At first glance, Alone With You looks like another indie pixel adventure game that prioritizes storytelling and narrative over gameplay and fun. While I’m a huge fan of games such as Gone Home, Life is Strange, and Dear Esther, Alone With You didn’t seem to stick with me at first, but after a few days in-game, I began to appreciate the attention to detail and interesting narrative developer Benjamin Rivers crafted for this “Sci-fi Romance Adventure.”
Nothing goes to waste in this game. Every environment and conversation felt warranted and helped move the plot along in a meaningful but not rushed pace. Unlike most adventure games, Alone With You has a plethora of realistic dialogue choices that helped me react to the AI counterpart in the way I wanted to instead of the typical black and white responses most games give you. The story is told in a disjointed way through the use of the environment, items you find off corpses, and conversations with digital recreations of the deceased crew. This is where Alone With You‘s writing really shines and allows you as the player to ingest as much of the story you want at your own pace. This inst without faults, though. At times I felt like I missed a piece of the narrative puzzle and was lost on what was happening. Be this by design or my incorrect choice of what places to explore, I felt like I was never quite seeing the bigger picture.
Due to the dark nature of the game’s story, Alone With You’s locations have a downright eeriness to it that not many games manage to capture. Developer Benjamin Rivers achieved this by the use of incredibly well-animated and detailed pixel cutscenes and its moody but upbeat soundtrack. The Music alone is worth checking out since composer Ivor Stines created a brilliant mix of huge trap/house beats under a moody horror meets intergalactic sound that’s as captivating as the original Hotline Miami soundtrack.
The gameplay in Alone With You isn’t much to boast about. While it’s bare bones, minimalist controls and lack of puzzles help the player focus on the story, it would have been nice to have at least an inventory system or something to make the game feel more like a “game” and not a visual novel. While I understand that this game is more about the journey and storytelling, I was expecting a lot more in the gameplay department. Near the end of my playthrough I found myself overlooking my initial doubts and really liking the bleak but visually simple world developer Benjamin Rivers managed to achieve.
Alone With You, while lacking much in the gameplay department, is definitely worth checking out for someone who just wants to sit down and check out an interesting story for a few hours.
Alone With You was provided to Techraptor by the publisher and is available now on PC, Mac, PS4, and Playstation Vita.