Emily is Away Too
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|8/10, based on 1 review
|9.0/10 - 2 votes
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|Simulator Games, Best Casual Games, Best Indie Games, Text Adventure, Emily is Away Series
Remember back in like 2006/07 when you were a bit younger and you could stay up messaging with someone you liked on a chat client without blacking out by 11:30pm? Things seemed so much simpler then and that feeling of odd nostalgia wrapped up in multiple choice plots is exactly what you’re going to be getting here in Emily is Away Too by Kyle Seeley.
To say it frankly, the gameplay is pretty straightforward and there isn’t a lot to it. It’s simulating chat clients so you traditionally have options on how to respond to the messages that are coming up and then the plot unfurls from there. You aren’t free to write your own responses, I know that’s what some people wanted but that’s an outrageous amount of programming required.
You can make a few cursory choices early on in regards to profile picture, name and what is contained within your profile bio but outside of that, what defines your character is what they say during the conversations that you have with the two distinctly different, personable and unique characters.
It really felt like the characters in the game were watching for your responses. They would bring up what you said and reference it later, if you showed great inconsistencies throughout then that would be mentioned. Be nice or rude, be helpful or not, it will be remembered and referenced. Meaning, if you didn’t like your ending or wanted a different one, there’s a good amount of replay value within the game.
There are a few aspects in this game that helped ground it while simultaneously keeping it light. The chat client is very reminiscent of AOL Instant Messenger; there is Facenook and YouToob which probably don’t need explanations on what they reference. Although these things aren’t quite accurate to the world we know, the idea of receiving a link to a song a character likes and going to listen to it adds an incredible depth to the title that I wasn’t expecting.
There are a few endings to the game that arise based on what your decisions were throughout. This adds so much to the game, you may not get the ending you wished for, and you may fall out with a person and wind up hated. It’s so rich and engaging that I found myself caring quite a lot about what I chose to say to each person.
Bare with me as a draw an odd comparison to The Witcher games. Although the gameplay is nothing like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I found myself giving the same amount of care and attention to what I said to each person because I instinctively knew that it mattered, and it forced a quick investment out of me which is impressive for a game so small.
This game doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not, it’s clever and can be heartbreaking and I found myself surprisingly invested in it for its short run time. If you enjoy interesting and slightly off-the-beaten-path indie games then this is a must play.
- Great characterisation
- Amusing customisation options
- Feels like the options narrowed in the late game
- More characters would have been cool