Something of a reunion, this one- back when I first conceptualised BBLC as a forum game instead of a blog, the first game I was told to play was Analogue: A Hate Story, the prequel to Hate Plus. It’s a game I never would have just naturally picked up to play, but one I enjoyed immensely, and my go-to reference whenever I need to talk about how successful this ruleset is in making me actually play the games I’ve bought. That said, Hate Plus is a direct sequel riddled with spoilers, and is 100% reading, so I didn’t record a stream for it.
Making your way back home to Earth with your computer girlfriend/platonic co-investigator/completely illegal harem, Hate Plus is very much more of the same. Analogue had you reading the log files of centuries-old colony ship Mugunghwa, who now drifts through space entirely devoid of life. The log files slowly revealed the events that led to the extinction of its populace, meanwhile creating an incredibly rich and lived-in world; I compared it to stumbling upon a cluster of LiveJournal entries from a group of friends who knew each other, and piecing together the microcosm that they occupied until one day vanishing from the internet. Of course, that mystery is resolved in Analogue, and so I’m not sure yet what exactly I’m solving in Plus, whose logfiles are dated earlier than those found in Analogue… making it a prequel, of sorts? It’s confusing.
It’s sure to be harrowing though, as already we’ve got discussion of a presidential election rife with corruption, voter suppression, the denial of the true winner, claims of fake ballots, violent subjugation of protesters, and the ultimate collapse of democracy directed by those in leadership positions to establish an Emperor who rules over all.
yeah playing this game in mid-november 2020 hits a little different
Fin or Bin:
It’s a tough recommendation. You absolutely shouldn’t start here, for sure; Analogue is a game that I adore and would recommend to anyone who can stomach reading a lot of apparently-unrelated log entries. It’s dense and there’s a lot of worldbuilding to get accustomed to in a short space of time, but it’s worth it if that’s your sort of thing. Hate Plus is lining up to be just as dense, though with the advantage of being set in an already-established world. The writing is top class, and I’d already be playing more if the game hadn’t instructed me I need to wait 12 hours in real time before I can Finish it.
(It’s important to mention- both games handle some heavy topics, including rape, sexual assault, forced marriage, abuse, and PTSD. These subjects are handled unflinchingly, but without glamourisation or glorification; they are discussed in stark tones and perpetrators are roundly condemned. They may be a difficult read for some folks.)