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Hypnospace Outlaw


therearerules
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Just completed this on Gamepass and had a fantastic time with it. The game is a perfect recreation of 90's internet, except surfed through mind bands whilst you sleep. You play an enforcer, which is essentially a RLLMUK moderator, except for the corporation that runs the internet.

 

It's an incredibly accurate pastiche of the internet, and the scope is pitched perfectly. It's a tiny microcosm of the internet, full of fan pages, badly drawn comics, arguments over bands, nostalgia, conspiracy theories,  and oh so many gifs. And the game is really just reading these pages, and getting drawn into the lives of the people behind them. Initially I thought the game was going to be a puzzle game where you have to work out what rules are being broken, but the game quickly dispels that notion by making it completely explicit what you're looking for, and just laying puzzles in place to prevent you going there.

 

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There are a few issues with it- typing with a pad is terrible, and some of the late game passwords are long, which is really frustrating. Combined with the obtuseness of some of the later puzzles means I used a walkthrough later on rather than try and puzzle through. Apparently there's a great hint system though, which I somehow missed. The other thing I'd advise is to enjoy it the most you need to take the time to allow yourself to get involved in the people's pages- rushing through would be utterly pointless here. However, just like real internet, a lot of it is chaff, so only read the pages which interest you, don't try to 100% from the off or you'll burn out.

 

Thoroughly recommended, especially because it's free on Gamepass.

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I echo the recommendation to give Hypnospace a go, I really enjoyed my recent playthrough of it. It's also available on PC through gamepass which is how I played it, it definitely felt like a keyboard and mouse was the best way to navigate it.

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I’m in the final act of this on Switch, although I expect it’d be more authentic on PC it plays fine and it suits picking it up and digging for clues. I’m at about the final set of missions (I think).

 

It strikes a great balance between nostalgia for what Geocities etc were like, and its own extremely weird and slightly dumb alternate universe. Actually maybe the alternate universe helps, we really were just learning about these music genres and types of games for the first time back then weren’t we?

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Is it touchscreen on the Switch? That'd be better then controller for typing things in, but then I'd have to actually pay for it (beyond the GP sub).

 

Forgot to say, the game itself really sits there with the recent 'proper detective' genre- think Obra Dinn, Her Story, or even The Outer Wilds. Same energy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just discovered, after finishing it, that you can play the game with a keyboard and mouse via the dock. My regular old Logitech keyboard and mouse set works fine through its single multi-purpose dongle. You can’t swap mouse buttons and the onscreen keyboard still appears but it would’ve made this a lot easier and even more authentic.

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