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Half Past Fate Review: Hand Hold Club

/ May 8th, 2020 No Comments

Half Past Fate Review

Dating nowadays is so complicated, now more than ever. There are a million apps and services for every type of romantic encounter you can imagine. What happened to the days of meeting a potential partner by chance? Don’t you ever just wish you could meet someone IRL at a farmer’s market and just go get a cup of coffee? I mean, now we all wish that was the case.

Half Past Fate aims to…just kidding. Half Past Fate isn’t some missive about the perils of online dating. Rather it prefers to tell stories involving relationships that happen by chance or is it fate?

It’s Kind of My Thing…

We’re all simply creatures looking for love and affection. In Half Past Fate: Rinden, Anna, Bia, Mara, Jaren and Milo are six people who are having trouble finding romance, but one fateful day proves to give them exactly what they wanted.

Rinden is an advisor at an investment firm and he has a major meeting to learn about a revolutionary new tech his firm is looking to invest in. While he loves his work, he is looking for more than his scheduling revolving around it. A routine start of his day buying tea turns disastrous when he has a wardrobe malfunction. This comical series of accidents set into motion a larger course of events that are both hilarious and heartwarming.

Half Past Fate Review
Tea snobbery is a great meet cute.

Anna is an intern at Rinden’s firm, who is interested in learning new ways to market tea to help out her parents’ tea shop in Little Tokyo. She meets a cute guy at a tea festival after he is gatekept by some elitist tea vendor. She believes tea is for everyone and this snobbery flies in the face of her desire to market tea to new audiences. Turns out this was fortunate because she has a great time and gives him her phone number to call her some time, maybe.

Jaren is a tea neophyte, but a gamer elite. He meets Anna at the tea festival and gets her phone number, but he loses it. While he feels sorry for himself, his boss at the video game store tells him to go on an epic quest to find her phone number and reunite with Anna. This hero’s journey to call a girl takes him from Little Tokyo and beyond.

Mara works for TechVolt, a tech company eager to revolutionize the way people get their electricity. As a passionate and idealistic entrepreneur, Mara is more focused on work than worrying about romance. She is nervous for her big meeting with Rinden’s company as the decision for funding will determine the company’s future.

Half Past Fate Review
Anchoring the entire series of interweaving stories is Bia and Milo.

Bia and Milo have been best friends ever since Milo helped Bia out with a project back in college. Ever since college, they remained close, but Milo moved away with his fiance. When circumstances arose, Milo moved back home to live with their college friends. Now Bia and Milo are rekindling their friendship, and both are secretly working through their feelings for one another.

These six characters’ stories intertwine in comical ways. It is the coincidence of fate that pulls them all together, and makes for a charming story. What works best about the narrative is how well the characters are written: each have clear motivations and what they want in terms of love. Whether that is overt or not, it drives the stories forward toward to include moments both heartfelt and wacky.

What makes Half Past Fate such a refreshing game is how wholesome and quaint it is. While the world is clearly modern, every character is very sweet and all lack malice. Rinden has a flip phone instead of a smartphone for Pete’s sake! The characters aren’t about the modern trappings of romance or hook-up culture. Quite honestly, they’d be happy holding their potential romantic partner’s hand and that is just precious.

Half Past Fate Review
Shut up, Andy! We gotta change the world.

While Half Past Fate isn’t a romantic comedy, it does lean into some of the genre tropes and conventions. Story complications are necessary for a narrative but some of the challenges the characters face feel like they exist simply for the sake of a challenge. Like the Jaren and Anna storyline could have been cleared up without the heroic journey. These logistical inconsistencies don’t ruin the story, but they become glaring in a narrative built on solid characterization and fun dialogue.

How Do I Get My Phone Back?

In terms of gameplay, Half Past Fate is what you’d expect for a narrative driven/adventure-style game. There is a major focus on exploring each space and finding items that may be useful. Due to story circumstances you’ll have to use those items when interacting with NPCs and finding the correct dialogue choice to make a trade. By trading up items you’ll open up story pathways and reach the conclusion for each chapter.

Half Past Fate Review
Looking like a Mighty Mighty Bostone isn’t a good look dude.

The gameplay is a lot of light puzzle solving that isn’t daunting. Whether you’ve played a million point-and-click adventure games or not, you’ll be able to find the solutions to the problems each character faces. A good rule of thumb is pick up any item and talk to every NPC in the game. 

Since the gameplay is easy breezy, it lets the player focus on the story and getting into the plight of each character. The struggle isn’t the point, it is the struggles leading you to roleplay as each of the characters as they try to find some form of love and romance.

Overall

Half Past Fate is a fun game that delivers a fun interconnected narrative around 3 different relationships. It doesn’t try to be some grandiose treatise on the nature of romantic encounters in 2020 preferring to tell a wholesome and delightful story with some light puzzle elements. If you’re into narrative based games with a focus on relationships then this will please!

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Half Past Fate was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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HALF PAST FATE REVIEW: HAND HOLD CLUB

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall81%

GAMEPLAY7.5

Half Past Fate has light puzzle mechanics to advance the story, and it is effective at creating engagement and roleplaying.

GRAPHICS8.5

Half Past Fate features gorgeous sprites with smooth animations and a quaint look.

SOUND8

The delightful score helps bring to life the wholesome and charming fun.

STORY8.5

Half Past Fate features intertwining stories of 3 different budding relationships. It has strong writing and comfortably embraces some rom-com tropes to solid effect.

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