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Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Midnight Protocol 14 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
You play Data, a hacker-activist whose personal information is released by a mysterious group opposing her work. After charges are dropped, you reconnect with your hacker friends and seek revenge against the people who exposed you. You slowly work to penetrate networks and siphon off resources and data to complete missions to steadily uncover the mystery of who exposed you.
The gameplay consists partially of exchanging emails with other hackers, which gives you new objectives, hints and quests to complete. But for most of the game you type to hack into various networks to complete objectives, by entering commands on a turn-based system. You learn these commands as you play, which can move you to new places on the network (nodes), siphon data from the node you're on (maybe taking money if its a financial node, or information if it's a data node) or activate special abilities.
The twist is that networks have defences which also seek to uncover your activities. For example, you can encounter a trace, which adds a time limit to the levels forcing you to work quickly. Later levels have greater defence capabilities which mean you are forced to carefully plan out every action and play methodically. There is some help, in the form of abilities and upgrades that can protect you from detection.
The result is a game that not only offers a deeply immersive experience but also highlights the different ways in which hackers operate, for good, for bad, and in morally grey areas (like helping the police track down suspects or helping a husband cover up an affair). Hacking ever deeper into well-protected systems while evading detection is exciting and tense, and finally achieving your mission is always a relief.
The developer gives the following mature Content Description: "The game narrative refers to computer hacking and crimes. There's limited use of mature language. This game also contains fast flashing images. It may cause discomfort and trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer and player discretion is advised."
13+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. It's a very complex game, with many different computer commands you need to use and a great deal of strategy (and text/typing) involved.
Release Date: 13/10/2021
Out Now: Mac and PC
Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Accessibility: 12 features
Components: 2D Side-On, Grid and Text
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