacknet 15 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.