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This is an English translation of a review of Uplink, origionally featured on doupe.cz.

The origional article can be found here.

This translation was kindly supplied by Petr Polacek.

 

Doupe.cz Review

 

Uplink: Simulation of hacker
Martin Jurica Simulátory - 31. 10. 2001
Type of game: simulation
Minimum Configuration: processor 200 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Windows, Linux
3D acceleration: no
Multiplayer: no
Produced by: Introversion Software
Distributed by: Introversion Software

There are games for which many players are waiting for, but result is unpleasant surprise. A then they are games, which does not speak about their originality and they are just released. Sometimes it happens that they surprise pleasantly. But they can't surprise unpleasantly - we just don't expect anything from them. In this category there are also games which will divide players into two different categories - one will speak about wonderful game, another about really bad game. Uplink is exactly this kind of game.

Hackers Diary, part one

These are events happened from January 2010, and how I felt them, I was 21.
Yes, I had a computer.
Yes, I was registered as employee of Uplink Corp.
Yes, I was a hacker.
Yes, this is my story.
All this story is true. You can believe me all events from this diary. Any attempt to change this story will be boring and useless.
Hello, my name is - but this doesn't matter, whole underground knows me as meastro Silla. I'm not interested in programs and games, my fingers are flying. I like this feeling and I'm the best - but pahth was long. It was started in January 2010. This time I could afford the simplest gateway belonging to Uplink Corp. and I started to search for data, which were supposed to stay hidden.
My first gateway ALPHA was for fun already in that time - with 32 Gq (Giga Quad) of memory and one archaic processor 20GHz. It was for fun, but I was able to start earn money. But how? I didn't want to abuse my knowledges, but thanks to them money were very close. I started to take first orders - usually it was about hacking computers with minimum security, just to get one file. This time I didn't cleaned my logs behind me, so I was supposed to pay 1000c twice, as a compensation. I always payed, I believed that they will not report it. But they reported, beasts. Later, I stated also to delete files and clean logs. My Uplink rating rised from Beginner to Novice.

Uplink is a very interesting game - as you can foresee, you play the role of young, promising student of matematics and physics, with greatest hobby of computers. In his skin you will live during evolution from Hacker working for knowledge, through pirate working for money, back to Hacker working with codex of honour trying to avenge to one hypercorporation (why not, during that time you already have the best hardware on the market and no financial problems). Your goal is not only to steal data, but also much more complicated things as changing data in central databases or destroying mainframes at all. You are starting with your connection to Uplink Corp., giving you access to new orderrs through their BBS, supplying you with hardware and software - smart buying is important - you will never have enough money for everything (until you will be able to hack bank security - and this you will be able to do only in time when you will not need more money). You will have to think very carefully what you REALLY need. And with growing difficulty of orders you will have to study hard and use very clever tools, you didn't need at the beginning.

March 26th, 2010
It was not easy to hack system of Micro PLc, but it was good to do it. It is second company using not only password authentication (which my 60 GHz processors is able to crack in a moment), but also voice authentication. II'm lucky that one of my colleagues created tool for voice synthesis - I just called home to admin of this server letting him to speak for a while. It's so easy. They had very clever system for finding where I'm calling from - I had to connect over 30 computers, otherwise I'll be caught - but I had no time to clean logs, I had to connect again leaving log clean. They gave me 10000c for that job, so I bought other equipment. It was not easy to decide, but I bought only cheaper gateway with radio connection to the network (they will not find me!) and my first 200 GHz processor (they don't produce faster). And the rest I spent to software. HUD, shoiwing me security features of my target, with ability to bypass them, giving me full control of connection time - but higher versions are expensive, I will live with common v2 for now. I don't need to delete logs - I can edit them according to my needs - great.
During time you are getting more interesting and complex orders and you will start to use even tools like admin console or tool for monitor, proxy and firewall disabling. But nobody waits, so as your rear improves (and you will move higher in the hierarchy), difficulty of your orders is growing as well (around level 8 every second counts), but police is rising his activity around "free agents", it starts to be very hot for you. And there is as well complex story about secret project …

