Uplink - The Hacker's Shadow


We've seen the movies: Hackers, Real Genius, Antitrust, Wargames. Now we can play role of the 'leet system hacker struggling to save the world from an evil corporation. Uplink - the Hacker's Shadow is a game published by a small company in the UK called Intorversion. They released Uplink into the wild last October and it has a small, but active community behind it.

We've seen the movies: Hackers, Real Genius, Antitrust, Wargames. Now we can play the role of the 'leet system hacker struggling to save the world from an evil corporation. Uplink - The Hacker's Shadow is a game published by a small company in the UK called Introversion. They released Uplink into the wild last October and it has a small, but active community behind it.

So what exactly does one do in the game? Well, as many computer based RPGs start, you begin as a whelp with meager resources and no knowledge of what's going on in the world. The game has minimal documentation. How to install it. That's about it. There is a brief tutorial to show the basics of cracking a weak system. The rest is up to you to figure out. If this were a different style of game, this would be a bad bad goof by the developer. But, that's the point of this game. A hacker has to figure things out, probe and prod systems to find their weaknesses and exploit them, learn to cover his tracks when he's done or get traced and a free ride to jail. The hacking techniques in the game are loosely based on real world hacking methods. This includes the need to redirect connections, password cracking, log modification, voice ID systems, proxies, firewalls, and key encryption.

click for larger images of Uplink - The Hacker's Shadow

After going through the tutorial and practicing breaking into a few weak systems, it's time to get to work. Your character in the game is essentially a high tech mercenary. You log into a bulletin board system and accept jobs. Complete the job, notify your employer, get paid. Simple enough. As you complete jobs, your uplink rating will improve. You will be offered more difficult tasks and be paid more money.

The kinds of jobs you accept will also influence your character's progress. The Neuromancer rating is determined by whether you chose to attack systems or people. Attacking systems: deleting files, copying and publishing data, and trashing mainframes increases your neromancer rating and you will be offered more jobs of that nature. Attacking people usually just entails modifying various database entries. Giving academic credentials, modifying criminal records, moving money around, and forging connections to frame other hackers is what this kind of work usually entails. These types of jobs can be more difficult, but pay better.

click for larger images of Uplink - The Hacker's Shadow

In addition to these kind of jobs, there is a story line as well. A corporation is attempting to create a virus that will destroy every system on the Internet as we know it. You can either work free lance or with a rival corp to fight this threat.

Introversion did a good job on this game overall. The graphics are appropriate for the genre, 2D and lots of animation and Hollywood style computer effects. I frequently had graphical artifacts on the screen and the menus were garbled on occasion. It was also easy to overwhelm the interface in terms of queueing up commands and mouse clicks. The music in the game is very good. When I first got the game I managed to locate the sound files and convert them to MP3s and listen to the sound track while working. After a while, as is the nature of all games, the music is repetitive and I shut it off. Sound events in the game, the beeps and clicks of using the interface are well done and do not distract, save the beeping of the trace tracker speeding up as you are getting closer to being caught. It adds a definite sense of urgency as it speeds up. The game running under Linux did crash more often than I would have liked, about once every 2 hours or so. I only lost data once as a result of that and had to re-do a mission.

In terms of gameplay there's good and bad. The bad part is the story line is very short and it's very easy to step off the path and not be able to get back on. The good is that the game is open ended. You can ignore the storyline all together if you wish and go for power and glory. After a while when you have maximized your system and ranking, breaking into systems isn't much of a challenge. This is where Introversion had some fun - they put a lot of easter eggs in the game. It is a hacking game, isn't it? Finding easter eggs can be a lot of fun. There are a few cameos from movies and games in the game itself. I am not going to tell you where and how to find them. That's the player's job. Unfortunately, after tiring of finding easter eggs there is little replay value in the game. There isn't a multiplayer component to speak of, so hacking your buddies in game isn't possible right now. Introversion has hinted that Uplink 2 will be a massive multiplayer game in a persistent world. That should be a lot of fun.

Uplink is available for Windows and Linux and can be had for $24 from Introversion's web site.

The game is called Uplink. Just Uplink. The Hackers shadow is a fan web page for ::""Uplink"":: Great game. I recommend to anyone that likes computers

Ya, the game is just Uplink! Great game! Try the demo if you're not sure if you want to pay for it! You'll be addicted instantly!

One big mistake here... The game is called "Uplink", the first fan-site is called "Uplink : The Hacker's Shadow" which is at the following address :

Is this game anything like Activision's old Hacker series?

No it is not like Activision's old hacker series. It beats the crap out of any other hacker game ever invented! This game rules! You even get to learn a few things if you dont know them already. If your into hacking then buy this game!!!!!!

