Hypnospace Outlaw
Date:May 2021


I'm a big fan of investigation games, and this game delivered in droves. Some of the cases in the back half of the game were ridiculous though, and it doesn't help that the difficulty spiked out of nowhere. Still, it was fun.I would have probably been obsessed with this game had nostalgia been a factor for me, but sadly it wasn't. I was born in 2000 and started using computers when I was around 5 or 6, and the internet looked very different. Still, I've been hearing that it's a mostly accurate depiction of what the internet was like back then, so it was interesting nonetheless.
The late 90s internet aesthetics were a bit before my time online (I didn't really start to have much internet presence until closer to 05 or 06) but this captures what I do remember from that period really well. Exploring the pages filling varied niches, uncovering things about the users of Hypnospace, and the like is all surprisingly in depth. There's a great sense of satisfaction to piecing things together here. I went into this expecting some nostalgic, weird internet culture type thing but this was so much more. Wasn't expecting so much of an emotional impact. I truly wasn't ready.
For a game purposefully drenched in the wacky aesthetics of geocities and other, similar online platforms of the late 90s, this is a very coherent and consistent game. It substitutes more traditional adventure and detective game techniques for ones more similar to searching for open directories and social hacking. It also likes to engage in small-scale games that hackers might plausibly have wanted to play with one another. The story told with those mechanics is interesting and tragic. I think the setting overwhelms it a little bit, but there's still some character development that's executed through an admirably light touch. Altogether, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking one, even if its ending is on the predictable side.
I love this game. It makes me laugh and cry moments apart from each other. Not a perfect game, but so unique.
Thought there was some intersting game mechanics, but overall the game didn't grab me. The old geocities asethic was fun, but overall it felt like a stacking of systems in a puzzle vs a fully thematic experience
Whenever someone tells you they want to bring back old YouTube show them this game to prove them wrong
This game is definitely unique, but was really not for me. There was some fun parts, like the viruses and pets. But overall the game just got very annoying. I found it difficult to navigate and even more difficult to read at times (especially at later sections). Some of the puzzles were overly obtuse. Overall, the story fell flat for me due to how 2-dimensional characters felt and how predictable it was.
Arthouse-esque game. Unique and sometimes intense experience, short and well worth it. Core mechanices are puzzel/information gathering.