Title: Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing
Developer: Serenity Forge
Release Date: February 14, 2021
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Way Down Deep
The originalHalf Past Fate was released last year, but developer Serenity Forge and publisher Way Down Deep decided to work on a shorter adventure in the same universe. Focused on romance during our social distancing times. This would lead to the release of Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing, which recently found its way to PC and Switch.
Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing tells the story of a new couple, Stephen Xi and Robin Winters. After their first meeting, they’re suddenly met with pandemic restrictions. The dire situation makes them unable to see each other as they strictly keep their relationship online despite living in the same city.
The circumstance makes for an interesting twist, and it feels relatable since it’s based on contemporary events. This is also handled with tact, so it shouldn’t be a bother to most people that the theme is vivid in our daily lives.
It actually might be a little unrealistic how people are so respectful to the norms. However, it’s interesting how both characters’ circumstances are shown. The gameplay segments alternate between Stephen and Robin, allowing the player to interact with objects in their houses and understand a little about who they are.
However, Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing is on the short side, roughly an hour at most, which in this particular case makes it feel a little underdeveloped. Both characters are funny, with interesting personalities and charisma. Little bits of their backstory are shown through the dialogue and during exploration. But the relationship itself feels a little lacking.
After the couple has to stay home, there are huge time gaps where the story focuses only on the main conflict and resolution. There are a few images of what they did during the time, but the player has little control, and it feels more like two friends with common interests than them dating. Sadly, their relationship just doesn’t evolve much, which might be expected with a game this short.
Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing is very colorful in the visuals department, with lively and detailed environments. It feels like a miniature of a town that exists in reality, filled with charm and a comfortable atmosphere. The soundtrack also contributes to making it a wholesome and endearing experience. However, that isn’t enough to make the game particularly compelling.
The only issue with Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing is that its runtime is simply not enough. The characters’ relationship feels underdeveloped, and even the themes of “romance during a pandemic” don’t really stick. Still, if you’re looking for a really quick adventure with a comfortable atmosphere and absolutely no complications, it could offer an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
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