Liam rychlik
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Hacker Go

Hacking-Themed ARG

Main in game view

Welcome to Hacker Go, an ARG with a hacking-based theme. The aim of the game is to collect Bots, which are used to hack systems and activate the Drone, as well as picking up cash for purchasing object and player upgrades. As I go on I shall explain the different POIs in the map and the general game mechanics to introduce you to the world of Hacker Go.

Once registered and/or logged in, you are presented with the main display of the app. Across the top bar are three stats. first is your firewall, this is your player health value. Next to it is the amount of bots you currently have against the maximum you can carry At once. The final figure is the amount of cash you have available to purchase upgrades and/or bots from the market.

Just underneath the stat bar, there is a row of buttons. The red bell is for notifications. the blue envelope to check messages. A green tick sheet to display available missions. Then a purple drone that launches an Aerial drone to use to pick up bots and cash outside of the blue Area of intent (AOI). Finally a separate button on the right hand side takes you into the main menu, where you can purchase upgrades for cash, buy and sell bots, purchase premium account (double pickups for duration of premium) as well as access the help menu and chat to other players. The lightening rod below the navigation bar buttons can be used to boost the Aerial drones speed for half hour.

The only POI (point of interest) type is an object that can be hacked and then taken over. This will produce bots and cash over time, up to a limit set by level. Levelling up these objects increases the amount of bots and cash that it can store at any given time. Hacking objects consumes bots, hitting the firewall down to 0% takes a lot more, then finally taking over objects costs even more bots again. The amount of bots needed for take over depends on the level of the object, the higher the level the more bots will be needed. You can also create objects at your current location but this costs quite a few bots and a fair bit of cash to do. Creating objects only really seems to be of use for those where there aren't many pre-generated objects to interact with.

To collect Bots and cash, all you have to do is simply click on their icons when they are within the radius of interaction. You can also (for a small bot cost) use an Ariel drone to collect items that are out of reach. The Ariel drone only lasts for a short while so is always best to make sure that it is sent on a route that will pick up the most things before time runs out.

There a variety of upgrades that can be purchased with the collected cash. These can increase the maximum bots you can carry as well as hacking speed and improve firewall attack strength, amongst a couple of other things you can also increase drone range and duration.

Overall I did quite enjoy playing Hacker Go for a short while. But the cost of hacking/attacking/capturing objects and the cost of upgrades could do with being dropped a bit so as to keep players engaged with the game. It is great if you are looking for a simple pick up and play game, but lacks the depth to be a frontrunner of augmented reality games.

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