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Video Game: Hard Time
HARD Time... is a game made by Mat Dickie (otherwise known as MDickie, the creator of the infamous Author Tract game The You Testament. The game, touted as a "Prison Simulator" takes place Twenty Minutes into the Future where you're a criminal locked up in a jail/rehabilitation center for the express purpose of trying to reform you and make you an outstanding citizen once again. However, as the criminals here are very violent, as well as the guards watching over you, that might be easier said than done.

The game was made in 2009 and while not as big as The You Testament, it still has its fans (and an iOS version).

The game provides examples of:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: While the sentencing varies, the fact that you go to this prison due to everything from littering to terrorism shows this.
  • All There in the Manual: The game itself doesn't tell you the whole backstory. You gotta get the game's instruction booklet... which is in the game disk that you can buy with all of Mat's games on it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Because the game's AI is active regardless of where the player is, inmates or even THE GUARDS have a habit of killing each other.
  • Aerith and Bob: Plenty of it, too
  • Artistic License – Law: Oh, boy where do we start? While the game makes it justified that, since it takes place Twenty Minutes into the Future, there are new laws here to handle everything else, its mind-boggling to see just how much law is changed to handle this game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Just like The You Testament, characters can go from being friendly to stomping a mudhole in your ass. However, the game justifies this as everyone's hardened criminals
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In-game example. The criminals and the guards inside the prison will either pay you off or reduce your sentence for doing various things, including taking the heat off or altering your appearance.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : Just like The You Testament, carrying weapons and trying to take anything away from a person tends to lead to people dropping you and guards arresting you. This goes double if you join a gang - attack one of their own, even by accident, and they kick you out.
    • Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin': In the same vein, you can cause all the trouble you want and get arrested, only for the judge to say that the guard was overreacting.
  • Crapsack World: The game's backstory reveals that, in this time, there are more criminals than law-abiding citizens.
  • Fetch Quest: Sometimes, you're given missions by criminals to deliver an item to a certain person within a certain timeframe. The same goes for the guards, who'll ask you to improve something that you have.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas are one of the only two bladed weapons in the game. And seeing as they have incredible reach and power... yeah.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: There's a woodshop in the game where you can construct weapons. Sometimes, you can build a beach ball, sometimes a machine gun.
  • The Neutral Zone: Guards can't enter the bathroom, so you're free to do whatever you want with it.
  • Throwing Everything Always Works: Seeing as you can toss all your weapons and people, watching it strike crowds of criminals and guards with painful accuracy is always fun.
  • Title Drop: Done in the very beginning by the judge.
    Judge: "It may not be a long time, but it will be HARD time!"
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Nothing in the game states that you can't just outright murder someone. Thus, it is probably actually possible to Kill 'em All, though you'll get a small trickle of new guys to replace them. A Let's Play from Nerdł ended with his entire cell block dead by katana.
    • Video Game Caring Potential: In the same vein, listening to the guards and gaining reputation will have these guys fawning over you and are willing to give you a hand if others attack you.

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