COMPUTER UNDERGROUND / Haxsoft / PC


Surprisingly, "cyberpunk" and hacking-themed games have always been few and far between, in spite of the fact that you'd think they have a built-in audience on personal computers. Computer Underground by Haxsoft is one of the few efforts in this genre, an amateur game from 1993 that honestly doesn't have any real "hacking" content and isn't all that good, but I guess still noteworthy given the dearth of similar games around.

You play as a "black hat" cracker out to just amass as much cash as possible. There's three ways to do this - "bank runs", fighting it out with other crackers, and hacking into corporate and government systems. Bank runs are just a gamble where the odds are set based on the quality of equipment you have. Fighting is kind of like a limited version of Pokemon, where you can attack with viruses that you can purchase, and the only goal is to "trash the MEGs" of your opponent before they trash yours. Simple turn-based RPG stuff really, just with two computers going at it instead of Fighter and Orc. Finally, the actual hacking is the only one that has some real gameplay, but all it is is a repetitive matching game that is the same every time - only the time limit changes based on how "difficult" the system is.

The game is really pretty lame and I honestly wonder if whoever made it had any acquaintance with the hacking scene at all beyond surfing a BBS from time to time. If you're really hard up for a hacking-themed game or cyberpunk there's a small chance it might do something for you, but I wouldn't count on it. Scrawled MS Paint graphics and complete lack of music or sound don't really help it along much either.



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