Review: About Love, Hate & the other ones on PC

After Tetris for the Game Boy, the 2nd Puzzle related game I review and describe for Game-Art-HQ, gotta love indies like this one ūüôā¬†

 

Name(s)

Genre

Players

Developer

About Love, Hate & the other ones

Puzzle Game

Single Player

Black Pants Studio

Platforms & Release

Price

Reviewed Version

Age Rating

Digital only, IOS in 2012, PC, Mac, Linux in 2014

Mobiles: $1,99 PC: $6,99

Self bought PC version

Everyone

 

Lets start with a little history Lesson for About Love, Hate & the other ones and its developers from Black Pants Studio for those who care

About Love, Hate & the other ones was first released for iOS on 23, October 2012. A PC, & Mac Version with re-drawn HD Graphics and some other changes like the removal of the zoom option was released on 14, December 2014. It is also supporting Linux on PC.

 

The game is actually based on the concept of a short animation movie by the Game’s designer Tobias Bilgeri where its two main protagonists Love, and Hate meet each other for the first time. The game was created by around ten developers from the German developer Team Black Pants Studio

About Love, Hate & the other ones won the Deutscher Computer Spielpreis award as the best Newcomer in 2012 as well as the P√ĄDI Award 2013. A second game is in development now and supposed to get released before 2019 ends.¬†

 

How to play About Love, Hate & the other ones (This one is about the gameplay)

 

Some of the best Puzzle games are often the ones that have one simple idea that everyone understands, while it adds more gameplay elements with the time to create a balanced learning curve for all kinds of players. About Love, Hate & the other ones is exactly that kind of a game ..it starts really simple but becomes complex enough by the end. 

The player controls the two protagonists Love and Hate with the goal to reach and button and place one of the two on top of it. Of course, there are all kinds of obstacles in the way, and the player has to learn how to use the Power of Love (he says “I Love You” which will draw the “other ones” nearby) and the force of hate (he yells “I Hate You” which will cause the “other ones” to run away” .

Both Love and Hate can’t jump to high places so you have to use their abilities and move both protagonists as well as the other ones to the right places as well.¬†

While Love and Hate can mainly use each other to reach the button in the early levels, there are more and more different types of “Other ones” approaching Love & Hate. The first ones are the simple green guys that either follow Love or get away from hate, but in the later levels, there are also Teleporters, “Dead” ones and a few more the player has to use.¬†

 

 

The first 10-20 of the 80 stages are all pretty easy to beat, the first ones are rather a tutorial and not a challenge, but many of the later levels can give you some headaches if logical puzzles are not your thing.

However, they are still easy enough for most people to beat them without help…even me was able to beat the whole game and needed around 8 hours for the 80 levels. In some cases, I started a level.. I didn’t beat it..pressed Alt + F4 and tried again at a later time with an open mind for new ideas.

There were some levels with riddles that were quite similar to some seen in earlier levels, sometimes, I found the challenge a bit repetitive because of these, but this gameplay problem affected only like 5-10 stages. A nice feature of the game is, that you can undo your moves if you got stuck and know you made a mistake. That’s super useful to avoid that you have to re-play a stage completely again. There is also no form of time-pressure, you can play the game completely at your pace, which can make it a relaxed experience.¬†

The game does not have any achievements and does not support gamepads, its played mainly with the mouse. 

Personally I think the best way to approach About Love, Hate & the other ones as a game between other games. It took me a few months to beat it actually because I played sometimes just 1 stage or two, and not on every day as well.¬† I did the first around 30 stages all on the same first day, however ūüôā¬†

 

About Graphics, Artstyle & the other Sounds

 

The game is completely in 2D and uses high definition sprites on PC. While the graphics are not exactly detailed, they are all hand-drawn which gives the game a pretty warm look that reminded me personally at some comic books from my youth. The animations are not very detailed either but its simply heartwarming to see Love flapping his arms when is falling down somewhere or Hate always looking like an angry, grumpy guy. I would say the graphics are just perfect for this type of game, and the art-style is charming enough to appeal to both young and old gamers.

There is no form of violence in the game while you can find a lot of humor there. The game takes around 600 MB of your HDD and should run on every Potato PC. 

There are a few short animations /cutscenes including a funny ending in the game that are worth to watch as well and feature the same nice hand-drawn style. 

My only little gripe with the Music in About Love, Hate & the other ones is that there are only a few music tracks actually because they are just as lovely as the art. Never annoying, always fitting..and sounding somewhat…German. Such a surprise. Especially the main theme that comes in some variations at the loading screens is extremely catchy!

The voices are a real feature of the game, I looooooove it when Hate whispers an angry “I Hate you” To make it short..its all well done, but yeah..more music tracks would have been nice.¬†

 

Replayability..and is the game still fun in 2019?

 

About replayability..I am not so sure. There are no different difficulties or something like a new game+..and if you solved a puzzle you probably see no sense in solving it again. Who knows.maybe after some years? 

About Love, Hate & the other ones however is one of these timeless video games..while it was released in 2012, there wouldn’t be any complaints about it being outdated. Well, it would get achievements I guess and maybe gamepad support as well.¬†

 

Its availability and costs now

Thanks to online distributions like Steam and the App Store on iOS you won’t have problems getting it.¬† The game was sadly never ported to a home console or to Android-based mobiles.

Its normal price on the appstore is $1,99, on Steam its $6.99 but often enough it is either reduced on Steam itself or on one of the many additional shops like Fanatical or Green Man Gaming. 

Personally I believe it is worth to buy at its normal price since you get a lot of fun for at least 4 hours (I needed around 8)  

 

Final Verdict / Finally the Opinion part of this review

My first puzzle game…beside Tetris on the Game Boy was Kwirk on the same system. Also, a game that starts simple and like in About L&H you have to get to the exit part of a stage while all kinds of obstacles are in your way. Well, what can I say? This game is almost flawless.

Some stages were a bit boring because parts of it were just too similar to other stages, but if you can ignore this minor flaw you get a pretty damn good puzzler there that will make you think about the riddles and how to solve them while it puts a smile on your face often enough..for a small price as well.

It gets a 9/10 from me and I consider it to be very good!

R.Hoffmann, Game-Art-HQ Founder