The box that holds the CD, and the fact that I'm supporting the developers of a game such as this is WELL worth the 30 bucks to me.
And this coming from a guy that FTP serves over 100 gig of pirated software.
You pick and choose your battles. This is something you pay for.

hi, who knows how you must get into a computer at the game UpLink? I don't know.
Who can help me?
Send a email to


Its true about that money thing, buy it, its a small company and id say they do need the money. Hopefully they will release a version 2! The company just have 1 problem. I cant find the game in any computer shop in Ireland, so i had to buy online! The game would be a BIG hit if it was in the shops

I don't think it's in any shops. At least not in any I've ever seen. I've seen it advertised on home-delivery services, and possibly it's even on amazon, but I don't think it's in any shop. That would require a rather enormous investment of a publishing group that would also put it in a completely different league. Judging on it's success though, it should be reasonably easy to make the seccond uplink comercially available.

quiero que me pasen este programa

The game is great, but gets boring after time.
I finished it on the side of ARUNMOR BTW (The good guys) But it can be fuckin hard to clean the virus in time. It spreaded like 14 times before i could capture it.

Extremely good game IMHO. The game won't be found in any shops because it was just a small project that escalated into a full-blown compiled game.
Version 2 is being worked on right now with a bit of luck but don't expect it to be released any time soon because I think they're going all out with this one and there'll be no mistakes like in v1 where you have to drag and drop everything instead of being able to use quick-keys at least.

ok, some collegue at work told me about this game.
this is the first page im checking but google gave me thousands more. I see coments from April 2001 on some sites so i think its a rather old game by now.
Some talked about uplink2 and its multiplayer massive contest game!? theres no multiplayer on Uplink 1 full version?!
only gona try the DEMO now.

Uplink is the best game i had ever seen.In version 1 you could olso play in multiplayer mode(from option, network)

uhm.. what about Voice_Analyser... how can I used that software ?!

lookup the phone number for the administrator of the machine. call him and record his voice. then play back when the security requests the voice authentication.

I'm playing this game very often and I find..... ITS GREAT
but a bit unrealistic for real hackers (

I think it was an great idea making this game

introversion? can you make a hacker HUD like that for me for real life hacking? :) U can trust me i would never hack u :)))))

I'd like to see more unix based operations from the game........come on guys......do some research about hacking.........(real hackin not fictional)...sigh I wish I could piont & click to get passwords....lol

Ok first of all the game is called Uplink but the american release is Uplink:the hackers shadow an this game is god personally id prefer if they didn make the next game an online one i love this game its the best game ever created i would easily pay 3 even 4 hundred dollars fo a none online version 2 i have always got every hacker game i ever knew about bein made an this is the best by far so my tip is introversion make 2 but dont make it a big online thing make it offline like one is an you will have millions of followers and another thing yall are wrong it was in stores i live in anderson indiana an they ha dit at Target so some stores did have it well thx fer yer time
Sparx -signing off-

Sparx, the American release is called Uplink: Hacker Elite. As has been said numerous times, The Hacker's Shadow is a fansite. If you'll notice, the dates on most of the posts up to this point were made in 2002. At that time, Uplink wasn't available in stores. They joined forces for Uplink's American distribution with some distributor that eludes me at the moment to make it available in stores.

All that aside, this is a fantastic game. I got really tired really fast of all the games with tons of eyecandy and no actual gameplay. This game may not have graphics that will floor the player, but they suit the premise of the game and take nothing away from the experience.

Yes parts of it are repetitive, but what RPGer hasn't spent hours building up levels before tackling a particularly hard boss or building up enough GP to buy top-of-the-line armor or weapons? Some people like it, and some don't.

The music is good and fits the futuristic flavor of the game. The sound effects fit the game perfectly, and the sound of a trace getting too close for comfort has caused me much stress. :)

Overall, I love this game. It delivers the content the way it ought to be delivered considering what it is. It isn't for everyone, but for those who play it and get hooked, it's a rewarding experience.

For those of you who want to know where to get this superb game goto introversion.co.uk and buy it from there. HMV in England also does it, but it's bought so fast it's hard to find!

BTW. The game was actually programmed by just one guy:

Chris Delay

Listening and speaking to the guy on the forums, he sounds like a guy who just wants people to download the demo, buy the game and enjoy it. None of this useful warez junk (Kazaa, home of the script-kiddie's sub7 trojans).

Also, as a (white-hat) hacker myself, I can say to you now, there are NO realistic hacking games out there other than hacking wargames so there's no reason to pan it on that basis.

I wish full luck to Chris and the rest of the Introversion on their American release with Hacker Elite.

For those of you who have been looking for a more text-based hacking simulator/game you should keep a close eye on darksigns (www.darksigns.com)

I used to be one of their beta testers, but unfortunately was unable to stay in long enough to actually test any of the functions other than the online version's chat window.

This game is fully customizable and you can even right your own prgrams for it. Check it out now.

is any jobs you have for me?
i didn't put an e-mail because i'm private. please put on your website.

Just wanna say that i've played the demo version and got addicted instantly. I finished the demo version in just one night. Sadly, its difficult to buy the game from where i am...Malaysia. BTW, i wonder how's it like in real world hacking...?

