Else Heart.Break()

After watching Tom’s livestream I was mildly interested and decided I would give Else Heart.Break() a try.

After an hour or two I was getting bored. It just seemed like a pretty typical adventure game but with a lot of bright colors that hurt my eyes. But once I got my hands on a “modifier” and started hacking, I was hooked. It’s hard to describe without spoilers because half the fun of the game is learning how it works. But I can tell you that the programming puzzles are actually fun and intuitive. When you solve a puzzle it feels like you’ve done something smart, not that you’ve stumbled onto the developer’s moon logic through trial and error like in most adventure games. I’ve been glued to my chair for the last two days because I couldn’t stop exploring, breaking into new places, and learning new ways to break the logic of the game world.

Now that I’ve learned most of the secrets of the game, I’m ready to move on. It has a lot of weaknesses: plot, characterization, art, the worthless map. But the core of it is brilliant. I don’t just want a sequel, I want the whole genre to learn how to make puzzles from it.

The problem here is that hacking is about thinking outside the box. And games are box.
So a hacking game needs to be about everything in hacking that is not hacking.

Anyway the illusion that you are hacking is pretty solid in Else Heart, the exploration, checking what everything is running and how it works.