A sport known as The Hidden and Unknown (opens in new tab) launched on Steam this week with an absurd $1,999.90 price ticket. The twist is that the self-published sport is purposefully shorter than two hours, which suggests it may be completed with out exceeding Steam’s playtime restrict for no-questions-asked refunds. If you do not have two grand to quickly blow on this sport, although, don’t be concerned: I’ve performed it, and you are not lacking something.
The Hidden and Unknown’s creator goes by ThePro, and earlier this week advised TheGamer (opens in new tab) that the excessive worth displays the semi-autobiographical visible novel’s worth to them. They inspired anybody who cannot afford the sport to refund it or simply to chorus from shopping for it.
“I don’t want to get any folks into monetary bother, I simply worth my sport because it feels proper to me, which is my proper,” ThePro mentioned.
The developer made comparable remarks to PCGamesN (opens in new tab), and mentioned that the sport is about sharing their story and “letting folks perceive that even when you’re in a nasty scenario you may work with what you’ve got obtained.”
Oh, I would say it is about a complete lot greater than that.
The Hidden and Unknown begins with an eight-minute-long Star Wars scroll which describes an imbalance between masculine and female vitality that is turning Western males infertile attributable to testosterone depletion, inflicting girls to turn out to be more and more masculine, and which is able to finally result in the tip of humanity. So it seems that this $2,000 lesson in “philosophy” is simply the identical retrograde gibberish supplement-hawking YouTube masculinity gurus submit every day free of charge.
After introducing a time-traveling AI entity which completely balances the masculine (“pondering”) and female (“feeling”) energies, the dogmatic preamble provides solution to a much less assured, largely non-interactive visible novel a few child named Brian. Not one of the characters are depicted visually, solely the areas, which have clearly been created with assist from an AI picture generator.
The story consists of incongruous anecdotes about Brian’s youth which, whereas apparently drawn from the creator’s personal tumultuous life experiences, are largely mundane: accounts of soccer practices, instances he appeared good in school, going to mattress and waking up the following morning, notes about an internet sport he performed. What few passages invite sympathy are overshadowed by the purpose of the entire thing: Brian’s transformation right into a testosterone-rich übermensch whose ex-girlfriend cannot manipulate him anymore (he learn Solar Tzu’s Artwork of Battle) and whose despair is thwarted by masculine habits akin to sleeping sufficient and getting common train.
I’ve by no means written a gender essentialist manifesto on the estrogen poisoning of Western males, however there are definitely puerile, judgmental previous journal entries and brief tales that I am glad I by no means had the impulse to publish. If I had, I hope I additionally would’ve used a pseudonym and charged $2,000 to learn them, so credit score to ThePro for that a lot. With luck, they will additionally recognize these decisions someday.
Then once more, with out the stunt pricing, The Hidden and Unknown could have been ignored solely, like so many different unhealthy video games and novels. It really has three Steam critiques up to now, which may’t be left by accounts that do not personal it, though that does not essentially imply it was paid for. One assessment, posted pre-release, says merely, “Would purchase once more. 10/10.” The subsequent says, “Value each penny.”
The third assessment skips the sarcasm, calling The Hidden and Unknown the “worst sport ever made” and “meaningless, misanthropic trash.” That reviewer does word that they obtained the sport free of charge, so the axiom that you just get what you pay for nonetheless holds on this case.
The Hidden and Unknown is not the primary sport to include Steam’s refund coverage into its design. Final yr, a sport known as Refund Me If You Can challenged gamers to flee a maze in beneath two hours, simply in time to get their a reimbursement. I discover the playful, metacontextual design enjoyable, however I believe I want the maze instance.