If a constant barrage of mainstream films and television shows has taught us anything, it's that knowledge is power and that hacking is the great equalizer. Remember the heady rush of the mid-nineties when teens everywhere were going to 'hack the planet!' and 'stick it to the man!'? Yeaaahhhh! We didn't have the slightest clue how to go about it of course, and when it came to actually buckling down and learning how to code, well, confound it if something more interesting didn't always seem to come up. Now Fabien Devos and Joaquim Verges have slipped you a Hackpad, a snazzy little device that can hack into any computer system in the world... if only you can learn to operate it. Hacked is a learn-to-code puzzle game free for Android, currently in a rough-and-ready early release stage that makes learning how to code fun and engaging. In Puzzle mode, each level presents you with three examples of Input and their required Outputs. It's up to you to place basic elements of code to process the examples correctly, and passing each level will grant you access to new coding functions. You'll learn as you progress even if you're new to coding, and by the time you're through you'll be able to write apps and games shareable with your friends playing Hacked, or with the Hacked community in general. Showing just what's possible, there are player-created mini-implementations of Flappy Bird, 2048 and even Cookie Clicker freely downloadable and playable from within Hacked's virtual computer. All of it's proof that when you learn to code you can do all that, and even more! Viva la revolucion información!
Coding on your Android device might seem counter intuitive at first, but Hacked makes it easy with a pocket calculator-style pad of functions at the bottom of the screen, and a user-friendly editor window at the top. Just select function buttons to write scripts, and tap around the editor to shift to different lines. Write scripts to solve the Puzzle levels, which will earn you Hackoins you can use to buy additional Puzzle Packs. It will also score your scripts based on how efficient your solution was, and how long it took you to develop it. You can compare your score with friends and even brag about it over Twitter. For each Puzzle level you solve, you'll earn new functions which you can use to solve even more elaborate levels. You can also use them to program your very own AI robot and send it navigating mazes to collect more Hackoins for you. You can browse publicly-available mini-game scripts other users have designed, and even write your own games playable from within Hacked and share them with the rest of the community.
As of this writing Hacked shows plenty of innovation and promise but some of it is still unfulfilled, with a few rough edges that will surely be smoothed down shortly. The sound effects and music haven't yet been implemented, though it appears to be up on the developers' to-do list. Hacked will currently still assume you're online even when you're not, and respond with some web-based error messages when it can't find online content for which it's looking. And some novice coders may find the current sparse documentation of coding explanations or even Puzzle level objectives may leave them looking to online coding guides elsewhere to sort out just what's expected or how to go about it. For all its current rough spots, Hacked still manages to set itself apart from the rest as an ambitious and engaging interactive coding tutorial puzzle game with plenty of gameplay value. If you've ever thought of learning to code your own games but textbooks just seemed too bland for you, give Hacked a try!
Thanks to Ville for sending this one in!