Alone With You is a very different and interesting game. It’s a Sci-Fi romance adventure that takes place on a desolate space colony that only contains you and an AI as the main characters. Everyone else is gone–it’s up to you to work with the AI to discover more about what happened and to try to escape before it’s too late. The ship is damaged and the four crew members who could have helped repair (if you can even find the needed parts and components) have died. However, you can search across the different research facilities to find the necessary parts and reconstruct the fallen crew members in a holo-sim to not only learn more about them but to also receive some assistance from them on the repairs. This is Alone With You and you’ve likely never experienced anything like it before.
The first thing I’m overwhelmed by is Alone With You‘s atmosphere. It’s very thick. The bright but dreary 16-bit Sega CD style graphics help convey a warm but distorted atmosphere and tone that’s strengthened further by the ambient music and almost chipper sound effects. There’s a sense of warmth in the game but there’s also the fleeting sense of despair that you might not make it out of here. Combined with the mysterious feeling of not knowing the full story of what happened and you have a very interesting atmosphere surrounding you. Every facet of the level design along with the graphics and sound design work in harmony to deliver an engrossing and immersive experience.
The story of Alone With You is one filled with mystery, wonder, and you get a sense of accomplishment and feel rewarded as you learn more about what happened and work to complete objectives across the 12+ missions to try to escape the planet. You’ll travel across research labs to empty cabins that are too quiet while searching for the needed components, learning more about the story, and completing objectives. As you navigate through the game, you’ll likely end up spending about six to eight hours beating the game but even then, this story is deeper than it may appear. There are multiple endings to discover and the conversation choices that you’re able to choose help make it feel more unique as you replay it. This not only adds to the replay value but also the meaningful feel of the game as well.
The story is well written and one of the best aspects of the game. The characters and dialogue are well written and you’ll end up caring about them rather quickly. The characters and the world just feel personal and surreal and it helps add to the magnitude of the situation you’re thrown into. The sense of being alone is strange as the AI will feel like life-like but you’ll also be reminded that it is an AI from the icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. It almost makes it feel more surreal. Without spoiling too much, though, the AI does feel like more than just an AI and it’s just good writing and will tug at your emotions as you learn more about the characters and the colony. The atmosphere and sound design help magnify the narrative and world into feeling emptier and will make you feel more alone. It almost adds this spooky feeling like you’re being watched. It’s rather interesting and I’d like to commend the developer in achieving all of this with such minimal design and resources.
Alone With You controls great. I personally liked playing with a keyboard but it also has native controller support, including the DualShock 4. This is rather fitting since this title released on PC, Mac, PS4, and Vita so it makes sense that they’d just throw native DualShock 4 support into the mix for the PC/Mac release as well. You can also use different gamepads if you so choose.
If you ever forget what you’re supposed to be doing you can tap a key/button and get a reminder from the AI. I really like this feature because it removed the constant need for navigation on an objective screen within a pause menu in a game that doesn’t really need all of that but it also strengthened and added to the sense that I could ask the AI for help. It helped add to that relationship but also served to remind me of what I needed to do whenever I got lost within the game’s atmosphere or forgot what I was supposed to be doing.
Puzzles are more miss than hit but it’s easily forgivable because of the atmosphere and the story. It’s definitely not a strong point. There were a few that I enjoyed but they were largely forgettable and just served to be something that needed to be completed. It can sometimes feel like you’re just fetching items and that kind of detracts from the stakes that the narrative and characters raise and discuss. This certainly doesn’t hurt the game too much but it is a cheap reminder that you’re just walking around and getting things in a video game when the rest of the game’s design is largely above all of this. It just kind of pulls you away at times but the atmosphere, music, and dialogue prevent this from being too much of an issue.
The gameplay for Alone With You is pretty light as this is mostly a game about story, relationships, and light exploration but it’s still a very enjoyable experience that I’d absolutely recommend everyone experiences at least once or twice. Many may want to play it more than that simply because of the multiple endings and personal dialogue options that serve to further insert you into the narrative. This is a good game though and I’m really excited to see what else the developer does and also curious what the small team would be able to achieve as it no doubt is able to expand from the success of Alone With You.
A review copy of Alone With You was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.
I really enjoyed Alone With You but I’m also a sucker for retro-inspired games and a good story. If you like games that have a larger focus on gameplay then you may not enjoy this but if you’re going to play one or two games outside your comfort zone with a story focus then I’d absolutely recommend giving this game a chance. You can pick it up on Steam or PSN for $9.99 USD and it’s hard to argue with that price when you’re going to get at least six to eight hours of entertainment out of it. To see my thoughts on games as I play through them, you can follow me on Twitter at @Mrjoshnichols. For more great reviews, make sure to keep it right here at BagoGames!
Alone With You
- Compelling story that will tug at you emotionally
- Interesting dialogue between main character and AI
- Beautiful and warm graphics reminiscent of the Sega CD era
- Ambient and atmospheric music helps set the tone
- Multiple Endings and plenty of missions woven into this tale
- No way to speed up dialogue
- Many puzzles aren't very satisfying but there are a few