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Chinese players start review-bombing Life is Strange: True Colors over Tibetan flag

Protagonist Alex Chen looking at an off-camera woman who is in distress.
(Image credit: Deck Nine Games)

Life is Strange: True Colors is set in the town of Haven Springs, where a shop called Treasures of Tibet can be seen flying a Tibetan flag above its entrance. That flag is used a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement and is banned in mainland China, which is why it's become a source of complaint among Chinese players on Steam.

While its user rating remains Very Positive, the majority of its negative reviews are from Chinese players. "The game contains elements of Tibetan independence, implying a split of China", says one negative review, and "Tibet is a part of China", repeats another. According to a third, "Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet have been Chinese territories since ancient times. No matter how the obsolete think, they will eventually return to the mainland.I suggest that NEETs read more books, stop being stupid, and find a job to support themselves.Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet is part of China forever".

Previously, Chinese users review-bombed Devotion to a much greater degree for containing a hidden reference to a meme that compared Chinese president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. Similar incidents are not always politically motivated, however. Nier: Automata was review-bombed for lacking Chinese language support when it was released in Asia. Simplified Chinese is the most popular language on Chinese, and China represents Steam's second-largest market.

Beginning this month, new restrictions mean Chinese players under the age of 18 are only allowed to play online games for one hour per day, from 8-9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and official holidays. That doesn't affect an offline singleplayer game like Life is Strange: True Colors, of course.

As for the game itself, our reviewer Rachel Watts enjoyed it. "Although True Colors has its pitfalls," Rachel wrote in her Life is Strange: True Colors review, "I have never had this much fun with a Life is Strange game. Previous games in the series have dealt with some incredibly heavy topics, like convincing a friend not to jump off the roof of a building or experiencing horrendous racism, so even when there are happy moments, they often come across as bitter sweet, a fleeting moment in an unfair world. True Colors has its fair share of drama, but it also has moments of incredible joy." 

Jody Macgregor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.