Publisher: No More Robots
Developer: Tender Shoot
Release Date: 03/12/2019
Also Available On
The ’90s were a crazy and nostalgic time on the internet. Web pages full of low-resolution GIFs, viruses, profile pages, and overall teen angst. There’s no other time like the 90’s internet space and Hypnospace captures that perfectly in an exaggerated style. Retro/Vapor/Synthwave type aesthetics flood your screen with an actual simulated 90’s PC with HypnOS installed on it. From the crazy wallpapers, low-resolution everything, desktop pets, crazy profile pages, and cult/group pages. This game is fun for those who love to explore.
You play as a Hypnospace Enforcer who runs around the net finding violations. This is quite fun, but it takes some getting used to figuring out how to use the desktop and OS. Figuring out shortcuts, the buttons, and everything that came with a real 90’s OS is part of the fun. You will get case files and have to report things from copyright violations, malware, harassment, and others. Once you do find the right thing to report, usually it’s through hints in the case to get you started, you have to read various pages and figure out where to go. This is Hypnospace’s biggest flaw. I was constantly lost and couldn’t figure out what to report and nothing was very clear. There are a lot of hidden messages (literally) that must be uncovered, and using search terms to find hidden pages is also a must. Once I finally found the page you just select the right violation and smack the hammer on the part of the page. It’s satisfying once you do and once a user gains enough violation points you can report their page.
After every case you get coins which can be used on various things throughout the net which is mostly just for fun. Once you close a case you get a bonus if you found all the violations. There are about 8 cases and after this the story start evolving into a Y2K terrorist attack from a teen, but the evil corporation that HypnOS is run by is also in question. Once the final case is solved you can optionally explore the archived files that a few people need help discovering the true reason behind the terrorist attack. This is very difficult and I can’t even tell if I finished that endgame part as I stopped getting emails in my inbox even after looking at a walkthrough. The main story can be completed fairly quickly unless you are constantly getting lost like I was.
There are other small details like downloading files and installing programs, using antivirus (90’s anti-virus programs were archaic), exploring MP3 pirate scenes, getting viruses, and seeing them mess with your computer, even small details like going into the BIOS and changing the settings. There’s a lot of love that went into this game and it shows at every corner. You can even drag things into a recycle bin and rearrange your desktop icons, and the best parts are when the system glitches out and crashes.
Overall, Hypnospace Outlaw is a fun game for those who grew up on 90’s internet, and for younger players is a great insight into it. The game is full of humor, intriguing puzzles, and fun pages to explore and read. The biggest issue is just getting lost and not knowing where to go or what to do half the time. I loved the aesthetic of a virtual 90’s PC and this is definitely a game worth exploring for those interested.