I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time, and finally I’ve been able to. Behold – Ruckingenur! (roughly german for Reverse Engineer, or so the internet tells me.) Combining real life electronics concepts with a few made up technologies (such as iDBG), you can now experience the fun and excitement of hacking fake consumer and industrial hardware (or something like that).

Help is built into the game in the form of an OMG I AM TOTALLY LOST” button, although here’s a brief overview: use the Zachtronics Industries hypermeter to measure and override voltages at test points on the circuit board; look up datasheets for the various chips to figure out what everything does; use the iDBG interface to connect directly to chips, giving you the ability to read and write from data, status, and control registers; use the terminal to connect to more advanced devices, such as computers (not used in this episode). Aside from opening the blast door, there are a few other things on the board you can reverse engineer, such as the LCD and other pins on the chips – try to figure them out!

Unless you’re somewhat familiar with electronics, you’ll probably find this game a little confusing. You’ve been warned.

Download Ruckingenur

19 Comments to Ruckingenur

  1. David's Gravatar David
    August 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    For some reason I can’t see the whole screen – the RHS is outside the window. I can’t expand the window to allow me to read it. Shame – looks like a fun prog!

  2. Danny's Gravatar Danny
    August 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    same here. any fixes??

  3. Zach's Gravatar Zach
    August 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    That’s a really strange problem. If you post a screenshot up on imageshack or something, I might be able to tell you what’s going on by looking at it.

  4. Zach's Gravatar Zach
    August 25, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to guess that it’s a problem tied to your resolution being too low. The window is more than 1024 pixels wide, and it looks like Windows isn’t letting you have a window bigger than your desktop. The only (obvious) thing I can think of is to play on a computer with a larger resolution. To be honest, you’re not missing much – Ruckingenur II is much better, and has puzzles in the beginning that are very similar to the one puzzle in Ruckingenur.

  5. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    August 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I need a hint. I beat the entire episode 2 game, all 4 chapters, in about an hour (it was REALLY fun btw). For some reason I just can’t get this one. I can reset. I can unlock the system. I can hold _error high or low and generate the bad scan. I tried forward and reverse and word reverse key entry. Nothing. Please please hint. Thanks.

  6. R4NDOM's Gravatar R4NDOM
    August 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I think you are an amazing programmer. What a great idea with this and #2. So great to have someone combine electronics and games. # BUT, being as we’re not all electronic geniuses, can we have a hint for the Supar Secure lock. I have papers covered with diagrams, schematics, DBG info, everything. (I would obviously be a very bad crook.) I am addicted but please help a little. Anyone?

  7. Theliterit's Gravatar Theliterit
    August 26, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Try rebooting the game and then viewing the idbg before you scan your finger.

  8. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    August 27, 2008 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Ugh so that’s a tool that I didn’t realize was in the toolbox. My assumption was that the datasheet that showed the reset line coupled with the lcd output when that line was pulled low would actually reboot the circuit. Looks like I was wrong. Time to play again.

  9. Geko's Gravatar Geko
    August 27, 2008 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    If you’re stuck, you may already know, but you can change whether you pull high or low on the 4 points by clicking on 0V or 5V (whatever is displayed). # I figured its worth mentioning because i played for some time not knowing this and started to think it was impossible after i brute forced half the combinations of switches…

  10. b00n's Gravatar b00n
    August 27, 2008 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    the name sounds funny and because i am from germany i think you mean. (zu)rück-Ingenieur. But nevermind.. # I just wanna let you know that it’s not possible to play that first game under Linux. # I tryed Ruckingenur II who was performing perfect under wine. Next time plz support that kind of games under linux. kthxbye. 😀

  11. Zach's Gravatar Zach
    August 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    You’re all pretty dead-on with what’s wrong with this game – keep in mind that this version of Ruckingenur is a very early prototype that I made about three years ago. If you look between the two versions, you’ll notice some neat improvements, such as “physically” connecting the board to the hacking tool via the probes for better logical feedback, along with not having “hidden states” that trap the player without their knowing (i.e. the fingerprint scanner).

  12. R4NDOM's Gravatar R4NDOM
    August 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the help guys. I did figure it out. I noticed that people have talked about there being more than one “chapter” or “episode” in Ruckingenur I, although when I downloaded the game, when you finish the first level, it doesn’t let me move on. Are you supposed to download the different episodes seperately? Or am I missing something in the game that allows you to move on?

  13. Zach's Gravatar Zach
    August 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Ruckingenur I is a tech demo, and only consists of a single level (the Supar Secure lock). # Ruckingenur II is a full game. It was originally intended to be 7 levels, but I ended up cutting it down to just 4 so that I could actually complete it. These four levels make up Episode 1 of Ruckingenur II; I plan to release additional episodes with additional levels (see Half-Life 2). # I plan to tackle a lot of other common questions that have popped up recently in a post in the next few days.

  14. David's Gravatar David
    August 28, 2008 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I managed to get Ruckingenur to work by adding a second screen to my laptop and extending the screen. This solved the issue with the cut-off on the right hand side. I wonder whether for the sake of compatibility, the screen size required should be kept at less than 1024 *768 as many users will have this as default. Excellent game though, can’t wait for the next episodes.

    September 13, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    it says error when i try to install!! 🙂 Its a good game , i cant use it????

  16. September 14, 2008 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    That was a seriously fun puzzle game. Made me kinda wanna do this stuff. 🙂 Thanks man

  17. quadrapod's Gravatar quadrapod
    October 2, 2008 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    i got it on my first try but you can actually lose at this one and wont know it.

  18. GermanEngineer's Gravatar GermanEngineer
    March 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    the word Ruckingenur does not exist in German, its more like Rück Ingenieur.
    But i guess u have a problem with our Ü character, to write Rueck is ok too.
    How ever nobody would use this word, we would call that reverse Engineer, because Rück Ingenieur Sounds stupid :-), and every Engineer here speaks English, or at least should…
    T-Shirts with the Printing of “reenignE esreveR” are often found.
    and btw. great game, keep on the good work!

  19. October 4, 2010 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Actually, its called “Rückingenieur” in German. (I am German, you know) Funny thing reading the title and then reading that it had to be German… Well, nice game though.