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Number of Ratings: 53
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4 people found the following review helpful:
Hana lives, July 20, 2017
I lost the taste of writing and the taste of playing after a personal drama that left me somewhere close to where Hana feels she is. What a serendipity - when I decide to go back to former interests, I decided to blend them and write an interactive story, so I look around the web for what was done already, and I find Hana Feels.
The writing is efficient and the storytelling has enough of an original twist to stand out and catch the eye. We are not the protagonist, we are her entourage and we have to keep her afloat. This is what makes it so heartbreaking to play Hana Feels. You get the idea very early on that she is on the verge of collapse and you have to keep her alive. And even when you feel like you are helping her, you know very well, deep inside, that you are not going to save her.
Hana is a waitress. I imagine as a waitress she may have found herself losing balance and wobbling around to prevent the glass on her trail from falling over. This is how you feel when you play this game - Hana is somewhere unbalanced on a trail and you have to walk around to keep her from falling.
I talk about her like she is a real person, which says a lot about how carefully she was crafted and written.
Years ago I read one of my favourite books, "Valis" by Philip K. Dick, and was startled about that paragraph he wrote about being suicidal and calling a helpline, receiving professional help which was so much better than the shitty help he gave to a friend who eventually committed suicide. This saved me because if I had never read that in "Valis", I probably would have never called a help line and get professional help. The premise of Hana Feels is that she calls a help line. And this is exactly how it feels, for the caller and for the operator.
In "Valis" again, the author regrets he advised his friend not to kill herself to avoid making him sad. He learnt later of such a terrible idea it was to tell her to live for others. In Hana Feels, you are given the option at some point to give that exact same advice to Hana. I remembered "Valis" and avoided that trap. The game offers three different endings. I want to believe I gave Hana the best ending possible. I am tempted to try the game again and see a different ending, but I just do not feel like hurting her. I just see no pleasure in tormenting a fictional character when being nice had made me feel so good.
Just a few lines and clicks and there you are, feeling for her. Interactivity is such a wonderful tool to tell stories... Hana Feels let me convinced of this. I am done with stupor, I will write again. Thank you Hana.
I wish the author gave us more hints about what becomes of her. Not a full resolution as this is not a fairy tale with a happy ending. But with the deep level we are touched by Hana, it feels a bit wasted to abandon her so abruptly.
Many things to say about this little game, right?
Hana Feels is just that immersive. A long treatise on the topic would never reach anyone half as much as this game. Everything lies in the shadows of the conversations between Hana and the others: the place where she lives and work, the room where the support group meets, the factory where the old guy worked. Characters have a voice. Bigger parts of the life of characters are suggested to you. Little bits and pieces of life stories are intertwined with the main storyline, and you will patch them together to get the whole picture.
What a brilliant little thing is Hana Feels. Thanks.
- Cory Roush (Ohio), July 1, 2017
- ArchDelacy, June 6, 2017
- Mona Mae (South Africa), February 25, 2017
2 people found the following review helpful:
I'm Feeling It, February 25, 2017
I read the rest of the reviews before going into this, but was very pleasantly surprised. The character development had a lot of depth in it that you would attempt to uncover first. (Spoiler - click to show)It could be obvious that you'd have to take it slow from the start, but it's really hard to resist trying to help as much as possible later on.
Being an actual government commissioned (?) piece for helping folks with these sort of troubles, I'd have to say it worked for me. Not just in understanding someone with such issues in the future, but I learnt a lot about communicating with everyone in general.
- TheAncientOne, January 28, 2017
- magicnumber, January 14, 2017
3 people found the following review helpful:
We can only reach but never touch, December 27, 2016
[This game contains discussions of self-harm/self-mutilation. Please exercise discretion. Time to completion: 15-25 minutes]
Hana has been acting unlike herself lately. Can you find out why?
We, the player, see Hana's feelings through the eyes of four different people. Each is meant to play a supportive role in her life, but their different personalities means that their support can express itself in very different ways. The catch: the only thing you can control is what other people say to Hana. Some of the NPCs would have been self-centred had we only been able to see from Hana's point of view, but being able to play through their perspectives - and seeing their doubts and awkwardness - made them much more sympathetic, even when they say things which would be frankly hurtful.
Hana's journal entries provide immediate feedback about your conversational choices. I found myself wondering how I could optimise outcomes for Hana - or, indeed, if it was even possible. But there's something to this, isn't there? No matter our intentions, our words of comfort can so easily be interpreted in the exact opposite of what we mean.
Depending on the branch you end up getting, the overall tone of Hana Feels could be either cautiously optimistic or achingly sad. Despite occasionally getting to experience Hana's perspective, she remains distant; we can only ever reach her indirectly, through the filter of other people.
Hana has been nominated for Best NPC in the XYZZY awards, a fact which delights me, even if I'm never really sure what makes an NPC 'good'. The most I can say, though, is that the emotional investment the PCs pay into their interactions with Hana pays off. Each character reacts believably and sensitively to what the other says. A comparable game would be Hannah Powell-Smith's Thanksgiving or Aquarium, in which conversation is fraught and intricate as a dance.
Hana Feels ultimately deals with some weighty stuff - Hana, after all, has to deal with a lot and she doesn't always do this in a healthy way - but there are areas of levity, and perhaps even hope.
- Joey Jones (UK), November 20, 2016
- KathB (Toronto, Ontario), September 8, 2016
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