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To cheat or not to cheat?

To cheat or not to cheat? That is the question. When PC games are making a mockery of your 3 a.m. sanity, who hasn`t been tempted with the thought of all those sneak-cheats floating around the Web? Allan Glogauer gives in to his little red devil and gives UHS Web and Reader a go… (with heartfelt apologies to Shakespeare, of course).
A dramatic Gadget review, in four acts, with prologue:
To cheat or not to cheat? That, as Hansie has highlighted to us recently, is indeed the question. In those wretched midnight hours, as an impossibly difficult game plays out its mockery on your PC`s screen, who amongst us has not been tempted? Who has not heard the dark voices urging us to discreetly log onto the Net in the dead of night, access all the cheats you need to solve the infernal game, and stash them quickly in a Word document for retrieval at some later time?
Stand aside, all ye whose gaming conscience be pure! For in this Gadget review, I`m about to unveil a tool designed for… cheating! Yes, fellow gamers, an earnest decision faces you now. Read on, and you will know a path to easy cheats. For many of you, this may not be the first time, nor the only path you have taken to cheater-dom.
(Dramatic music builds:) But for those of you without a stain or your gamer`s record, look away. For you may not survive the temptation posed by (pause for dramatic effect) the Universal Hint System (UHS) Web site and the UHS Reader!
Act 1: Is it ready to use?
Finding hints to a whole bunch of games is as simple as pointing your browser to Once there, you`re presented with a large list of games.
Select the game you`re stumped on, and follow the hints as far as you dare. The beauty of the UHS system is the valid and important distinction made between “hints”” and “”cheats””. The UHS folk know that it`ll ease your conscience, and make your gameplay a whole lot more enjoyable, if they deliver “”hints”” bit by bit rather than blabbing an entire “”spoiler”” all over your screen in one unstrategic and tactless move. This way you`ll be able to learn just enough to solve a puzzle yourself – albeit with a little help – rather than having that privilege swept out from under you quicker than you can say “”Hansiegate””.
Act 2: Is it easy to use?
You`ll be able to access as many hints as you like on the UHS web site, but you have to remain online to do so. Enter the UHS Reader, a just-short-of-1-Meg downloadable, self-extracting file. Download it from , and give it a coupla clicks to install it.
The Reader allows you to download all the hints for a particular game in one swallow, and to stow them away until your patience has run out and you`re in need of a helping hand. The reader also uses the same hint-by-hint methodology used by the site, but won`t allow you to access the very last hints of games until you`ve paid a $20 registration fee.
Act 3: Does it work as advertised?
Yes, exactly. Both the UHS Web and the Reader provide you with only as much info as you want. It`s easy to download the hint files you need, and the interface is simple and user-friendly enough. The Reader also allows you to search the hints file for certain words, and a few other tricks.
Act 4: Is it value for money?
Visiting the Web site costs absolutely nothing. If you really do log on to get just one hint at a time, and you find you keep going back for more and more hints, then you may well want to shell out the $20 for the Reader. That way, your housemates won`t hear the telltale sounds of your modem begging for help when you`re in a tight spot…”

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