Posts Tagged ‘Hanako Games’

IF Only: What to watch for

Screenshot of Interactive Fiction Database

Most of my columns look at a particular author, game, style, or theme in IF that you might be interested in trying out. But if you’re new to interactive fiction entirely and want to branch out into finding new work of your own, where would you look? Here’s a quick tour of some interesting things to look at and watch for.

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Black Closet Dev Releases A Little Lily Princess

A childhood in the hands of Hanako Games can be filled with love and joy, but is always perilous. Long Live the Queen can make decisions like avoiding PE class into deadly mistakes, and procedural detective procedural Black Closet exposes teens to something far more vicious – a private girls’ school. Hanako’s latest, A Little Lily Princess [official site], sends a spoiled girl to boarding school and maybe this time it’s fine. You can make friends and study and whatnot, and that sounds good, doesn’t it?

I’m sure this picture of a scullery maid hanging from a roof simply shows a jovial prank.

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Have You Played… Black Closet?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Black Closet [official site] is set in an girls boarding school, in which you play as a class president with an unlikely amount of power to interrogate, search and apprehend fellow students who pose a threat to the reputation of your school. But whether that setting appeals or not hardly matters: it is a procedural detective game better than any other.

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Into The Black Closet

As I send Alberta to detention and arm one of my subordinates with a baseball bat to ensure she’s maximally intimidating, a thought intrudes on the tightly focused stream of calculations and strategizing that defined my time with Black Closet [official site]: “Is this really what my ideal high school experience looks like?”

For the trans woman who plays games like this or Gone Home there’s a melancholic note of nostalgia behind every move: a longing for the childhood or the girlhood you never had, all the while recreating it in digital pantomime to weave a sense of memory for a never-happened history. I often think about what my life would have been like if I had been able to be out as a young woman in high school and been able to redirect all the energy I’d wasted battling dysphoria back into my schoolwork and planting the seeds of my career.

I might’ve been a young woman like Elsa Jackson, President of the Student Council at St. Claudine’s Academy for Girls.

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You Should Play This Procedural Detective Game

My enjoyment of Black Closet [official site] is an easy case to crack. There are red herrings, for sure: the anime art, the brief sugestion that it might be a visual novel. But investigate beyond the screenshots and the evidence is clear: it’s a procedural detective game in which you direct a team to question, harras, stalk and detain suspects, hoping to uncover nefarious plots, and to prevent scandals before they emerge in an all-girl school for the wealthy elite. I’ve been playing the demo and I’ll explain why you should too.

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Procedural Schoolgirl Intrigue: Black Closet Out With Demo


Long Live the Queen had players fend off armies and sea monsters, but all those pale in comparison to the viciousness of a private girls’ school. That’s the setting for the latest from LLtQ developers Hanako Games, Black Closet [official site], which came out on Sunday.

Black Closet’s about mystery, scandal, secret societies, crime, and romance afoot at the illustrious St. Claudine’s. As Student Council President, you must keep things in check and save the school’s reputation by investigating procedurally-generated intrigue, and hey, living a life of your own too. It has a demo, so you can see for yourself.

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Long Live The Student Council President: Black Closet

Ah, good, this high school has a strange secret society. I'm sure that won't end in TRAGEDY.

Being a child ruler is pretty tough, I should’ve known, but the number of ways everything can go horribly wrong in Long Live the Queen was a surprise and a delight. Developers Hanako Games are now working on a game about being student council president and surely that can’t be nearly as difficu- oh, no, it can. Black Closet [official site] will have players solving randomly-generated mysteries at a school, from cheating on tests to cases a bit more bloody. Come see the first trailer.

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Princess Breaker: Long Live The Queen

After gargling on Broforce! for a while, I had to sit down and look for something more sedate. Long Live The Queen is a game about being a princess, or bringing up a princess, I’m not entirely sure which. Am I the princess, I wondered as I prodded the demo with my cursor, or is the princess a sort of Tamagotchi that I am responsible for? Either way, the game is similar to the Princess Maker series, which I definitely didn’t play and become oddly invested in when I was fifteen. There are a number of hours in the day and the princess fills her time by advancing skills, either through training and practice or through socialising. And then, the trailer suggests, she dies horribly. No explosions though, honest.

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