Hard Time is a totally ridiculous game in which the ridiculous characteristic might be totally intentional. You play the role of a convicted felon who has to serve time in a prison that’s well know for how tough and dangerous it is.
A basic game that’s meant to be simple fun
Before you enter the correctional facility, you can create a custom character after choosing from a few features such as height, hair color, face, build, outfit and a couple of RPG specific stats. Regardless of the selection you make, your character will inevitably look like he’s been sent to prison so that everyone there can make fun of him.
After that, following a short trial, you’re sent to prison where you can enjoy all the game glitches and nonsensical chats between you, the other inmates and the guards.
Gameplay that’s far from polished but somehow still acceptable
In the first few seconds of the game you might find yourself instantly being beat up by the guards without any particular kind of warning, or because you’re chinese when your skin tone is really dark. Once in a while a guard might drop or simply throw his weapon at another officer and you can easily pick it up and start shooting.
The strange and bad part is that you can burst down a guard but still have him pick himself up, get right up into your face and start threatening you. If you pick on someone or someone picks on you, the guards will either beat you, him or each other.
There is logic behind this game. For example you can mix various types of drugs to create something more potent and sell it inside the prison for extra cash. However, if you’re not smart enough you can’t do it so you nee to increase your intelligence by going to the study. While there, you might want to use the computer but find out you’re too dumb to even do that so you pick up a book. While doing so, there’s a fairly big chance that you will either get beaten up or wake up in another part of the prison.
It was a good idea but it seems to have not even passed basic prototyping
All in all, Hard Time has a good idea at heart and the whimsical design of it all is rather nice. The bad, actually horrible, part is that gameplay is seriously flawed and in need of fixing.