Sawbuck Gamer

Newbie Conviction

War, What Is It Good For?

Newbie Conviction sucks you into a war without your knowing.

By Steve Heisler • December 11, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

There’s a battle being waged outside your room—outside your sad-sack shack with nothing but a corkboard, a foldout mattress, and a giant computer that’s powered by a reel-to-reel machine and a piano keyboard. Though you wouldn’t really know it playing Newbie Conviction. You’re a hacker, fighting with your fingers as a grizzled general occasionally pops in to keep you posted on how your progress is helping the cause. You might not see any actual battle, but you’re prepared nonetheless: You wear a gas mask for protection, sport a cape for last-minute vigilantism, and keep a bong at hand for…emergency rations.

Your work ethic doesn’t suffer from your physical quarantine or your foggy brain. The game demands a mix of linguistic prowess and spatial awareness. Sometimes you do a word jumble to determine the enemy’s password while you protect a friendly fighter on your radar. Sometimes you fire lasers at bogies while you secure computer nodes with your words.

At first, these little games come off as a tacked-on element to make the hacking more interesting, and it doesn’t help that each game requires practice and a working knowledge of the in-game manual. But as the difficulty increases, so too does the importance of getting things right. There are few clues as to what this war is about, and there are fewer clues as to your progress. The best thing to do is keep your head down and work. For the good of the cause, whatever it is.

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795 Responses to “War, What Is It Good For?”

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Well, good thing I bought it for $5 rather than my complicity with the corporate machine…

      -rages about it regardless-

  1. Effigy_Power says:

    Don’t play it with a word-searchbar that automatically opens up if you type. It fucks up the whole thing. Massively.

  2. lianche114 says: