A few years ago I played Hackers & Agents for the first time with Wik’s kids at one of the ShmooCon Epilogue events. As part of my Project KidHack research I finally got around to ordering it a few weeks ago and playing a few games with the kids. The goal of the game is to bridge the gap between security and “normal” people through fun game play and side challenges. Here is the description of the game from the official site.
The world has been infiltrated with hackers who are out to steal your personal data if they can get their hands on it. The agents are well armed with forensic techniques and sworn to catch these cyberpunks.
Be the first to rid yourself of all the cards in your hand before every other player and obtain as few points as possible.
Each player scores penalty points for cards left in their hand. As soon as one player has reached 300 points the game is over and the person with the lowest score is the winner.
Game play is similar to Uno but instead of cards with Skip, Draw Two, Reverse, Wild, and Wild Draw Four you are working with Encrypted (with text you can analyze and decrypt), Log, Lead, SQL Injection (with example injection code), and Rootkit. Like Uno, Hackers & Agents also includes number cards (with its binary representation to learn from) that players add up after each round. When any player reaches 300 points, the person with the lowest score wins.
For an overview of the game with additional details check out this great video by the game’s creator Jason Bevis.
You can find this and two more videos on the Hackers & Agents YouTube channel. The official rules can be downloaded here (PDF). They also offer a booster pack for purchase that evolves game play and the security concepts being taught. And according to the website there’s a mobile version coming soon.
Overall the kids loved the game due to its simple play however my daughter’s excitement of playing “hacker” games with Dad does seem to be waning some. Plus it seems her school is typecasting the term hacker in a negative light. My son and I were quick to respond defining the difference between a good hacker and a bad hacker. Given that she just rolled her eyes I do not think our reasoning got through. 😉
Have you ever played Hackers & Agents before? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments below. Today’s post pic is from SpreadShirt.com.