Half Past Fate was a surprise for me at this year’s PAX East. Developer Serenity Forge has made some absolutely amazing, impactful games, but they’ve all looked very different from the brightly colored and cartoony look of Half Past Fate. That’s not even considering the rather massive genre shift to a romantic adventure game.
I’m glad I trusted my gut and scheduled an opportunity to try Half Past Fate on the show floor this year; even if it’s a vastly different kind of game from what I am use to seeing from Serenity Forge, it feels just as loving crafted and pointed as any of their other creations.
Half Past Fate is a romantic narrative-adventure game about three relationships that form either over the span of eight hours or eight years.
Mechanically, Half Past Fate isn’t particularly complex. You control a character (in the demo I played as Rinden, but the full game will have a whole cast of characters to control), and can interact with different objects in the world, collecting them, examining them and the like.
Essentially, Half Past Fate boils down to being a point-and-click, however it is the least point-and-click-y point-and-click I’ve ever played. What I mean by this is it doesn’t feel like there’s a predetermined formula you have to complete to progress. Everything flows quite naturally, though the tutorial could be a bit more in depth on the various actions you can take with items, and I never got blaring “POINT-AND-CLICK LOGIC” klaxons sounding in my head (I have a long history of being perturbed by the “there’s only one solution” aspect of point-and-clicks)
This is almost certainly thanks to Half Past Fate’s snappy writing. Even with only the briefest slice of the game I was able to play, I can tell the characterization of the characters in the world, and their dialogue is going to pull me in. Sure, it may quippy to the level of a Joss Whedon production, but I was immediately drawn into the characters. Getting a player to give a crap about the characters is probably the most important thing you could do in a relationship sim.
By the end of the demo, I was desperate to play more and find out how Rinden’s date might go, or if his chance encounter with Mara was that spark of a connection that might lead to a more substantial relationship!
Ultimately, Half Past Fate was engaging and engrossing, throwing you into the lives of very relatable and likeable characters, with simple mechanics that help move the story along and give you some sense of agency while controlling these character.
Half Past Fate is early in development, but is currently scheduled to be released in 2019.