Average Playtime: 3 hours


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"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." - Edward Snowden

Mainlining is a thrilling point and click hacking adventure that mixes dark and dry humour with a gripping narrative that will have you hooked from the very first case. Following the government's introduction of the BLU Pill Act and the Secret Intelligence Service's reintroduction of MI7, all online personal data is accessible by the powers that be. Mainlining questions techno-ethics and whether it is acceptable for an organisation to have the power to look at personal data. What if someone else got the key to that?

Mainlining and its BLU Pill Act mirrors what's happening in our own world. On November 4th 2015 the The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill was discussed in the British Parliament's House of Commons for the very first time. It’s likely that the bill will be passed sometime in 2016, meaning that domestic mobile and broadband providers will be forced to assist authorities with gathering data and storing it for a year. The police and security services will have access to the top line of the UK’s population browsing history, as well as knowing what apps have been used.

Referred to in the popular media as “the Snooper’s Charter” and opposed by a number of civil and human rights organisations, the Investigatory Powers Bill is positioned to aid security forces in tracking terrorists and serious cyber criminals who use increasingly sophisticated online methods. 

Mainlining is a refreshing take on the traditional point and click adventure. The entire game takes place on the simulated desktop of the protagonist’s computer. Assuming the role of a newly recruited MI7 agent and working within the remit of the Blu Pill Act, the player must use their skill, judgement and cunningness to gather evidence by hacking suspects’ computers and phones.

As a MI7 operative your primary objectives are to ensure the perpetrator’s arrest and that the courts have sufficient evidence to hand out the longest custodial sentences possible. However, you’ll also have to make judgements on whether the case you're working on is complete. Move in too quickly and you may miss leads linking your case to much higher profile cyber-criminals. Act too slowly and your suspect may detect you and escape.

In excess of five hundred known criminals are known to operate within your jurisdiction, who will you investigate?

The driving force behind Rebelephant is British-born developer and designer, Sam Read. Highlighted by internationally renowned publication Develop as one of the 30-under-30 to watch out for, Sam has already tasted success as a key member of the HyperSloth team and their critically acclaimed first-person adventure, Dream. Owner of Rebelephant, Sam is responsible for the design, direction and coding of Mainlining.

To fit in with the game's 2009, feel Rebelephant has called upon the artistic talents of Dave Grey who, in his own words, "Makes things with pixels. Like games and stories and things". Dave's previous collaborations include Microsoft and HBO.

Mainlining relies heavily on an energetic narrative that draws the player into the game, blurring the lines between reality and the imaginary world of MI7. Rebelephant wasted no time and called upon one of the best scriptwriters in the business, Canadian novelist Jill Murray. Jill was nominated for Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Video Game Writing for her work on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and won the award for scriptwriting on Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation.

For the final part of the jigsaw Rebelephant has drafted in the sublime audio talents of Jared Emerson­-Johnson. BAFTA nominated, Jared's scores include Telltale Games' Sam & Max series, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales From the Borderlands and Game of Thrones.

Release date
Merge Games
Age rating
13+ Teen

System requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows 7 or better
  • Processor: Intel i3 2.6GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 400 MB available space
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Last Modified: Nov 19, 2019

Where to buy

Nintendo Store

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Mainlining - Trailer
Jan 26, 2017
Mainlining - On hack, on espionne, on pose des traqueurs... On bosse pour le gouvernement ! [FR]
Jan 31, 2017
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Mainlining reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
There is only one Reason why I can't recommend Mainlining to anyone: It's super linear. Ok that's not a Problem at first. A Game can be good if there is only one Final Solution or narratively the same thing always comes out. This is not the Case here, by the way, you can arrest each Mission one of three Crimean Minelles. Why you can't book all three and why you always find two smaller ones on the Way to the self-sought. The Problem with Mainlaining is that the Way to Solve it always has only one Way. In a Game about Information, there is not enough Information! You should find something out of XYZ? Yeah ok. Either is far too easy: I have two Documents. One in which he confesses and one in which stands that his Dog has made racing. WHAT WIRDS WOHL BE?! Or there's a lot to be cloked: Oh, I'm just supposed to type random ne email addresse. Ja ok da was talked about by nem strip club called Fishers. My first Idea now is not to hope that there is a ne homepage. Especially not when the Game has taught you to pay attention to links. You have to keep guessing. Extended not advised correctly? Well, bad Luck doesn't go any further. Nor should we guess too well. If you advise a Step too far, the Game says that's not possible. Only Works when you advise at the right Time. Which you don't usually do anymore. Won't Go the first time! Mainlining makes Titles like Uplink, Hacknet and Orwell, all of which have weakened, seem like flawless Wonder games.
Translated by
Microsoft from Spain
Decent, but definitely the game is not worth €10, I bought in the summer sales at 2.50 and still think it's too much. (or think about buying the Deluxe Edition, you can find virtually any OST of a game in the files of the same, if not, on Spotify) It'S a pretty simple game in terms of graphics, It could run on any toaster. The Soundtrack is good, though something repetitive. The gameplay reminds a little of Papers, Please. One case after another in which you have to find the suspect, his location and evidence of the crime through a program called "Mainline" (which is suspiciously similar to the cmd of any computer). As you advance in the game you are getting new programs that will help you to solve the cases, such as Tracking Map and SkyBox. And others you have from the beginning as the Notes (which in my opinion is practically useless). It got something more interesting when Oswalt us goodbye to think that we are the murderer of Cooper, what I did not just convince is that immediately we have another computer and someone who sends us the files to get out of that trouble, could have done something to lengthen A little and put more tension I say. [FIN SPOILER] Not bad, but the cases are too short if you've already played video games of this type and you know where to look and read from each file. I give it a 6.5/10 basically because it is very short and the story is very better. If you are interested in Hackerman type games because you have never played one, this is a good start. Of Course, if you don't mind that the game is completely in English.
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