This text-based game lets you assume the deplorable role of a thieving computer hacker, but it doesn't seem ready for prime time. Though Hack the Universe provides a text window that tells you how to play, actually operating the game requires you to dig around a bit and can be confusing. Basically, you select target IP addresses based on news tips, crack passwords, and steal money and information before being detected. You can use your ill-gotten gains to improve your computer, but the demo only lets you earn a certain amount. As you might expect the graphics are below average, and the background music quickly grows tiresome. You can choose to disable the sound, but that's really the only customization option to speak of. Stability was an issue in our tests. Hack the Universe opens both a play window and a control-center window, but when we tried to switch between them, the text and graphics from one ended up displayed on the other. Eventually, we had to disable the game via the Task Manager. Disgruntled computer geeks might take a chance on this game, so long as they don't let it influence their real-world activities.