Realistic as a simulator, fun enough as a game | Full Review - The Lonely Hacker

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The Lonely Hacker is a hacking simulation game for mobile devices, currently available for Android, with current plans to expand on iOS and console platforms.
🟩Pros
+Accurate depiction of hacking
+Highly addicting
+no microtransactions or in-app purchases
🟥Cons
-Can be somewhat repetitive
📝Notable points:
Developer is active and has plans for more content
As a simulation game with a highly accurate depiction of hacking, The Lonely Hacker does not mess around. The lone developer, “The Lonely Developer", probably got tired of all the ridiculous and unrealistic depictions of Hacking across all mediums; keyboard mashing scenes in Hollywood movies, cute puzzles in video games, and the age old saying “I’m in”. And that pushed him to create this surprisingly fun game.
Of course, some liberties had to be made. The hacking is made easier, faster, and safe. The softwares and hardwares are simplified. The money is easy to come by. Everything else, The Lonely Hacker has got it right.
The Lonely Hacker hits all the right notes when it comes to the depiction of how hacking is done in real life. Real terminologies used such as exploits, botnets, keyloggers, injections, and many more are integrated in the gameplay. This may all seem mumbo jumbo for the layman, but trust me, it’s as real as it can get for a video game.
The game places players on the role of an up-and-coming hacker sponsored by an organization called “The Agency”. Setting players up with starting cash, computer hardware, and a custom hacking OS which will be the main GUI of the game — slightly customizable by the way — via themes and wallpaper. The background music is a bit too cringey for me, but you can turn that off if you wish.
Players will select a starting location from a selection of various cities, countries, from all continents. After that, players are placed in a 3D scaled down version of the city they’ve picked, and they can move from one building to the other, or even move to other countries to access different networks. As for what to do next, it’s entirely up to the players to decide on what to do next. There is no story, no plot, the game is purely sandbox
Players can follow the tutorial missions, which does set up the gameplay mechanics nicely despite being initially confusing, and gives players bonuses as well for completing them. However, this is not mandatory and players can figure things out on their own.
The whole gist of The Lonely Hacker centers around players hacking different computers around the world; stealing data, planting viruses, mining bitcoin, taking control of computers, and many other real-life cybercrimes.
Players start off with the entry point — by entering wifi and network systems. Once “in”, they can now see the different devices connected to the network. Players can’t outright do anything yet, as they have to acquire the necessary hacking software to proceed further. Even with wifi networks, you need specific software/hardware to be able to crack more secure networks.
Fortunately, The Agency has provided you with a software store wherein you can buy all these different tools. WEP Wifi security? Buy a WEP cracker. Need to hack a router? Buy a router exploit. Hack a basic computer? A web browser exploit will do the job.
It’s a nice element that requires a much needed input from the player, since the actual “hacking” is done automatically. There are minimal puzzle mini-games, and it does get repetitive, especially the early parts of trying to get into networks and hacking simple devices.
Other devices and wifi networks on the other hand will require much more than just software solutions. Which will require you to upgrade your hardware and/or leverage the computing power of infected computers across the web.
Once the exploit works and the device is vulnerable, we’re into the main event now, which is manipulating the actual device. Again, you need to buy all these “Post Exploit” softwares to be able to do anything. Keyloggers, Bitcoin mining, and Botnet to take control of the computer and make it part of a hive. Acquiring data such as credit card info, user credentials, email accounts, and other useful information can be sold online.
Adding to the immersion, you have to find the person selling them in chat groups and participate in a simulated chat to sell these stolen information online, luckily you can automate the selling once you’ve done it the first time. You can also convert mined bitcoins into cash as an additional cash flow.
The entire gameplay cycle revolves around hacking devices, earning cash, and then using that cash to acquire more advanced software and hardware to be able to hack into more advanced devices and networks. It’s a simple concept, but highly addicting. It’s probably dopamine-pumping the same parts of the brain as with real-life hackers.
Not everything has to be done in a sandbox manner though, as players can take on missions given by The Agency to partake in more specific tasks, including DDOS (Denial of Service) attacks, Ransomwares, and File deletion contracts. If all the computers in the vicinity are hacked, you can move on to another building, or even other cities or countries.
The Lonely Hacker doesn’t require much input from the player, and when it does, it can feel repetitive, but for what it depicts, the game is highly immersive and addictive. If the players let it immerse them, they will really feel like a true hacker doing cybercrime from their mobile phones, and it is just fun to continuously hack and hack various devices across the world. The gamified GUI does slightly take away that immersion a little bit, but it’s probably there to remind you that it’s just a video game.
Conclusion:
The Lonely Hacker is a hacking game so realistic in its depiction that I could consider it a gateway drug to the real world of hacking. It is gamified enough to be brief, enjoyable, flashy, but still faithful to the real thing.
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Gamer Imtiaz
Gamer Imtiaz
2
awesome review.!
03/16/2023
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lyndonguitar
lyndonguitar
TapTap Creator
lyndonguitar
Author
1
thank you :D
03/16/2023
The Lonely Developer
The Lonely Developer
2
Thank you for the review! I am very happy to heard you enjoyed playing my game! Here are a few free Google Play promo codes for anyone who wants to give the game a try for free. Enjoy! W4AG9LJJ9J4X2YC5EXZW258 GJ80FFKD6WN8EL39AGH5NZ7 MD87XX9Y0XCEMUMQK3NHT6V PF1LJWY3TJBUP7EQPP49YNH W97MKMNQ24B88TWLJDYGN30 CUL6MEE63CKKTZHL8UYPJUL ZFEQD8FQJ0U2ZZX5RASG4JT CBDV8ZEQQSAQQM706UMZPZH SEZE52YX7AACQM8USN8R81V AU6K60N81YUT8WU94VD7NV8 W6TRRRM0K1N7XCK81YAXR7M
01/14/2024
Author liked
Gamer Imtiaz
Gamer Imtiaz
hi, can you include 'Bangladesh' as a country, 'Dhaka', 'Ctg' as the town, cz i want to play from my country, and my country isn't available in the game.
03/26/2024
Nessi Willow
Nessi Willow
1
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