Do keep in mind that I write this review before playing the sequel, Hate Plus.
Analogue: A Hate Story is literally a hate story. Beginning from the main character, a space handyman(or maybe detective?) being tasked to collect log files from a long-lost generation ship called “Mugunghwa”. Err, what is a generation ship you say? Just think of it as a Macross class spaceship. If you don’t know about Macross, then you should watch Macross series. But instead of fighting aliens using mechas, in this visual novel, there will be clashing beliefs and emotions.
When starting the game, you’ll be greeted by the ship’s terminal, well I guess even in the future still looks like that, your average text terminals. Ugh, it doesn’t even support autocomplete. Wait, this is a game, forget that. For me, this terminal is actually a big plus as a way to start the game. Rather than starting from suddenly talking to the ship’s AI, you must enable the AI first. After that, you could start searching for data in the ship or getting to know each other with Hyun-ae ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
Regarding the story, it’s going to be a long read, there will lots of letters and some part of the story kind of confusing at the beginning. After reading most of the log documents, the story will become clear(probably). The story revolves around the Kim and Smith family that feels like the old Korean dynasty, even though it’s supposed to be in the future. Part of the story also focused on how the female were treated worse than male.
In this game, there’s five ending, determined by your answers to the AI’s question. Those questions are pretty important, heck, it could even determine your gender. The main character gender will determine ̶w̶h̶e̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶y̶u̶r̶i̶ ̶e̶n̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶, the AI replies will differ a bit depending on the main character’s gender. It’s better if you experience it yourself by playing the game though. And then there’s a timed puzzle where you must use the terminal to survive, pretty thrilling experience(or not, you got enough leeway to grab a meal before the timer runs out).
In the other aspect, the music reminds you that this game isn’t exactly a happy story. At the visual side, while you could change Hyun-ae’s costume, the 2nd AI’s costume couldn’t be changed, is it just the AI’s preference? And the background is bland, there isn’t any background change other than the shooting star passing through the background. Maybe computer at that time doesn’t have an option for changing background, even though they got an AI…
Overall, the game is pretty good if you like reading or interested regarding the traditional marriage of the old Korean dynasty. Or you could just skim the story for the sake of seeing an AI’s cosplay ̶o̶r̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶r̶e̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶r̶e̶m̶ ̶e̶n̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ , scratch that, it’s not good to give out spoilers right? If you don’t like dark story or wall of text, you might want to skip this game. For those who are unsure whether to buy the game or not, you could get the trial version from the official website or Steam.