5 Games With A Hackable Alter Ego

Hackable Games" is kind of a new (made-up) term that we have been using here at Mozilla for the last couple of months to describe games that like the web itself are hackable by design.  However, as you already know if you are a gamer, “hackability” in games is not something new.

From the early days of Text Adventures and Starcarft to recent hits like Little Big Planet and Minecraft (umm have you seen WesterosCraft this week?) people enjoy modding, remixing and hacking games to make their own versions. 

In this post I will share some games I am currently playing that I find so hackabl-y inspiring. I hope you enjoy playing them and use them as an inspiration to go hack some games yourself.

#1 Twine by Chris Klimas.

Twine is a tool that lets you generate sort of Choose Your Own Adventure games. It has a super simple interface that looks like this;

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and is perfect for building narrative based games by twining and un-twining your story parts together. Once you are done you can publish your story as a series of HMTL pages.

But the best part is that you can actually hack HTML, CSS and Javascript into your story parts, just like this;

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If you want to get started with Twine Anna Anthropy has shared some awesome tutorials on her site. Meanwhile you should play The Vermin Throne  a great Twine game that came out of last weekends Global Game Jam.

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Vermin Throne Photo Credits: PC gamer

#2 Storyteller by Daniel Benmergui

This award winning gem of a game by Daniel Benmergui, who you might also know from I Wish I Were the Moon is a puzzle game where you build your own visual stories. This game stands out not only for the elegant comic like way of stitching your stories together but also the smart and funny constraints it gives you to kickstart your game-making; for example each level has a goal like “make a murder of jealousy.”

#3 ROM Check Fail by Farbs

Fellow Mozillian Bobby Richter introduced me to this game last week and it’s concept won me over.  It was like a Hackable Gamers’ dream… if loud and glitchy graphics are your style anyway. ROM Check Fail is a mashup of all your favorite arcade games together randomly alternating between levels. 

#4 Wave Trip by Lucky Frame

Combining music creation with game making is as good as it gets IMHO. In this minimal game you control a mysterious and wonderful geometric astronaut as she travels through worlds of unimaginable beauty and danger, saving her friends through the medium of awesome tunes. 

Meanwhile you can create your own levels just like writing a piece of music.

If you like this sort of games, you should also check out the critically acclaimed and beautifully designed Soundshapes.

#5 Katamari Hack by Alex Leone, David Nufer, and David Truong

In Katamari Hack you roll a ball just like in Katamari Damacy to collect all the text and images in your webpage. (Below I just killed the NYT page)

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Similar to the viral KickAss App and the internetz favorite for the week  "New Anonymous Hack Lets You Shoot Up Government Sites with a Nyan Cat Spaceship" , this kinds of games have been super inspiring to me lately- so much that I started doodling around with some ideas here. I love the concept of looking at ordinary web pages through a creative lens and using the web as a game canvas.

I am hoping to start prototyping these ideas soon, meanwhile looking forward to any additions for games with a hackable alter ego in the comments below. Till next time I leave you with a bonus item; this Retro Unicorn Swim game has the bestest & brightest hackable alter ego of them all :)

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