Cyberpunk Review » Uplink

March 1, 2007


Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2001

Developed by: Introversion Software

Published by: Introversion Software (Win, Linux), Ambrosia Software (Mac)

Platforms: Windows, Linux, OS-X

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Rating: 9 out of 10


Uplink: We pwn the world


THE FIRST TRUE HACKING SIM: Some might argue that hacking simulations have been around long before Uplink. Activision’s Hacker can be called one, but the “hacking” there is only a pretext for the real game within. Uplink, on the other hand, is all hacking. OK, the hacking is more reminiscent of Hollywood’s idea of hacking from WarGames and such, but the hacking is what Uplink is all about; No lame pretext to “save the world.”


OVERVIEW: March, 2010. After hearing rumors and searching the Internet, you finally found a public access server for the secretive Uplink Corporation, whose “agents” are hackers hired to break into systems to accomplish different goals. After registering as an agent, you need to prove your skills with a test mission, then you can pick from different missions with different difficulties, and work your way up the agent ranks to become a Terminal hacker.

The missions range from simply breaking into systems to steal or delete a file. Then, you get to crash mainframes, commit identity fraud, and make secret bank transfers. At the highest levels, you get to swipe entire databases off high-security LANs and frame innocent people for cybercrimes. There are banking systems, LANs, a Social Security database, a Global Academic database, and a Global Criminal database to hack. Fortunately, Uplink has a “corporate store” where agents can buy needed software like password breakers, security bypassers, decyphering and decryption tools, and hardware upgrades for their gateways.



Choose your missions, and hack your way to the elite ranks.


A STORY BEHIND THE HACKING: About mid-March, you receive a message from the now-deceased top agent that the Andromeda Research Corporation, or ARC, is working on a project called Revelation. If you act on the information in the message, you get to take part in the storyline and even can choose the fate of the Internet. ARC wants to destroy the Net, while a rival company, Arunmor, wants to stop them. Whose side will you choose?


HACKING… HOLLYWOOD STYLE: As mentioned before, the “hacking” is more out of the movies than any real hacking, which offten involves quite a bit of research and social engineering. You work with a Windows-like point-click-drag interface to get your work done, though taking down mainframes requires use of the system’s command-line console . Some hacker purists would probably take exception with the way hacking is depicted in Uplink, but whose to say what hacking will be like in 2010 as opposed to, say, 1995. The focus is what you do on the inside of targeted systems.


A TRIBUTE TO CYBERPUNK: There are many secrets in Uplink to discover, such as the many secret systems that pay homage to cyberpunk culture: Steve Jackson Games, OCP, Protovision,… even Introversion. Even the voice recognition on some high-security systems pays tribute: My voice is my passport, verify me.



Lost yourself in a LAN? The admin will find you soon enough…


MODIFICATIONS: Introversion has been selling a CD with the Uplink source code for a while, and fans have been able to make mods and add-ons since version 1.31 came out. Add-ons include custom gateways, additional company and agent names, agent photos, and modifications to the basic game including the F.B.I. mod that replaces the Global Criminal Database with the “Fubared, Bungling Idiots” agency, and uMP3 where users can create a custom MP3 playlist to replace the in-game music.

Some people may have seen a version of Uplink in stores called “Uplink: Hacker Elite” from Strategy First. This is the exact same game as Uplink, but due to a bankruptcy filing by Strategy First resulting in non-payment of royalties to Introversion, plus their alteration of the code to make U:HE incompatible with mods, Uplink fans and Introversion itself do not support Hacker Elite and advise to not buy it.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Uplink is one of those rare games that does more than redefine a genre, it actually creates one. Since its release in 2001, there have been several others that attempted to duplicate Uplink’s cult success. Unfortunately, they can’t hold a candle to Uplink, not even to light its farts. ;) (One hacking sim, Street Hacker, comes a distant second to Uplink.)

I would have given Uplink a perfect 10 if had more variety of missions, but that’s what fan mods are for. Uplink is one game that is a MUST HAVE for any cyberpunk fan. Its many secrets should keep any hacker-agent occupied for some time, and the modifications out there only add to its replayability. Just make sure you steer clear of the Strategy First version and get it directly from Introversion or Ambrosia.

Happy hacking, agents!

This post has been filed under Cyberpunk Games by Mr. Roboto.


March 1, 2007

wiredcoma said:

I saw a trailer for this a while back on Steam. Looked interesting, but until now I completely forgot about it.

SFAM said:

Great review, Mr. Roboto :)

I really like the graphics approach to this - seems to really add something to the hacking, which on the face of it seems like a hard thing to “game.”

Caelum said:

You might be getting this confused with DefCon: Everybody Dies (a thermonuclear war sim that looks very similar and came out via Steam a few months ago)

This game was released by Ambrosia, who usually does their own marketing & distribution.

