Memory Lane: Episode 1 - Hill Climb Racing

Kicking off the series, the first game we’ll be looking at is Hill Climb Racing. Our strategy for today will be simple memory editing.

The first thing I’ll need to do is reset my progress in the game. This is easily accomplished by opening up the game, signing out of Google Play Games, then going into settings and clearing data for the app.

Here we are - a completely clean slate.

Hill Climb Racing, with progress reset

Act 1: Hacking coins

First things first, let’s jump into the first level and collect some coins. I’d like to start with a number high enough that it’s relatively unique and thus easier to scan for, so I start by playing the game legitimately until I crash or run out of fuel.

After crashing for the first time

I’m left with 20,120 coins. I pause the game, and open GameGuardian.

After crashing for the first time

After selecting Hill Climb Racing as the target, I tap the Search icon in the top right.

Selecting the search icon

I search for the value “20120”, selecting the “auto” method.

Searching for 20120 Selecting the "auto" method

After the first search I’m left with 191 results. I grab a few coins until I have a new number - 20,255 coins - then search for it.

Searching for 20255

Unfortunately, this yields no results. I’m not sure why - it could be protection, or (more likely) coins aren’t recorded in memory the way I thought they would be.

Let’s try again, but instead of searching for the amount of coins while in-game, we’ll search while in the vehicle upgrade screen.

The upgrade screen

I’ll do an initial search for the current amount of coins - 20515 - yielding 110 results.

Searching for 20515 Results page

Once again, I jump into the game and collect a few coins before crashing.

Crashing again

Now I search for 23585, but this time… success!

Searching for 23585 Results page

We are left with a single address, which I save by hitting the save icon. Then I tap the top result, and a window pops up that allows me to change the value.

The modify value screen

Let’s try setting it to 2 billion coins.

The modify value screen, setting 2 billion coins Success - 2 billion coins

And we’ve done it - we now have more coins than you could ever need.

Fun fact - purchasing 80,000,000 coins using in-app purchases costs $84.99. Upgrading everything in the game costs approximately 200,000,000 coins (or about $212.48, if you were able to purchase exactly that many). Following that logic, we have $2,124.75 worth of coins. Not bad!

Act 2: Hacking gems

Next up, we should figure out how to modify how many gems we have. Gems are used to purchase boosts, which allow you to get a small burst of speed when used. Frustratingly, the price of boosts goes up significantly as you purchase more of them - getting a single boost costs 30 gems, but getting 10 costs 1650 gems.

The process will be exactly the same. We start this challenge with 16 gems…

Starting out with 16 gems

Searching for 16 gems Results page

…and end up with 536,500 results. Rinse and repeat with 17 gems…

Searching for 17 gems Results page

This time we have only 816 results. Getting closer!

Searching for 18 gems Results page

One more should do it…

Searching for 19 gems Results page

We’re left with 7 results - 2 addresses - and further searching doesn’t reduce that any further. Let’s try modifying the top one to 2 billion, like we did earlier with coins.

Changing the number of gems

Let’s force the value to refresh by collecting a gem. Unfortunately that didn’t do anything, so let’s change the value back and then edit the second value.

Changing the number of gems, part 2

It’s still showing as 20 gems, but once again let’s try collecting a gem to see what happens.

Two billion gems!

Success! We’ve now got effectively unlimited gems.

Doing the same kind of math we did earlier, 50,000 gems cost $84.99. This means our pile of gems is worth $3,399,600. Wow.

Act 3: Bonus challenge - hacking boosts

Here’s the final challenge - ordinarily, there is no way to have more than 10 boosts, regardless of how many gems you have to buy boosts with.

We’ll try the simple approach first - purchase 10 boosts, then use them and search for their address.

Buying 10 boosters

(This will really break the bank)

Search for 10…

Searching for 10 boosters Results page

Okay, 191,471 results. Use a boost, then search for 9… You get the idea.

Eventually we do get down to 2 results, but they don’t seem to be what we need.

Results page

Upon using one more boost, they don’t change and therefore are not what we’re looking for.

I suspect there may be some protection in place here. Either that, or once again the values simply aren’t stored the way I think they are.

There’s a couple of paths forward - instead of searching for an exact value, you can do relative searches. This consists of making the value go up or down and filtering values that way. This takes a lot longer and can be fiddly.

Let’s think about it a different way. What if we could purchase more than 10 boosts at a time, instead of trying to directly modify how many boosts we have? Time to open up the booster purchase screen and see what it looks like.

Booster purchase screen

There’s a value here that we can probably poke…

Searching for 10

Now, go down to 7, rinse and repeat.

Up to 9, search again… and we got it.

Results page

Let’s set this result to 1000. Changing the number of boosters we're purchasing

Then, without changing anything else, let’s hit the purchase button.

Final purchase screen 1000 boosts! 1000 boosts, in-game

Bam. 1000 boosts.

Purchasing the boosts set us back approximately 15,016,000 gems (or $25,512.18), but now we have effectively given ourselves unlimited boosts.

If you haven’t played Hill Climb Racing before, the implications of having unlimited boosts are huge. Everything from a major advantage to completely breaking stages like the Moon stage. It’s incredibly fun to play with. I’ve been playing the game for years and have legitimately unlocked everything, so achieving this hack allows me to explore the game like never before and see what’s possible.

That concludes the first Memory Lane. Please let me know if you enjoyed it or have any suggestions for other games that might be fun to break. Until next time.