Hacker


Steve Jackson Games, 1992, 3-6 players. No age range specified, but I'd say 12 and up. Hacker borrows the gaming system from SJG's popular Illuminati game and puts a computer spin on it. In Hacker, players attempt to worm their way into an ever growing computer network in an effort to gain "root" access on a specified number of systems. At the same time you try to avoid the authorities and foil rival player's attempts. Cards are drawn each turn that either add new systems to the net or give you some special ability which may help you or hurt other players. The more systems you gain access to and the more sophisticated hardware you build up, the tougher the systems you can break into. And with access comes the ability to knock other players off your systems or crash entire arms of the computer network. It's all pretty lightweight, but it plays fast and is quite entertaining. It's starting to get a little dated as it reflects a reality more in tune with the old BBS style of computer network of a few year ago than the internet world of today. The Hacker II expansion sets adds a few new twists to the game, but I haven't tried it out yet. SJG supposedly developed this game in response to a secret service raid of their offices back in 1990 in which all of their computer equipment was seized.



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