'Hiveswap: Act 1' is a prequel to the (very) long-running webcomic, Homestuck. I have never read Homestuck. I have never read Homestuck and basically only know what someone can find out by walking around a convention and asking a few questions to anyone with grey skin and horns, such as "Why do you have grey skin and horns?"

Should you read Homestuck first?

I would give this a hard "maybe," since I have not read the webcomic. I will say, however, that one of the main characters, Joey, appeared to be just as confused as I was when she appeared on Alternia.

Using this, the game is able to give exposition without straying from natural conversation.

Though I'm sure there were many references to Homestuck, it didn't seem that any prior knowledge of the series was necessary as this is a prequel. As such, I feel that you can play the game with no knowledge of the series and enjoy it greatly, but longtime fans will have a much deeper appreciation of the game.

How was it?

To be honest, the list of things I didn't like is remarkably short, seemingly restricted to the "typing quirX," as Xefros calls them while demonstrating his own. While I do enjoy the idea of characters having unique habits, I found that the predilections Xefros has for incorporating the letter "X" and using emoticons (though I will say that adding his horns to the emoticons was quite cute.) I know that these quirks will probably be quite common throughout the game and Homestuck, so I may be less bothered by it as more acts are released.

As a fan of point-and-click adventure games (and someone who certainly doesn't mind the current revival they are experiencing!), I thought that this game did a fantastic job as an homage to the genre and the 90s in general! You will start the game in a mansion very reminiscent of '5 Days a Stranger' before being launched to a hive that looks closer to 'Space Quest' series.

Unlike a lot of earlier games o the genre, the puzzles are rather straight-forward and logical, including the fight scenes. The quality, albeit easy, puzzle design definitely helps to set this game apart!

Hiveswap doesn't only benefit from quality puzzles, but the game also uses a gorgeous art style that focuses largely on bevels and vibrant colors.

The game uses this to show the player many items reminiscent of the time period, such as POGs, dial-up modems, and even a quick game of Simon Says. The scenery is complemented by humorous writing and a charming techno soundtrack that fits the overall aesthetic perfectly.

I would suggest for anyone who enjoys the genre to play this game, whether you have read Homestuck or not; you will be delighted with the charming characters, a remarkable art style, and engaging gameplay. I personally look forward to learning more about the fascinating culture of the trolls in the upcoming acts.