Hacker Evolution is more of a typing game, then a hacking simulator. I like the concept of hacker games. The sense of online omnipotence has a huge appeal. HOWEVER, this game actively punishes exploration. A lot of the game is trial and error. If you do not do things in order, you will have to restart. Restart the level? No, the entire game. Your penalties from previous levels carry over to the next.
If you ever feel the need to check out things off the developers predetermined path, they slap you with in game monetary penalties. ex: You see that a website called dot-hackers.net. Seems cool, right, so you go to check it out. You are penalized for looking up the website. Yes, they penalize you for LOOKING UP WEBSITES! Then they penalize you for logging on, and then they penalize you for downloading files. The only way to take away your penalties is too pay in game money. They penalize you when you make money. Every. Single. Time. So if you get the game, go ahead and save yourself some headaches and use the money cheat (xmoney) to give yourself all the money you will ever need.
The good thing about the game is that it had somewhat of a vision, but if you want a hacking game that makes you feel powerful, go with UPLINK.