This week I’m reviewing, a game that was a wonderful surprise gift, Analogue: A Hate Story, an intriguing visual novel by independent developer Christine Love, available on Steam for both PC and Mac. Story:
I don’t know where to begin with this, there are so many things I want to say, and I don’t know how I can without spoiling it. To put it simply this game is very well written and compelling mystery story, tragic and ultimately bittersweet, it offers multiple endings, and explores multiple issues that I have not really seen explored in any games prior. The two characters you interact are in great contrast to one another, yet the game the game leaves you feeling sympathetic for both of them. There is a lot more I could say, but I fear it would be giving away too much, and this is truly a story you should experience for yourself. If nothing else it’s a story written by a queer woman, with a female audience in mind, and that alone sets it apart from the majority of the games in it’s genre.
As a visual novel, gameplay wise this game is very simple. Your main task is to unlock documents, and in order to do so you present the documents you have to either character, and occasionally you’ll be given a choice to make, and these help determine which ending you unlock. There is also a simple command computer, which among other things, allows you to switch which character you are talking to. The menus are easy to navigate, and there is never a moment where the player is left uncertain of what to do next. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it works well to keep the focus on the story.
The soundtrack was pleasant, if a little repetitive at times, and while there weren’t any particularly memorable tracks, everything used was appropriate to the atmosphere they wanted to convey. Ultimately a far better soundtrack than what you would expect from a $10 game.
Graphically this game is both well presented and visually appealing, perhaps a little simple, but in a way that is appropriate to the setting of the story. I very much like the character designs as, aside from being cute, looking back after completing the game, even their clothing choices make sense as to who they are and what they support. It’s difficult to explain without spoiling the game, but what initially could be dismissed as just an arbitrary decision, is actually a clever design choice.
If you do not have this game, I would definitely recommend getting it, it has a lot to offer for $10, and if you are uncertain there is also a demo.
That’s all, thanks for reading, next week I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about, though I rarely ever am.