April 13th, 2010
Shit! Just yesterday police cought one of top agents - I knew him as DanTheMan only, he was number 8 - I'm near number 30. Bad luck - he dodn't stated self-destruction system on his gateway and he tried some file from ARC. He is in jail, he will be never in cyberspace again. It's bad, I have to add this self-destruction on my gateway immediately. Hm, I'll look for mail and I'll finist one attack for International Academy databased - somebody wants to have degree in Chemistry. Why not, for 5000c. Next, I have one order about ARC, but I'll leave it for now - TheDrifter is working for them, he is current number one in Uplink - it will not be collegiate.

April 14th, 2010
Said I that it was very bad yesterday? No, I was very lucky - as never before. I got an email from TheDriftera mail - automatic forward to whole Uplinku - it seems that he's OUT. Completely. Email started with - If you are reading this, then … Shit! At noon it was on BBS, that they find him at home - O.D. - sure! He wrote that he worked for ARC and found some project - he didn't catch to download it and decode it, before they found him. It can be what the best Hackers are working on, without knowing, for that corporation. It's for sure that Uplink issued the strict embargo to work for ARC, until it will be investigated. It means at least one year, I'll have to look on it myself - but I don't have hardware nor software to do it. I'll have to work very hard. But for what they did to TheDrifterovi I can afford to even destroy those servers. I'm only afraid that if they found him, so what I can do? But I'll find it …

And now, I will tell why I think that there will be people scorn to Uplink - there will be many of them. First there is graphics - we can say no graphics. Whole Uplink works in 640x480 resolution and whole graphics means only some operating system, map of the world (where you have to enter way of the connection and then text, plenty of text. There is some music, but nothing special, some melodies on the background only. Effects as typical operating system, again nothing special. This will discourage those which are playing for graphics. Other group are people with real hacker knowledge, they will probably not like simplification in the game (to disable proxy, it is enough to drag an icon of corresponding disabler to the icon of proxy and leave enough CPU time to it - thats all. But:
· graphics is not important - it is about atmosphere and variability of environment. On the top, simple graphics belongs to the game. (70 % of readers are out)
· whole game is sci-fi and not courseware for a few selected - it is not a manual, how to hack a UNIX server, it is about fun doing this. And there is a strategic aspect as well. (20 % are out)
It is simply important how you will see the game. You should not forget that it is a GAME which DON'T NEED graphics. If you will concentrate on fun only, you will get many hours of perfect experience.

You have to decide yourself - on this address you can download fully functional demo (Win and Linux, 3,1 MB). But you have to know that in the game there are much more interesting orders - demo is limited for Novice.

Hackers Diary, the last chapter

Yes, I'm a Hacker. And, I'm the best. I'm numbered one in Uplink and only thanks to me there is some Uplink exists (and not only Uplink). This thing with ARC was really bad, it was really hard work to find it. I spent four gateways to get it, but it was not for nothing - TheDrifter will be proud. I'm not working now, I'm just making some fun on the Net. My equipment is the best and money? I'm working for Uplink Bank -Security... That's the end... But I took everything from ARC accounts - they are finished. And thet's OK. And if you'll want to discuss about security, ask for Silla - everybody knows me and nobady knows at the same time - II'm not in any database. Life started - why not when I'm writing this on the best gateway with 1600 GHz processors in total. You can try the Net as well. It's nice here and freedom..
maestro Sill, the Hacker


Graphics: 5 out of 10
Effects: 6 out of 10
Music: 6 out of 10
Playability: 10 out of 10
Simulator, which is not simulator. Very original game for a few people. My opinion - SUPERB!

Summary: 8 out of 10

 

 

Uplink is a trademark of Introversion Software