Boxed & Online Escapology

Key Enigma – Hack Forward

Hack Forward
09 January 2022
at home
3.0 out of 5.0 stars

I finally got to have a stab at trying out Key Enigma’s Hack Forward, a game I’d heard so much about! It’s one of the more expensive games out there, clocking in at just over €75 (plus international shipping, thanks Brexit!) and to be honest with you, I’m not sure it’s actually worth it. But first things first! Hack Forward is a game that combines technology with a game box. Inside, we find a myriad of objects with puzzles and riddles and hidden content, while we have to connect with a plethora of websites, emails, online chats, and more!

The premise of the game is that we have been hired to help out with a big emergency, sensitive information from several companies has been stolen and leaked, we need to find the culprits and secure the data. The game is a bit of a whirlwind, with so many websites and different puzzles to wade through, there is definitely a lot to do! Additionally, it’s split into several chapters, so you can take breaks or pick the game up another day to continue, which is very needed for a game of this length. It took me just over 6 hours to complete, definitely one of the longer games! However, I do have quite a few niggles with it.

First off, the first major puzzle didn’t work for me, the technology crapped out and didn’t do what it was supposed to. It took me over an hour, and a separate email address, to fix this error and I was off to a bad start, already feeling a bit annoyed with the game. On top of that, the dialogue isn’t great, it’s very obviously (badly) translated from Spanish, so some of the wording feels clumsy, while other parts come across as very patronising. Other bits of the tech were glitchy here and there, though most parts did function well. There were a few chat protocols I had to repeat multiple times as they were a little unstable.

I also didn’t enjoy how unbalanced the puzzles were. Some were so easy breezy, they took no time at all. Others didn’t even make sense after reading all the hints. Overall, not a bad game, but also not a great one. I’d say it sits right in the middle as far as originality, fun, and difficulty are concerned. I’m glad I got the game used as I’d be quite disappointed had I paid full price.

prices have been lowered now and aren’t quite as outrageously high anymore

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