This review covers Hacker Evolution and its expansion, Hacker Evolution: Reinsertion, which is included with the base game. From the very beginning, as you start the tutorial, you realize that Hacker Evolution is all about the command-line interface. This has its pros and cons, but fortunately, it all comes together quite well. Scrolling up and down in order to read through information that has since gone off the small window can be a little problematic and sometimes confusing, as you will be fishing for short lines of detailed text in order to perform various text commands. The music is constantly of the techno genre, but it is overall enjoyable after you get used to it. Being that this is the developer's first (as far as I know) effort in the hacking simulation genre, it is much more polished, much more user friendly, less cumbersome, and with far less flaws than Uplink in every way. This still means that the game play will be slow at times, and you will need to appreciate this type of game in order to enjoy it. The missions are interesting, challenging, and with personality. You actually believe that you are part of the short story in meaningful ways, and after completing each goal, there is a feeling of accomplishment and significance. The story progression makes sense and manages to remain interesting, as each level provides new challenges. Also, if you do not have enough funds at the end of each level, in conjunction with a high trace count, you will need to start the game over from the beginning, which is a very serious problem, in my opinion. If you are not careful from the very beginning, the game simply tells you "your fault, start over". Which I suppose means that it is an attempt to go along with the simulation aspect of the experience. It is trying to be as realistic as possible. All missions are exceptionally designed, and it is clear that the developer took great care and attention to detail to prepare all of them, in conjunction with the storyline. It is also valuable to point out that even though the amount of commands is limited, all missions have a different feel to them, and must be approached from different angles in order to succeed. It is amazing how much excitement is offered in this game as everything on screen is mostly text based, with the exception of the background graphic and mission briefings. It is the most engrossing and captivating hacking simulation game I have ever played, despite the fact that it does not have many competitors. The overall experience is fresh, fun, and with an absorbingly interesting atmosphere. It is a game that should be used as the prime example and inspiration for what all future hacking simulation games should be and must be.
Hacker Evolution is good.