Posted: March 26
I admit that I'm a complete stranger to the visual novel genre - I can't even remember what led me to pick up Analogue. I do remember seeing the trailer, and being intrigued by the thought that there was more to this story than there seemed to be.
I wasn't wrong in the least.
While I don't have a solid basis for comparison, I do think that the minimalist style, smooth animations and unobtrusive soundtrack really complement the game. The focus is on the story that your A.I. of choice is telling you, and nothing else...with the possible exception of the A.I. themselves. The differences between *Mute and *Hyun-ae are profound, and only become more so as you spiral down into the mystery of the ship. While ultimately, the story here is *Hyun-ae's, *Mute's perspective provides a counterpoint essential to seeing *Hyun-ae's actions in the right light. When you're reading the story told by both women, captivated by the pieces of the puzzle falling into place, the mood can turn rather intense.
Though there is humor here, too. *Mute is remarkably crass, given her programming, and the levity her sass lends some serious situations is appreciated. *Hyun-ae is playful in her own right: should you befriend her enough, she will display different outfits for you, letting you use the in-game terminal to play a limited form of dress-up.
Speaking of the terminal, that and a Yes/No dialogue wheel will be the principle ways you assert yourself in-game. It's actually a nice mechanic. There are several times where the terminal comes in handy, and it's pretty intuitive to use. I also found the UI - probably due to that minimalist feel - comfortable to pick up.
All told, I couldn't find much wrong with Analogue. It was a wonderful introduction to the visual novel genre, and I plan to pick up it's sequel, Hate Plus. Might look into other visual novels as well, if they're half as good as this one.