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Ctrl+U

Sophia Snow, aged 13

Twickenham, London

Platform

Desktop

About

“Ctrl+U is a unique puzzle game in which you are put into the shoes of a white-hat hacker working for the police in New York.”

In Ctrl+U (pronounced “Control-U”) you are Quinn, a white-hat hacker working for the police in New York. You start the game on your first day at work, and complete missions as you work your way up the employee ladder.

Quinn is a gender-neutral character, so the player can interpret them as either (or no) gender.

Successfully completing timed missions increases your skill level. Examples of missions are:
- Pinpointing the location of a stolen piece of art using a USB stick found at the crime scene.
- Finding the culprit of a murder using “forensic data” and “social media accounts”.
- Finding the section of source code in a website that makes it vulnerable to black-hat hackers.

Completing a level gets you skill points, and you need 10 to be promoted from “newbie” to “amateur”. There are also 3 hints per mission if you’re stuck (on the gameplay image, H=hint button).

As well as these missions, there are mini-missions which are more game-like than puzzle-like, such as shooting down viruses or catching a computer worm. Passing these mini-missions also increases your skill level.

I think Ctrl+U would be best played on a desktop computer because quite a bit of the game would be navigating an in-game laptop, for the missions. The game would mostly be a point-and-click one, but keyboard keys would be used in some instances, such as when the player needs to type things into the in-game computer.