Niche Spotlight – EXAPUNKS: Hack Everything

This is Niche Spotlight. In this column, we regularly introduce new games to our fans, so please leave feedback and let us know if there’s a game you want us to cover!

Today’s Spotlight is about EXAPUNKS, the latest game by Zachtronics, the indie developer behind such hits as Opus Magnum, Shenzhen I/O, and Spacechem.

As with many of their previous titles, EXAPUNKS is an open-ended puzzle game that also doubles as a teaching tool. It’s the far distant, dystopian future of 1997. You are an elite hacker looking to retire, until you contract the phage.

You are given a deal you can’t refuse: one hack for one dose of medicine. Program viruses and hack into banks, universities, TV stations, factories, and even your own body. You can check out a trailer above.

EXAPUNKS is available on Windows PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and the Humble Store for $19.99.

Here’s a rundown of the game:

The year is 1997. You used to be a hacker, but now you have the phage. You made a deal: one hack, one dose. There’s nothing left to lose… except your life.

EXAPUNKS is the latest open-ended puzzle game from Zachtronics, the creators of Opus Magnum, SHENZHEN I/O, TIS-100, and more.

Key Features:

  • READ ZINES – Learn to hack from TRASH WORLD NEWS, the underground computer magazine. Tutorials, hacking tips, secret information, searing commentary— TRASH WORLD NEWS has you covered.
  • WRITE VIRUSES – Program your EXAs (EXecution Agents) to tear through networks, replicate themselves, trash files, terminate other EXAs— and leave without a trace.
  • HACK EVERYTHING – Hack banks, universities, factories, TV stations, highway signs, game consoles, the government… oh yeah, and your own body.
  • SLACK OFF – Play ПАСЬЯНС, if you hack the server where it’s stored. Or play HACK*MATCH, if you hack the region lock on your Sawayama WonderDisc. Or create your own homebrew games for the TEC Redshift… if you hack the development kit.
  • TAKE DOWN YOUR FRIENDS – Compete with your friends by running your programs directly against theirs in all-out hacker battles. Make every cycle count.
  • CREATE YOUR OWN PUZZLES – Create your own networks to hack, and share them with the world on Steam Workshop.

If you’re a developer and want your game showcased on Niche Spotlight, please contact us!

Frank Streva


Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.