Uplink Review

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Uplink is a synonym to history. The fact that a game is included in a Humble Bundle doesn't make it a new title. In fact, Uplink is probably the oldest game to be included in the Humble Bundle package, ever.

Uplink was launched 11 years ago, by Introversion, for Linux and Windows, a move that was really bold at that time. It arrived in the golden era of hacking when all the movies were filled with people with green screens and with a serious hacking mojo.

Uplink is a one of a kind game. Sure, there are a few other attempts in this really small genre, but no one was crazy enough to try and make a game as sophisticated as Uplink and with such amazing success. I dare you to name another game launched in 2001 that is revived in 2012 and still enjoys public success.

Before talking about the gameplay and the story, I need to make a short introduction for Introversion, the developers of Uplink. Their story is remarkable and must be shared with the public.

Uplink is the first game developed by Introversion, a studio initially consisting of three students. This game came at the right time and offered a unique experience that no one even thought about. It was followed by the amazing Darwinia, Defcon, and Multiwinia. They all have an amazing quality and it’s a miracle that no one has bought them yet.


Introversion made a great job at building the game and they knew right from the start that the intersection between the hacking community and the gaming community has a common denominator: Linux.

Therefore, they have developed Uplink to run just the same in Linux and Windows. They provide packages for both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture, for Debian-based operating systems, for Red Hat-based operating systems, and even an archive with the game prepped to start, with no installation necessary.

We've installed the game in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and it runs beautifully. Just enter the following command in a terminal near you:

sudo dpkg –i uplink-linux-1.6.0-2_i386-1344894496.deb

Keep in mind that the name of the file for 32-bit architecture is different from the one for the 64-bit architecture. Furthermore, the developers might update the game at some point in time; therefore, the name of the file could change from the above-mentioned one. We also recommend to run the file in terminal, as opposed to Ubuntu Software Center, in order to see if there are any errors or dependencies that must be taken into account.

Gameplay and Story

Everyone remembers the Hollywood type hacking from tons of movies in the 1990’s. Everything was glamorous and the hackers were operating in a green screen with all sorts of windows and programs running in the background.

Introversion knew that this was the way to go and made Uplink the image of ridiculous Hollywood experience. Hacking is viewed, at least in the eyes of movie producers, as a dangerous enterprise in a world full of spies and counter intelligence.

The game is built in such a way so as to reflect this "romantic" view of Hollywood. Players receive a job at a company that does some sort of legitimate hacking. You start with a small gateway computer and a few easy missions in which you are hired to steal data from various companies.

Between these missions, gamers will also receive plot-related jobs that indicate that a larger conspiracy is at play. The most noteworthy aspect of Uplink is that players can ignore the game story and play the various available missions, in which case the plot will resolve itself.

In order to advance in the game, there are just two imperatives that need to be met. Firstly, players must get enough money in order to upgrade the gateway, with more memory, storage space, and processing power, and the software he uses.

Secondly, a player must never get caught. There are no second chances. If you are discovered, the Uplink Corporation will sever any ties to you and you will have to start all over again.

The Bad

I shouldn’t be the one to complain. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and I must say that there a few games harder than Uplink. The game itself is not difficult per say, but the learning curve is steep and there's no room for errors. Games were a lot harder ten years ago and Uplink shows its origins.

The Good

There is no other game like it. In every other genre, there are at least two games that use the same recipe, but as hacking games go, Uplink has no competitor.

It runs perfect on most computers as it has really low hardware requirements and the atmosphere it creates is amazing, especially with that techno music that is featured extensively.


Uplink is a game that shows a piece of the golden era of gaming, back in time when people were still innovating and when creating an entire genre was not all that difficult. If you haven’t played it until now, you must buy it and enjoy it. It’s any gamer’s duty!

user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 3
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review

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