Videogames: The Hacking Minigames Edition

Many moons ago I took part in an episode of Gamespot's Reality Check, on the subject of Watch_Dogs and videogame hacking. Out of that came a shorter segment based around good and bad examples of hacking in videogames. Fair warning: it mainly looks at the trend of turning hacking into minigames, instead of titles which are primarily all about hacking like Uplink.

A couple of games not mentioned up above were given a shout-out in a spinoff blog from way back when.

And yes, I really did sit there for an age trying - and failing - to figure out the hacking minigame in Alpha Protocol. Bonus points for mastering this on a PC with mouse and keyboard. The (rather distracting) mouse pointer which controls the right box often ends up moving outside the terminal screen, resulting in two eyeballs trying to track two boxes and an increasingly distant pointer crawling across a sea of flashing green letters and numbers.

The frequent reward for managing to not get a migraine in the first five seconds is the horribly imprecise mouse wobbling off the intended target just as you hit the button.

Last night I fired up an Alpha Protocol save from the first set of Saudi levels, had some fun with the email feature, the intel purchasing, the loadout screen and the comedy beard.

Ten minutes later I was standing in front of a failed hack attempt, flashing lights and guys firing machine guns from ten feet away and missing while I carefully considered which wall to bounce the mouse off for optimum destruction.

Back into the digital box you go...


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