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Get in, get out, shake it all about

Product: Node.Hack | Developer: 4gency | Publisher: 4gency | Format: Android | Genre: Arcade, Strategy | Players: 1 | File size: 20MB | Version: Europe
Node.Hack Android, thumbnail 1
Imagine that Pac-Man was robbing banks rather than popping pills and you'll have a fairly decent idea of how hacking game Node.Hack works.

While Node.Hack appears to resemble various other hacking games currently available for smartphone, this one has some nice tricks up its sleeve.

That's if you can manage to steal your way through to see them, however, as this 4gency-developed title is seriously difficult to master.

Node to self

Each randomly generated level contains various block nodes that are all attached to each other, with bank accounts stored in certain nodes that you need to loot.

Once you've stolen enough money, the alarm will sound and an exit node will appear, allowing you to escape with all your cash intact.

However, you can't simply float around willy nilly, as there are security AI drones patrolling the network. If you collide with one of them, it's curtains for you and your hard-stolen monies.

Fortunately, you have the upper hand, as you can set off weapons that will eradicate any enemies that happen to get in your way.

For such a simple premise it's incredibly tense, as you sit in a node and wait for a path to be cleared, or for the swarming AI to surround you before you set off a weapon.

Baby got hack

Once you've collected enough cash to exit the level, that's when the real excitement begins.

Even more AI will begin to swarm, and the various bank accounts that are still left will now be worth twice or three times what they were originally, making grabbing a few more bundles risky but worthwhile.

Just to make matters even more complicated, the outskirts of the network will also start to fall apart, with the level getting smaller and smaller the longer you leave it.

Those hardcore players looking to top the scoreboards will find it incredibly satisfying to set the alarm off and then slip away with even more cash in the end-level rush.

Thanks to simple controls that see your drone finding the quickest path to whichever node you touch, death only ever comes from you not thinking quickly enough on your feet, and never from frustrating and unfair movement.

You'll never make it out alive

Node.Hack isn't simply a game that you play through once and then never touch again, thanks to two key attributes.

Firstly, the placement of nodes, money, enemies, and weapons is completely random each time you play, meaning that you need to keep switching our your tactics to work with the current situation.

The game is also ridiculously difficult, especially on the later levels. We even found it tricky to pass some of the earlier and medium levels, as the AI completely engulfed us time and time again.

This difficulty level will either put you off or inspire you to try and try again.

If you can stand the heat, Node.Hack is a great pick-up-and-play title that deserves a place alongsideĀ Drop7 and Triple Town as a time-waster par excellence.
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 26 March 2012
Node.Hack will eat.up your time and spit it out as thorough enjoyment
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