Some games have more gamey elements than others. Alone With You is a sci-fi adventure that deals with the fundamental questions of humanity. It's a stylishly told story about loss, choice and consciousness. Alone With You is also most definitely a game. It's just not as much of a game as most other games.
In Alone With You the player gets to control the last surviving member of a space colony on a distant celestial body. The planet is plagued by huge storms and furthermore it's about to explode so the player needs to escape. Thankfully the colony's A.I. is there to help and tells the survivor what to do. During the adventure the player also gets to know several holographic versions of dead colonists, thanks to the resourceful A.I..
Alone With You's slogan portrays the game as a sci-fi romance adventure and that description is very apt. The player has some degree of control over how he or she decides to interact with the colony's A.I. and the holograms. The game never reveals the face of the main character so the player gets to project his or her own thoughts on what's inside the androgynous space suit.
From a structural perspective this is a combination of visual novel and adventure game, and it's main game mechanic is repetition. The main character wakes up in the morning, talks to the A.I., goes on a mission, solves a few puzzles, returns to base, talks to the A.I., goes back to bed, talks to a hologram in the middle of the night, goes back to sleep. The loop begins again in the morning. As such the game elements are quite limited. The repetitive hallways, animations and tasks will start to bore the player sooner or later.
The puzzles are particularly one dimensional. In order to advance the game the player needs to open locked doors, find useful items, and investigate passwords. This all happens by pressing a few buttons. For example, it's pretty much impossible to try and use found items in the wrong locations. As with the whole game, the puzzles also start to repeat themselves very quickly. The player soon learns where to find passwords, where to use memory cards and so on. There is not much of a challenge here for the old grey matter.
The game is clearly either too long or contains too many repetitive tasks. Moments of boredom can't be avoided. Still somehow, after the game has ended, you might find yourself missing the daily loop of events. Also, it's hard to say goodbye to the A.I. holograms because during the four-hour-long story the player gets to know them pretty well. As a whole the game's overall atmosphere can leave a surprisingly lasting impression. The interesting and uniform retro graphics and discreet soundtrack back up the sci-fi story perfectly. Alone With You is a really stylish and well crafted game it terms of theme and design, but it's not for everyone. This is a linear, mechanically underwhelming and repetitive sci-fi adventure. However, for those looking for a piece of unique and stylish storytelling, it could be well worth checking out.
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