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If you read these lines, we have good news for you: you have not yet died from a virus you know! Of the bad news, you have most likely already been asked to isolate yourself and observe quarantine when working from home. Sitting in four walls is unbearably depressing, therefore, in order not to suffer from boredom, it's time to stretch your brain with interesting tasks. Moreover, here we have a great list!
Before proceeding directly to the reviews, I must warn you about a couple of things. There will definitely not be “top-end”, large-scale games with huge budgets. And it’s not at all because we here at Hacker do not like them for some reason. Simply, as a rule, such games are intended for a mass audience. But you do not have to expect advanced knowledge in the field of computer science and computer technology from the average gamer.
Therefore, the game mechanics of such popular games are deliberately simplified so that a potential consumer, faced with things incomprehensible to him, does not fall into frustration once again and is not upset. In the worst case, this approach degenerates into the primitive Press X to hack. At the risk of incurring the wrath of the script kiddie (for which this state of affairs seems quite natural), we still excluded such projects from our selection.
However, this does not mean that further you will find exclusively "hardcore" games. We tried to put together a balanced list that would be interesting for programmers and hackers with different levels of training. The key point is that at least some basic knowledge will be required in any case. "The first player to get ready!"
- Developer: Funghisoft
- Release date: January 2017
- Languages: only English
- Price: 250 rubles (Steam)
- Where can one buy: Steam, itch.io
Readers have already reminded us of this game in comments to an article about the basics of digital circuitry. Indeed, designed in retro style, Mhrd invites the player to try on the role of an engineer – the developer of digital logic and even assemble a full-fledged 16-bit processor (as such a kind of “final boss”). Without a doubt, the creators of the game were inspired by the history of companies – pioneers of Silicon Valley (there are even some not very obvious, but funny jokes about the seventies).
MHRD deliberately braces the structure and principle of operation of a transistor – a key element of any digital circuit today. If the physics of the process, as well as the movement of holes and electrons in semiconductors are of little interest to you, you can safely put a plus to the game. Instead, MHRD focuses on the level of specific elements – AND, OR, NOT, and other valves.
Adhering to the logic of the presentation of many textbooks, the game sequentially leads you from basic operations to blocks of the multiplexer and trigger, and from them to the command decoder, registers and ALU, the key elements of the processor. At the same time, MHRD is better than ordinary textbooks due to interactivity: each scheme has not only to be synthesized from ready-made blocks using in-game HDL (Hardware Description Language), but also additionally verified – successfully run through a set of tests.
The game has a minimalistic interface and is almost completely textual. Count on a graphical representation of the digital valves on the screen here is not necessary. Instead, for more immersion in the process and era, the player is invited to use paper and a pencil and draw diagrams on this side of the monitor. And believe me, in fact it is much more exciting than it sounds in words (we recommend graph paper and a pencil with a soft core for the best result).
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