Hacker is a 1985 computer game by Activision. It was designed by Steve Cartwright, produced by Brad Fregger and was released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari XL/XE, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX and ZX Spectrum. The game was released two years after the release of the film WarGames, when computer hacking and computer security were in the limelight. Despite this, Cartwright has stated that WarGames was no influence on the Hacker project.
The player takes the part of the hacker, a person experienced in breaking into "secure" computer systems who accidentally acquires access to a non-public system. If they can hack in, they can gain control of nifty gadgets and access a secret global network. The game was shipped with hardly any instructions to get the game going, and no information on how to play, this gave the player the feeling that he/she did hack into a system.
The player has to try to hack into the Magma, Ltd. computer system at the beginning of the game by guessing the logon password. Typing help or h in the command line would give a clue as to what the valid password is. Since first attempts at entry would be based on guess work access would eventually be granted to the player due a malfunction in the security system, allowing the player to enter. Once in the system, the player is then asked to identify various parts of a robot unit. Most parts of the unit have exotic and technical names, such as "asynchronous data compactor" or "phlamson joint" this again makes it more likely that the player will fail because he/she has to guess which part each name belongs to. Failure to identify each part correctly, without any errors cause the player to have to start again. only once the player has identified each part without failure can he/she move on.
The player gains control of the robot which can travel around the globe via secret tunnels, deep within the earth. The game's text says the robot is powered in some manner by magma.
Before getting far, the player is informed that shredded portions of a secret document containing Magma, Ltd.'s plans for world domination have been stolen. The player is instructed to retrieve the document by bargaining with the spies who stole it, who are located at various locations throughout the globe. The player is warned it must be retrieved in order to prevent the US government from thwarting their plans. At this point, the player's objective is clear: retrieve the strips of the stolen document, but then deliver them to Washington DC.
The rest of the game consists of hacking further into the Magma system and trying to evade being discovered by them while trying to stop them.
The game doesn't feature a save option so if the played fails he/she must start all over again.