What I thought was a cutesy, fun little game turned out to be emotional and engaging in a way rarely felt playing games.

User Rating: 8.5 | Analogue: A Hate Story PC
I bought Analogue on a whim, on sale on Steam, because I was bored, and I enjoy supporting smaller indie games. All I had read beforehand was that it was written by a well-known writer.

I knew from screenshots that the game is mostly text-based, and that's pretty spot-on. The entire game is basically a narrative, delivered via a text-based version of a point-and-click game. This will instantly turn-off anyone who doesn't enjoy reading blocks of text, but if you can take the time to appreciate it and take it seriously, it will surprise you.

It's hard to talk about without spoilers, but I'll try- Analogue is a futuristic sci-fi, set in space. The player, a scavenger/investigator, is tasked with finding out why an aged, newly-discovered large colonizing vessel went suddenly dark, with no survivors.

Since the ship is too dangerous to explore, all investigatory work must be done by analyzing a collection of emails, diary entries, and records. This is done via a remote connection to the ship's computers from your own one-man craft. You're not alone in your work, as you are instantly joined by the ship's still-functioning AI, a sparky and intelligent young woman named Hyun-ae.

After reading a few of the initial emails, it's clear- somehow, this craft, advanced as it may have been, had somehow regressed in a pseudo-feudalism-like structure, with powerful families aboard making alliances, enemies, and marrying off their daughters in exchange for status and favor with the royal family.

This is where a major con comes in- the game is incredibly thorough, introducing a vast number of characters in a short time, with foreign (Korean) names that take (if you're anything like me) quite a while to keep track of.

The game in large part focuses around a girl referred to initially only as "The Pale Bride," whom is married to the royal family and is subject to most of the controversy in the story.

Going any further would venture into spoiler territory, but the tale is sad and tragic, and each major revelation made my eyes widen.

For me, it was reinforcing proof that excellent writing trumps direction and graphics (and maybe even voice-acting). It will stick with me for a while. If you have the patience to stick it out with a text-based game, or enjoy good writing, this is a definite must.