Hate Plus is a new visual novel game from indie developer Christine Love. The game is, obviously, as a visual novel, very heavy on words (over 100,000 to give an idea). There are also some very unique and strange gameplay ideas used in the game that I haven’t really seen before, so, read on into the review to see what I thought of this rather unique title.

Hate Plus is not really a game you’ll want to play standalone; it is very much integrated with another of Christine Love’s titles: ‘Analogue’. I don’t want to spoil the story for either of the games, because that is the focus of both of these games (as visual novels), however, I will say that Hate Plus basically picks up from where Analogue’s story left off. It is not essential to play Analogue first, however, it will enhance the experience of both.

One of the very interesting gameplay techniques used is the pausing of the game for real time waits. To give an example, the game looks at extracting information from logs (you’ll learn more about this if you read both Analogue and Hate Plus’ background stories), however, the computer can only process a certain amount of data before running out of system power, requiring a recharge. The game forces the player to wait twelve genuine real-life hours for the systems to recharge. This allows the player to ponder the story they have experienced so far, and think about what could be coming.

The idea is very interesting. While it can be very effective in allowing both the extension of time with a title, and to create suspense, it could also be annoying to some. In the case of Hate Plus, it makes the story feel more immersive, as you can see that you have to wait to continue (just as the characters do, and as you would have to do in their situation). The total time of the game is three days (ie. you won’t be able to complete it sooner three days). Time passes in the game at the same rate as it does in reality, creating more immersion and atmosphere. As you continually wait for the systems to recharge, you can recap on logs as much as it pleases you.

The game, without spoiling anything, has great narrative qualities and an intruiging story. Graphics and sound aren’t really all that important for games of this nature, so, I won’t be rating Hate Plus based on them. If you want to play a relaxing game, with an enjoyable story, which feels like an interactive, immersive novel, Hate Plus will be perfect for you!