Zachtronics followed up their very popular yet very niche Shenzen I/O with another game themed around hacking called Exapunks. You take on the role of a junkie back in 1997 who produces one hack for a dose to keep you ticking while the phage ticks away at your life.
You’ll have to read the latest trash world news zines to learn about the underground hacking community. You’ll need to surf through the info packets to learn about the coding networks and communities to finally learn how to hack properly and stay alive.
As you progress through the game you’ll need to increase the effectiveness of your hacks, starting off with basic security breaches of highway signs, game consoles, and university computers, but then you begin to evolve your strategies, advance your attacks, and begin to go after more powerful institutions, such as banks, security stations, television networks, and even big government itself.
This reminds me of the kind of game that hearkens back to the old-school of PC gaming from the late 1980s and 1990s. The isometric tile design is reminiscent of the classic strategy games from FASA, and the visuals are sprite-based centered around clearing out security protocols, changing file ownership, and creating runtime programs that will help you to get in, change around some memory modules, and get out without leaving a trace.
This reminds me of something off the old PC Engine, or a shareware game that your friends would talk about on the weekend.
Exapunks was originally in Early Access on Steam, but it graduated just recently to some startling praise and a lot of positive feedback from the gaming community.
There’s also a lot of post-launch content in the form of community-made mods. So if you’re feeling frisky you can check out some of the puzzles and challenges pout together by the community.
You can learn more about the game or pick up a digital copy of Exapunks from the Steam store for $19.99. During the first week of being on sale you can get the game for 20% off for only $15.99.