It seems hard to believe, but it's already been a whole year since developer Michael Brough released his techno-roguelike masterpiece 868-HACK [$4.99] onto the App Store, and to celebrate he's dropped the price of the game for the first time ever. You can now buy the game at the discounted price of $2.99, down from its original price of $5.99. In case you're not familiar, 868-HACK is a highly strategic, incredibly challenging roguelike with a cyberspace theme. It's one of those games where every single choice you make matters, and it's imperative that you have a decent understanding of the game's mechanics and are able to plan your moves well ahead. We absolutely loved it in our review from a year ago.

Mostly everyone who has allowed 868-HACK to grab hold of them agrees it's one of the best games they've ever played, but it's not such an easy sell. The graphics are ultra-simplistic, to the point that at first glance you might think the game they're portraying isn't of a particularly high quality. Also, its original price of $5.99 is considered "high" in the world of mobile. Those two factors represent a pretty stiff barrier to entry to your average App Store consumer.


Here's the thing though: visuals and pricing aside, 868-HACK is one of the most endlessly playable games around, nailing that "one more go" feeling that works so well for mobile games. The visuals are purposely retro and have their own charm, and more importantly they perfectly fit within the "hacking" theme of the game. Also, for the type of game you're getting, the original six dollar price tag is actually quite cheap compared to the amount of hours you can put into 868-HACK once it digs its hooks into you. This is a game where you'll be discovering new strategies months and even years down the line.

So, if you've been on the fence either because you weren't sure about the look of 868-HACK or you were wary of the price, for $2.99 I think it's a fantastic time to jump off the fence and see if the game's for you. There is almost universal praise for the game in our forums, and seeing as this is the first 868-HACK sale ever, this opportunity might not come around again for a very long time. Sale ends on September 6th.

  • oooooomonkey

    I'd be interested to see if 868 was reskinned with modern graphics if more people would buy it and give it a chance?
    Personally I love the retro style but I know it's not for everyone.

    • armilla

      While I don't disagree that a reskin may attract more people, I can't imagine what that would look like and believe it would detract from the spirit of the game. The graphics, which may look crude in pictures, is actually quite vibrant and unique once one lets the game sink in. This game, more than other, is a testament of gameplay over graphics, and I find a lot of people saying "you gotta get this game despite what it looks like." That sort of sentiment is important, at least to me.

  • Michael Smith

    Is this game a puzzler? Meaning are the levels randomized or are they designed so there is one right way to beat it?
    I'd prefer a more randomized but fair strategic challenge than one that relies on trial and error.

    • Michael Smith

      Just read the forum review and I see it is randomized and from the description of the gameplay, right up my alley! Downloading it now!

  • ra51

    Played it on the PC. Didn't quite get into it.

  • Kamakazie

    This is my favorite game on iOS.

  • vectorarchitekt

    Was waiting forever for a price drop, so downloaded and attempting to orient myself with it. As do right now I don't see how to survive all those monsters even on the first level. While I like the whole hack theme, a lot of the text and descriptions/names of things are unnecessarily confusing. Maybe I'll get it all after a while.

    • Silent Rocco

      You'll get it after a while 😉

  • vectorarchitekt

    How can anyone strategize with such unfair randomness? I get put in a corner and cannot move without taking a hit, and those stupid purple guys who overlap the wall thingies just surround me.
    I am either an idiot or this game is too random to enjoy. I love my share of procedurally generated levels, like Power Grounds or Dungelot, but this is absurd.

    • irettillib

      The game is designed to become more difficult as you strive for a higher score. For myself, if I were to ignore score altogether, I would never have an issue reaching the end of the game, regardless of the random characteristic.

    • heresandypandy

      Figuring out the way in which enemies move is key to beating it. You have to move carefully so you don't get trapped, plan ahead, know when and how to use abilities, know when and how to most effectively siphon data ("do I go for points or abilities??". It's a hard game but once you get a hold on it it's very beatable.

  • anabolicMike

    It's good get it

  • Buklamang

    It is a brilliant game, and my advice is: get it immediately!

  • Silent Rocco

    Best strategy game ever. Perfect for a handheld (although I wish there was a portrait mode). Timeless masterpiece! I'm in deep love with that one. Every pixel, every sound... just perfect as it is.

  • Breinstein

    I bought the game the day it came out and still do not get it:-( ... Everything is ultra confusing to me , from the ui with the vague descriptions like hacker etc ... What does what en why am i à hacker sometimes and why something else and why can I activate things sometime while the other time it doesn't activate? All in all I want to like this game but I just don't get it ..

    • Michael Brough

      it doesn't let you activate abilities when they definitely have no effect (like "attack all virus enemies" when there are none on screen).
      or else when you don't have the resources to pay for them.

  • vectorarchitekt

    Everyone seems to rave about this game and I just don't understand why. Does anyone have any tips? After the second or third level I am pretty much surrounded right off the bat and no matter how much I try to strategize my moves there's nothing I can do. I even unlocked all the progs.

    • Michael Brough

      unlocking everything might make it harder to learn because it mostly adds variety rather than more power

    • armilla

      Alright, I'll give it a shot.

      In my opinion, the most important thing to do first is be well acquainted with the enemy patterns, as they are always predictable. Red monster goes straight for you, the ninja purple guy moves two spaces, the pink triangle thing can go through walls, and the blue guy is invisible unless he's in the same row/column as you. Before worrying about acquiring powers and points, practice luring your enemies so you can safely dispense them at minimal cost. It may seem like a good idea to grab powers to give you the upper hand, but you'll soon find yourself surrounded if you take more than you're prepared for.

      Remember that you don't have to use the nodes you acquire on the floor immediately; they carry over. Your life also regenerates by one point every new level, so sometimes it's better to take a hit/not use the reset power since you can measure out the risk-reward. For the very beginner, maybe skip out on getting anything at all and try to make it to the end. This game demands a lot of playthroughs to really understand the interlocking systems, so be patient with yourself.

      • Kamakazie

        Just to add on top of this:

        1. The simple orange guys (Daemons) take 3 hits to kill while everything else takes only 2.

        2. If you Data Siphon the level exit, you will regenerate 1 hp. This means your avatar can go from frowning to smiling simply by siphoning the exit and then moving through it.

        3. The pink enemies (Glitches) that move through walls will prefer to move through walls when approaching you rather than keeping out in the open, even if it isn't necessarily the most direct approach to you.

  • phatkrome

    So I just tried to purchase this but the App Store says it is no longer available to buy. Anyone else with this problem?

    • phatkrome

      Tried again today the the purchase went through. Not sure what happened.