It's a year since bemused ZZAP! reviewers opened and
booted up a package which greeted them simply, 'Logon
Please.' Behind this anonymous introduction lay Steve
Cartwright's highly original creation, Hacker.
He's back with the sequel and this time it's on a much
grander scale. Your greeting comes from the government
of the United States. The plot is simple. After your
exploits in the first game became noted, you achieved
a reputation for being an extremely skilled hacker.
Now it is to be put to the test as the CIA have found
a mission only you are capable of undertaking.
believed that secret documents called The Doomsday Papers
are being held in n Siberian base. The documents detail
a plan to undermine the American government and bring
down capitalism in the West, paving the way for Communist
expansion. With the aid of three mobiles (similar to
those used in the first adventure), you must explore
the base and retrieve the plans. This should allow the
CIA to implement preventative measures.
complete the mission successfully it is necessary to
defeat a complex security system by avoiding or fooling
a network of security cameras and personnel. To do this,
you have a device which can monitor four cameras, each
with thirty eight channels. Video taping facilities
exist so you can tape from a camera, and then bypass
a camera with a recording, giving you time to manoeuvre
without being spotted. The video recorder allows frame
pause and preview functions for fine editing -- which
is essential since each recording has 'synch' numbers
which must be correctly matched with live action to
successfully fool the security system.
also possible to use one of the four monitor screens
to display the area around the MRU (Mobile Remote Unit).
This display allows you to start creating a map for
exploration purposes. It reveals the whereabouts of
any security officers in the area, active monitors and
anything else you might have to worry about.
manual is designed as if it referred to the real machinery
involved in the game and as a result it is quite a mouthful
to digest. However, it does cover all the functions
used in the game in explicit detail and adds atmosphere.
The manual is actually supplied in an official looking
envelope and reflects the atmospheric nature of packaging.
screen controls are activated by a joystick controlled
hand that moves over the panel. Pressing the fire button
makes a finger depress the button beneath. This is normally
highlighted in a different colour. The animated graphics
are black on grey sequences to give the effect of monochrome
monitors. The screen borders flicker when you come under
particularly nasty weapon employed by the enemy is called
the annihilator. This can be called in at any time.
A kind of anti-robot robot, it hunts down and kills
MRUs. Unlike Hacker, you have three 'lives' in
the form of MRU's. Because of the distinct plot, this
sequel is not a series of repetitive actions needed
to build up a picture, but rather constant exploration
and deception procedures with many subtle differences.
sheer scope of the game should provide plenty of challenge
and it would seem necessary to devote hours of work
to solving the game. It is also a very strong hybrid
in that it plays like an adventure more than an arcade
game, but relies on graphics of a superior quality to