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Giving us perhaps one of the most unique games I've ever played, 4gency released Node.Hack to the Play Store today. The game poses the player as "a digital warrior on the front lines, cracking the world's toughest computer systems for profit." Indeed, the object of the game is to hack through individual nodes to accrue thousands upon thousands of dollars and escape before being destroyed by enemy AI.

The first thing I noticed about Node.Hack was of course its visual style. The graphics in this game are obviously very simple, but that simplistic art style is extremely well-suited to the gameplay.

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Speaking of gameplay, the only way I can describe Node.Hack's experience is "stressfully fun." The constant threat of enemy AI makes the game feel fast paced, but hacking each node and collecting the money therein takes time. This forces players to wait and watch as enemies approach, scooting on to the next node just before impact. There are a couple of weapons spread out through certain missions, if you can time your attacks just right.

Additionally, if the player fails a mission, the node map will be different on the next attempt, while the goal remains the same. This makes each level that much more dynamic and hard to master.  Intense as it is though, I love Node.Hack's gameplay style and find it refreshing in its originality.

The only real complaint I have with Node.Hack, actually, has to do with its OpenFeint integration. While playing Node.Hack, I was prompted to upload scores at every turn, after every successful mission, and after each "game over" screen, even after indicating that I do not, in fact, "like fun." When you see as many "game over" screens as I've seen playing Node.Hack, being confronted with OpenFeint prompts gets really old really fast.


That aside, Node.Hack is an excellent game. It offers unique, challenging gameplay, a wonderfully simple graphical style, and plenty of entertainment for when you've got a few minutes to kill. With just fifteen levels so far, it may seem a bit short, but only until you realize just how much time you'll be spending on each mission. At a mere $0.99 in the Play Store, Node.Hack can't be passed up. Hit the widget below to give it a try.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Mesmorino

    It reminds me of Uplink, which I think is a very, VERY good thing. Might give it a shot just based on that

  • http://razvan.nl Razvan

    Bummer it's not available for SG2 on 4.0.3 :(

    • Bo

      Yeah, WTF? how is it not compatible with the most popular phone out?

      • Bo

        I'm gonna send it to my Touchpad and see if I can sideload it on my SGSII

  • Lando

    Can't use it on my Dinc running ICS either...they need to fix this.

    • Bo

      I'm running ICS on my HP Touchpad and it was available for it. Trying to sideload to phone... will report back.

  • Rob

    I always hate fun when open feint pops up too!

    • http://www.uk-experience.com Robert

      I agree with Rob, I never keep games that are associated with openfeint .. they just annoy the hell out of them. You should only have to say no ONCE and that's that.

  • Bo

    No luck at all. It installs the /data/.apk to app-private and a .zip file to /data/app. I tried copying both to their respective locations on my SGSII (Epic 4G Touch version) and it didn't work. I tried clicking on the .apk to install and it fails, then I tried rebooting and no luck. Oh well, guess I'll try it out on my touchpad

    • Norbert

      have you tried pulling the apk from /data/app-private and using adb to install it? e.g. adb install filename.apk

      • Bo

        nah didn't try that method. usually, putting the file in the correct folder is same as abd pushing it isn't it? i'm not the best with adb, just done minor basic stuff with it.

  • Adam Sablich

    Is it just me or does this look really similar to the hacking minigames in Deus Ex: Human Revolution ?

    • http://bioserge.com wolfkabal

      That was my exact initial thought. Enough so that I'm going to pass on this one.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

    There's been an increasing number of games that are dropping openfeint because customers are complaining about how annoying it's become. Great example is Sentinel 3: Homeworld, they dropped it about 2 months ago.

    Openfeint wasn't too bad several months ago but they're almost getting as spammy as an ad network.