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Hacked is a casual match three indie puzzle game from Sol Bot Studios. It reminds popular classic games like «Puzzle Bobble», «Bubble shooter» and «Bust-A-Move», but has a lot more to offer and is more multifarious. The aim is to blow up the balls placed above the cannon.
Hacked is an arcade puzzler with standard graphics for the genre. The visuals are a bit all over the place and remind of an old classics. Circuit schemes at the background, various windows and buttons create an overladen view. The Hacked graphics is not everybody’s cup of tea.
You control a cannon shooting color orbs. When this orb gets to the group of three or more balls of the same color, they explode and you gain points. The aim is to clean a playing field, eliminating all the balls of the level with minimum shots used.
Some balls have power ups within, you can recognize them by icons or effects on the balls. There are power-ups destroying nearby balls, shifting the row of balls and special power-ups for the cannon.
4 types of power ups for cannon exist:
- bullets (destroy one ball)
- grenades (destroy groups of balls in a particular radius)
- spike ball (destroy all kinds of balls on his way)
- a ghost (allows to pass through balls until the shot gets to the chain of balls of the required color)
Hacked offers a variety of modes, which is quite unusual for the genre. The levels get progressively harder. There are currently 100 levels in total. Golden stars are required to unlock some of them. You earn golden stars for different achievements, like clearing a playing field in 5 shots, instead of 8. You can choose easy, normal or hard difficulty level and a mode type. There are Standard, Marathon, consisting of series of missions, and Time Attack modes.
You can create your customized level in the built-in editor, share it on Steam and download levels constructed by other players as well.
The game is over as soon as you win or the orbs reach the bottom of the screen (which means you lose). There is a gauge on both sides of the playing field. It goes up when you miss a match three or move the cannon too frequently. The screen falls down when the gauge reaches the top of the screen.
The controls are simple and straightforward. There are hints and prompts, consistently appearing on the screen over the course of the game to keep you informed.
Replay Value 4/5
An extensive amount of levels and the achievement system gives the game a fair bit of replayability. You’ll have to spend quite a long time to achieve those golden stars and unlock new levels, so you’ll return to the game again and again.
Though the game seems dull and uncomplicated at first, you’ll find that it requires lots of logical thinking, which makes it pretty addictive.
Hacked is free of any in-game purchases. You’ll have to splurge once - spend $4.99 on the game itself.
The bottom line
Hacked is an engaging and addictive three match puzzler. This arcade game has a lot of distinguishing features, like different gaming modes and a possibility to create your own levels. It’s fun and enjoyable and has a good price tag.
Entertaining logical puzzler in the match free genre with an option of customizing your own arcade levels.
Pros : Variety of modes to play;
100 levels available;
Built-in editor for customized levels.
Cons : The visual style is not to everyone’s taste;
Replay Value 4.0