Today, Introversion Software has announced the immediate availability of “Uplink” for iOS devices, with an Android build coming soon. When it debuted in 2001, ”Uplink” was Introversion Software’s first commercial release and garnered the critical and financial success that put Introversion on the map as one of the best independent game developers in the industry.
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“Uplink” is best described as a “hacker simulator”, where players attempt to hack into various servers around the globe and update their systems, all while attempting to avoid detection and getting caught. Naturally, “Uplink” boils down the complex and intricate activities of actual computer espionage down to an easy to manage interface, but considering how little thought has gone into other “hacking” games, one could still argue that “Uplink” is still the most technically accurate out of them all.
“Uplink” takes place in the year 2010 and Introversion’s predictions for the type of hardware and software people would be using in 2010 were, not surprisingly, a bit off. Still, Introversion went for a decidedly more “Hollywood” depiction of hacking, so the game doesn’t exactly feel dated in the traditional sense. For this type of game, a degree of suspension of disbelief is required, hacking in “Uplink” is a bit closer to what you’ve seen in movies like “Hackers” or “Swordfish“.
Introversion Software is a small group of developers who once called themselves “The Last of the Bedroom Programmers”, due to the fact that they literally worked out of their homes. Between their humble beginnings and small core team, Introversion has always maintained an excellent relationship with the community. This relationship has been bolstered by Introversion’s unique and somewhat experimental method of software distribution: all of their games are multi-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac OS) and rely largely on direct digital sales from Introversion themselves.
Introversion has even made the source code to their various games available for sale on their site, so anyone who is interested in improving or porting their software can do so for a small fee. In fact, this source code purchase program resulted in some early work on porting “Uplink” to Android last year.
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Introversion’s unique and community focused way of doing business has not always been easy: Introversion has always teetered on the edge of bankruptcy between game releases. But even with these hardships, Introversion has remained true to their core values and continue to operate on their own rather than being absorbed by a larger development company. Introversion has since gone on to release the highly successful “Darwinia” and “DEFCON“, with their latest game “Prison Architect” slated for release this year.
If you’re looking to support a dedicated and skilled independent game developer, spend a few dollars in the Introversion Software Store, you won’t regret it.