Vesper said:

Yay :D Finally, Uplink reviewed ;) and in great style! Solely reading the review makes me crave for another session of cybercrimez0ring ;]

BUY THAT GAME! and take a look at other Introversion games… They’re totally worth it :)

Vesper said:

@ Caelum

Hehe, true - the map makes things look similar, doesn’t it? ;)

Nothing like a direct hit in the morning ^___^

zenaphex said:

Imagine a 3D version of this. If you were caught soon enough you will hear choppers and sirens outside your comfy little home so you have to escape the feds on foot or whatever. Think of Second Life + GTA in a whole Hackers movie concept.

March 2, 2007

Bionicman said:

I’ve downloaded demo and I like it:)

RabidZombie said:

@ Caelum

You’re wrong. Both Defcon and Uplink are on Steam. Even better, both are made by the same people (introversion), and Ambrosia do both the Mac ports.

So, this game was released by Ambrosia, but only the Mac version. The Windows version is on Steam and the Introversion website. (

March 3, 2007

Dehydratedsnow said:

Introversion games are great. I mean all of them so far. Although available on Steam you can find old boxes of the all over in clearance sections as it seems few people know about them.

They recently stated that they are interested in releasing games on the Xbox360 Live Arcade. No specifics yet, but if their current games are released on XBLA I will be buying additional copies of each game.

March 26, 2007

Sir_Max said:

great review :D, it’s good to see other people that likes this game…

it’s really a game worth playing, although i would liked a wider range of mission, it’s entertaining and keeps a really good CP theme.. and certainly i agree with you about “Street Hacker”, it’s way far behind uplink…

i have just find this web so you will see me often


April 9, 2008

DonVito said:

Didi someone played Street Hacker?? I think that it is from the same creators. If someone find some walkthroughs to this one i would apreciate!

April 13, 2008

Huh said:

They very clearly say they’ve played Street Hacker and it’s a much worse game than this. Not from the same developers at all! Why would you think so? There’s no walkthrough for this it’s an easy game, just do the tutorial and then it’s easy to do the rest.

May 26, 2008

mourad said:

je vx se logiciele comment je px lavoir

July 24, 2008

GHOST said:


mourad utilise un soft P2P genre µTorrent et download le jeux sur “The pirate” cherche surtout une version ripé(il y en a une sur “summotorrent”)

fait gaffe ta besoin d’un serial pur le jeux

bon je vous laisse les potos cyberpunk :)

August 26, 2008

Hack said:

apakah anda mempunyai situs temtang member para hacker cracker

December 1, 2008

tweezer said:

wer can i download demo

December 24, 2008

5kVm8 said:

This game is classic!

January 11, 2009

khalid said:


July 2, 2009

kobra said:

Another game I liked very much is HackTheGame. It’s an old school - hacking - ms-dos style - game, and very cool.

July 11, 2009

Chicago said:

Moi je m’appelle chicago et je sui un professionel de hacking pour ceux ki veulent avoir quelques cours de hacking qu’ils m’acrivent a l’adresse suivante

September 7, 2009

autopilot said:

Any thoughts on how the new Hacker Evolution games stack up against Uplink?

They certainly have better graphics and sounds/music.

But I have a hard time playing a game where I have to input console commands. I do enough of that already ;)

September 12, 2009

Cheq said:

Check out this website… it has the full game..i downloaded man !!

September 24, 2009

JestedSniper said:

If you want more missions, and more of everything, check out Onlink. They use , its sort of like uplink 2

March 7, 2010

silencefreedom said:

Uplink is a great game (way better than Hacker Evolution), pretty easy to play. I completed all lvl in 2 hours only. The concepts of hacking similar to some cyberpunk movies I have watched.

Not like real life hacking, you have to research or know your targets well, in here u just doing the “guess” job only. Of course the concept is the same as real hacking (I’m not saying it’s bad, but nothing is perfect). In real hacking involves more works in scanning ya target (just saying from my experience)

April 22, 2010

Sniper said:

Well, it is fun for quite a time, but soon it just gets boring. You get all the bypassers and pwn everyone and everything. But the main thing is, it’s simply not real! Try Street Hacker next, I say.

May 30, 2010

Sostenutos said:

@Caelum, in one of the most extreme cases of necroposting possible:

Defcon: Everybody Dies is also made by Introversion. That is all.

August 9, 2010

Doh! said:

People, I do not know if you realize that this game was “initially” made by one man, as far as I remember. I think the music was provided by somebody else, great tunes! I wonder if they are the same in the commercial Uplink. Why do I write about commercial Uplink? Well, the game was initially free! That’s right! And then somebody from the game industry saw it and thought - let’s make money of it. They bought the rights and sold probably a slightly modified version. How do you like that?

July 20, 2011

R4x2 said:

Where is Snatcher?

August 10, 2011

Zone said:

I played this the first day it came out. 10 years later, i still play it from time to time.

This game really is timeless, a triumph for all indie companies to take notes from!


November 11, 2011

Mark Slisz (Merlock7237) said:

here is the link for a complete walkthrough for the game STREET HACKER!!!…UPLINK is an awesome game but i believe STREET Hacker is more releastic than uplink especially with the console enviroment, having to infiltrate buildings, and the gear is off the chain.

June 12, 2012

TheFUUMan said:

Nice Programme do you have a Hacking Company ( Hacking Banks / Emails / Others ) Can i Join XD

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