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    dkirschner's Hypnospace Outlaw (PC)

    [December 23, 2020 10:25:54 PM]
    This was a really cool one that I thoroughly enjoyed until about halfway through. If you're someone who plays GTA games and finds themselves in their virtual internet cafes or on your smartphone for half your playtime browsing the in-game internet, you will love this. It's basically a simulation of a desktop computer. Also, if you spent a lot of time on the internet in the late 90s/early 2000s. That's when I was in high school and college, so Hypnospace Outlaw's recreation of that era's netspace is brilliantly nostalgic.

    The premise is neat. New technology allows people to access Hypnospace (and other "sleepspaces") while they're asleep. You are hired as an "Enforcer," someone who enforces the rules of Hypnospace. No harassment, no shady business dealings, no copyright infringement, no profane or pornographic things, and so on. You basically browse the internet looking for users violating the rules. When you see something, you remove the content and can eventually flag users if they have enough violations. You get paid for each violation you catch, so there's an ethical dimension to it. Do you bust people for minor infractions and make some cash or leave them alone?

    Eventually you begin getting assigned "cases" where you have to do increasingly in-depth digging to get to the bottom of various complaints and tips. One of these finally threw me hard, Case 8, where you have to find some illegal music distribution and dig into some password-protected back end of the internet. Long story short, I used a guide for help (and learned that there is an in-game hint system if you type "hint" in the search bar), and after that I just sort of read the rest of the guide and browsed some videos instead of finishing myself because the meat of what I loved about the game--browsing webpages from 1999 and banning people--was over and it became a more difficult/tedious puzzle/detective kind of game.

    I would have enjoyed continuing to devour the fake content. It is so spot on for the time period and the humor gelled with me. This was the era when everyone had a personal website, but they all sucked and had dancing skeletons and glitter on them. Teens were trying to be cool and old retirees didn't know how to use page editors. Through poking around, you learn who are friends and enemies, what's going on in the world, and learn about all sorts of drama between the users and the corporation that runs Hypnospace. There is a larger story here about hackers and sleepspace technology, but I found all the smaller connections more interesting.

    There are various "communities" like Teentopia, which features a "cool" teen counselor who sings songs about not doing drugs; a spiritual community; a fantasy and sci-fi community; communities for various kinds of music; a community preserving the "good old days," and so on. The music in the game is so great. They created a bunch of genres (e.g., chillpunk, haze, flip-flop) and got some genius to write a bunch of songs, some of which are really funny or really catchy. The XMAS Medley is pretty great, and most of Chowder Man's songs had me laughing. This is definitely worth spending some time in for something different.
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    dkirschner's Hypnospace Outlaw (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 21 December, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 23 December, 2020

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    So neat. Nostalgic. Funny. Oddly intuitive. ---------- Loved browsing and banning. Too much/difficult detective work by the end though.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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