Analogue: A Hate Story

released on Feb 01, 2012

A dark visual mystery novel featuring transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay. Two pursuable characters. Five endings. Welcome to the future.

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Despite having not many visuals, and not exactly being a 'novel', it is one of the best visual novels. I just love everything about this game.

Great premise for a visual novel! It's been a while since my own playthrough, but I remember loving it. The presentation is simple but well constructed, and the same can be said of the story as well.

The Mugunghwa, a massive generation ship sent from Earth to found a colony but that cut off contact and was thought to be lost forever, has finally been found -- with all of its inhabitants being long dead. To unravel the mystery of how that came to be, you are sent on a small spaceship to try and connect with the Mugunghwa, your mission being to download data from the ship and find out what transpired aboard it.
Analogue's story takes place as you untangle the ship's logs with the help of the two onboard AIs, and is largely successful in building up an atmosphere of dread: the more logs you read, the more it becomes evident how degenerate society among the ship became. Also, while it's no kinetic novel, it's still rather simple as far as VNs go, so it's a pretty approachable game for people who have never touched the genre before.
The main issues I see with the game are twofold: first, this is one of those horror stories that hit much closer to home if you're a woman, to the point of potentially being triggering at times. Second, and perhaps, most important, the juxtaposition of dystopian future with anime tropes feels quite jarring: the AIs are moe to the point of creating a disconnect, and the horny parts of the writing are not only bad, they stick out like a sore thumb. I'm glad Love found it in her to write straight-up smut, because it feels like that's what she wanted to go for from the start.
But hey, still a solid VN. Just never made me feel like playing the sequel.

The increasing dread I felt as I read through the logs and pieced together the timeline is unparalleled

It's a really cool story but the replayability to get all the endings and achievements could be waaaay better.

only played this bc i heard it was misogynist and i was not disappointed. fun little game, i enjoyed the non chronological storytelling a lot