Can someone plz tell me how to install the revlution tracer plz thanks

hey i need to no how to use the voice_analyser, and how to call up the administrator and that.

anyways thanks

how de **** can you play in multiplayer????? :|

To use the voice analyser, find the name of the system administrator in internic. Fire up the analyser, then call the admin. It will record his voice. Leave the analyser open and then go to the system you're trying to hack. When prompted for the voiceprint, hit play.

How do i do the Unviersity degree ones what do i type in to change his information so that it will work? and what box

There is, so far as I know, no 'multiplayer' option in Uplink. The Network option that has been mentioned is simply to use two monitors, if you have them. No second person can play along with you.

As InsanityComplex and Rushyo have already said, it's a fantastic game. It is now available in stores (or was, a few months ago). Failing that, purchasing at introversion.co.uk is reliable and fast (I can vouch for that).

And I'm impressed that these comments haven't yet degenerated into "OMG this is sooooo unraelistic!!!!" as a lot of other Uplink-related reviews have. 'Realistic' hacking games just don't tend to happen.

But of all of them, this is a fantastic one. Highly recommended. And with the developer's pack now out, and a thriving community, mods are coming out now that can triple the replay value.

What are you still doing reading this? Go and buy the game. Now.

What I would be most afraid of would be spending time and bandwisth downloading or spending money buying a fake hacker game. I mean if the game is about hacking it should be realistic with a simulated Unix shell and proper tools otherwise it's a bit of a waste!

I'm not sure where you're at Axe but in the US the federal government cracks down pretty hard on things that may be so called 'hacker tools'. I remeber when the NSA confiscated and subsequently banned an edition of GURPS Cyberpunk because it supposedly taught people how to hack. This aparently was only on those rare d6 operated computers. So that may be why this game has not been made at that level of realism. Just a thought.

Yeah, thats one reason eater... also, a game is supposed to be a simulation of real life in which you can do things you would not normally be able to do... a developer must often work with a tradeoff scale:
Fun vs. Real
Increase one and you very often decrease the other.
Who would buy a realistic hacking game? Non-hackers wouldn't be able to do it, and hackers could just go out and hack for real: which is essentially free!
What about the game? Well as a developer myself, its bloody awesome- the GUI needs a little work- the menu systems sometimes get overlapped and the workspace can get clogged, but its no biggie, just ignore it and enjoy :)

send me sub 7 plzzzzzz

I'm sory for my English,but I'm from Czech Republic.Can anybody tell me where can be download the full version.In my country this game is not selling. :,-(

Hey i have played the demo and it is the best hacker game out there but i can not find the game in the shops can any one tell me were i can get it

People... its not that non-realistic. Most of the fags in the world use progs. I personally HATE progs, but it takes a lot of time to make ur own or do it without. People may think that hacking is just using DOS commands or Terminal, but a lot of it is actually kind of cheap...

Woooo! Uplink wins my vote. ;) *Counts how many years since last post?*

Hope they have a mp uplink ..

Its brilliant... as a Software Developer... Im gonna get my A** fire (been playing it all night... & then all day at work when no-ones watching)...well only have it for 3 days now... Common.. its not unrealistic either... almost every aspect involved in a successful hack in the game is true to life... & there plenty of tools out there (like in the game) to do the job (well for the lazy p***ys that cant type fast enough) ... the only thing left out... was to creat it as a Real hacking tool desguised as a game... giving the user missions to hack into banks distribute the cash into the developers account ... who will be sitting safe & sound in Rio services by blond big titty hoes... ... or maybe thats what it really is??? ...mmm Definitely for those that love a good conspiricy.

...Oh by the way... the one disapointment was that it had no multiplayer... where the whole idea & designe of this game would have made a great multiplayer experiance... imagine acctually trying to trace your buddies accross the net... catching em redhanded hacking into you private fat_mamma_porn archives (sies) then crashing his 10c .com server as ripe revenge... I Hope introvision will be bringing out a uplink 2 soon & that It has a great multiplayer aspect to it... cause I think thats where this genre would hold its strengths.

Ok though I haven't read all the comments, It seems some think the next game is Uplink 2. Well it's not. Though it is a similar game. There is an article on http://modlink.net with more info

damn, this game's great! it made me confused for some time, but it's good! very tricky game!! i don't think that i waste my money to buy this game! uplink deserved it!! now i'm waiting for the uplink 2!! hope that the game can be played both online or offline...

Hacking a Game that is about hacking is oddly amusing..

some of the people who post here are somewhat ignorant on the subject of gaining unauthorized access to protected data (i refuse to call this "hacking".) "Most of the fags in the world use progs..." ... And the other fags write about how most of the fags in the world use "progs." Anyone who wants to download subSeven (saw a post or two about it) needs to get punched in the kidneys for even thinking about doing dumb shit like sending people trojans. If you really want to be an "OMGLEET HAXORZ", try getting a Unix operating system and learning how to use a computer as more than just a porn access point and/or way to spread your ignorant blather across the web.

What a retard. It's UPLINK.

There is no Hacker's Shadow in the name. Nor will there ever be.

Stop reviewing games. You are a joke.

what do u use as verification code for demo??

Do exist any program to sample gateway creating?