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Nikola Brežnjak
Nikola Brežnjak

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Help me create a list of Hacker Challenge Games

Originally published on my blog


I'm looking to create a list of so-called Hacker Challenge Games that were popular in the last century. Since a lot of them are no longer available, some may light up like a Christmas tree when they see their favorite 'games' from a time that now seems soooo far away. 🎄

Come and help me gather them in the comments or, if you feel like it, submit a Pull Request 💪


Picture this: it's somewhere around Y2K, and everyone is talking about how those big white boxes aka computers) are gonna lose it and that the world is better off without them (ah, dear haters...).

It so happened that I was fortunate enough to own one of those boxes. Not only that, but one dad's friend got us all set up for this thing called The Internet. Now, mind you, I used that good 'ol awesome cool sound making 56 Kbps modem.

Anyways, I honestly don't remember how I found about these 'games'. Maybe I wanted to be a hacker after watching the cult movie with Angelina Jolie, so I Yahooed (no wonder that never stick) 'hackers' and there I was.

But what I do remember is how many countless hours I spent solving these challenges.

This was not only great because it strengthened my ability for problem-solving and never giving up, but also it made me learn new stuff like Cryptography, Steganography, Web, Cracking even 😱. Of course, it also made me learn various programming languages as some tasks were designed like that.

I was so into it, that I even made my own version - Hitman's challenge as a bachelor thesis. Those interested in it, can read it here (note: it's in Croatian).

Ah, don't ask, I think the code is awful and I'm ashamed of it now. But, a wise friend told me that that means that I've probably progressed as a developer, and progress is always a good thing. He even went so far to say that if you look back at your code from six months ago and you're happy with it, you probably haven't grown as a dev... No worries, with all the new frameworks popping up these days, you can stay busy just evaluating them, but that's a rant for some other post.

A bit later I earned my masters degree in computing, got a job and started writing REAL software. I've officially 'grown up'. Little Prince would be disappointed. 😞

However, I loved it and still to this day remember those days with joy and nostalgia. Just the other day I got this idea of checking if these old sites still exist. I was sad to find out they're no longer around. R.I.P.

So now, please help me remember what all was 'out there' back in the days. But also, please by all means - list any new that are popular these days.

The 'Hacker' games

Here I'm listing few that I remember:

Still LIVE



Back in the day, there was this one web directory that listed all of these sites, and even though the site is still up (, it doesn't seem like it's working anymore.

Sure, nowadays we have things like:

but these sites just offer the programming challenges as far as I know.


I hope I sparked some joy with this post and am really looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the comments.

As for some lingering idea: oh wouldn't it be great if we could make an open source hacker challenge game #wishfullThinking.

Top comments (4)

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

You forgot my favorite: CodinGame!

Also, for the infosec nerds,

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Oh cool. I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I look forward to the responses.

lesguillemets profile image

Although it sometimes requires python-specific techniques, python challenge came to my mind.

patsyjmoore1 profile image
Patsy J. Moore

Are you interested in a joint venture in the future?