LadiesLadies How to Win

How to Win Review (Steam) 

Game: How to Win
Genre: Visual Novel
System: PC (Steam)
Developer|Publisher: Hidden Track
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US teen
PriceUS $7.64 | UK £5.51 | EU € 5,94
Release Date: March 31st, 2021

Review code provided with many thanks to Hidden Track

How to?

How to Win is an unusual game to describe. I guess an experimental experience is the best way to put it. A game that was developed during the challenging year that was 2020. It was created by taking suggestions made by the public from questions posed by the developers such as ‘How to slay the dragon?’ or ‘How to make the most money?’.  You’re essentially playing through the results of these poles in a visual novel style game. Considering the game is called How to Win, you don’t really get to have any input in this session.

LadiesGamers How to Win
Questions were asked, people responded

From Office to Dragon Slaying

So the story, where to begin. Set across five chapters, the game starts out with you working for a company where you have to click a button to make money, working under a sarcastic and difficult lady, Susan. In the next chapter, you are attempting to slay a dragon, the next running an amusement park and finally working in a TV station. This game takes you to different places but what becomes very apparent early on is how the game weaves in its political themes which may not sit well with all audiences.

LadiesGamers How to Win
Susan is a meanie

Content Warning

How to Win begins with a warning page informing the player that the game contains references to racism, transphobia, climate change, police violence and many more. The warning is appreciated since I feel this game really won’t suit everyone, especially those who have already had a difficult year in 2020. At times the game felt uncomfortable to play and has a habit of reminding you just how rotten the world is with facts and newspaper quotes.

After the end of chapter 3, I almost just walked away from the game for good. It felt like it all got a bit much since 2020 wasn’t exactly easy for me either and playing a game like this just didn’t feel good for my mental health. But I decided to continue and on finishing I was quite surprised by the game’s final message which does address the games main question ‘How to Win’ (sort of). A message that actually made a lot of sense but it felt like running through a rose bush with pointy thorns to get to it. 

LadiesGamers How to Win
Sums up the answer to most questions Mr Dragon with specs

Visual Novel

How To Win is essentially a visual novel style game. You use the mouse to click through each panel at your own pace. You can save anywhere if you need to take a break and continue where you left off later. The game offers zero challenge, all you have to do is click through each screen reading the text and occasionally making some dialogue choices and playing some very simple mini-games.

Though presented with multiple dialogue options it didn’t feel like this had much impact on how the game played out as all routes appear to end at the same conclusion. Since this was the case I didn’t feel much connection with the game. 

LadiesGamers How to Win
Choices are offered but your input feels to make no difference

Graphics and Length

The art style is crude hand-drawn sketches with the odd photo of Susan slapped on, that looks like it came from some generic office website. Considering the game was made in a year I guess the developers did what they could with limited resources. A positive is this game can probably run on anything, even my rubbish laptop.

There is also a very forgettable soundtrack that plays in the background. In total the game took me around three hours to finish all five chapters with regular breaks. I may have liked the ending but I didn’t feel compelled to replay the game again. When you finish, the game does direct you to a link where you can answer and influence the next season of the game. 

LadiesGamers How to Win
Click to make money


How to Win will most likely have a divided audience which may be what the developers intended. Some people will play this and enjoy the experimentation attempted here. However, some will probably find this experience uncomfortable and difficult to take in with the subject matters on display. Overall, it wasn’t for me but I respect the developers trying something different. If you Want to Win you don’t need to play this game. If you took the time out of your busy schedule to read this review consider yourself the Ultimate Winner!

There is a free demo available on Steam if you want to try it before you buy. The developers are also planning a season 2 where you can give suggestions and decide what happens next.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure

I'm not sure

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