Hacker II

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RAM Requirement: 512k RAM

Control: Mouse

Release Status: Abandonware

Year: 1987

Publisher: Activision

Developers: Steve Cartwright

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes

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Hacker II was among Activision's first IIGS efforts, subsequently being one of the very first IIGS games being released to market.

Your hacking exploits have been recognised and respected by the CIA and you are enlisted for an assignment during one of your calls to a BBS. You are to infiltrate, remotely of course, a Russian secret base, which houses the Doomsday Papers; a set of papers to topple the American government. Your remote commands are relayed to 3 MRUs (remote control robots) to find and obtain the Doomsday Papers. Control of these robots is quite interesting, as you use a customised terminal, which also includes the features of displaying video input from the Russian base, or you can OUTPUT to the security cameras (or rather, output to whoever's watching them on the base) to send false images. These false images can be recorded by yourself through a security camera (preferably showing that none of your robots is in sight) and can be played back as output so that your robots can slip past security camera hotspots undetected.

Before you enter the real game, you will have to ensure that you understand the equipment before you begin. This is not a form of copy protection, but provides interesting background information as to how the setup works. If you understand flow charts you can make some educated guesses as to what the answers are. After the diagram (key in the answers with the corresponding numbers on the keyboard), you are then presented with the terminal control screen and you will be quizzed as to what the different functions are (this is very useful, as you will learn what each button does). Luckily you won't have to go through this every time you play, as you are given a user name that's to be typed in at the terminal prompt to bypass that last section the next time you play. You use the mouse to play. It may look daunting at first, but half the fun is learning the terminal. You toggle between the four different monitors between you, and you can adjust the horizontal control and switch between the different security cameras with the CAM button. Learn control over your monitors before you start to move the first MRU.

Now it gets trickier. You must devise a way to keep visual track of your MRU and keep a look on the map (accessible from any monitor) AND keep a look out for the security guards on patrol who will sound the alert and your presence will be "disposed of". Good hunting of the Doomsday papers!

Hacker II is quite a clever game, its best feature being the customised terminal and the player having to master its controls. I can easily say that I've not progressed very far into Hacker II, but I'd say once you're hooked, you're hooked.