Alone With You (PC) - ReviewEvan Norris , posted on 14 February 2017 / 8,441 Views
Alone With You sells itself as a sci-fi romance adventure, and that's really the most apt and efficient description for this unique title. Designed by Benjamin Rivers of Home fame, Alone With You is part adventure and part dating simulation, wrapped up in a science-fiction setting. It asks heady questions about artificial intelligence and human nature, and questions whether flesh-and-blood people can feel genuine affection for digital creations.
Set on a doomed extraterrestrial colony, Alone With You follows a survivor as he/she attempts to find missing components for an escape ship. The survivor needs more than just food stores, communications equipment, and fuel, though. He/she needs the expertise to use them. Cue the colony's artificial intelligence system, which creates digital constructs of the colony's experts, all of whom have gone missing. By communicating with these experts via a hologram simulator, the survivor slowly learns how to make the escape ship function.
Alone With You is divided into two main sections. During the day, the survivor travels by shuttle to various outposts: communications relays, mines, administrative buildings, etc. There, he/she explores, solves puzzles, collects information, and, sometimes, discovers the remains of deceased colonists. At night, the survivor chats with one of four experts, based on which location was explored that day.
The day sessions are your typical adventure fare. Players will read leftover audio logs, search for passwords, and collect inventory. Moving around is easy and intuitive. The arrow keys allow player movement and the space bar interacts with most objects. The highlight of these daily excursions are the environments. Although the graphics are pixelated, the physical spaces are rich with detail and laid out smartly. Backtracking is necessary but it's difficult to get lost or disoriented.
Unfortunately, the puzzles within these environments are on the easy side. This simplicity keeps the game moving at a brisk pace but rarely will players experience that euphoria of an "a-ha!" moment when a frustrating problem is finally solved.
Alone With You makes up for this lack of challenge somewhat during its night sessions, which allow players to probe for information but also to forge relationships with digital constructs. Here, players can ask and answer questions. Based on a conversation during one evening, a different set of dialogue options may pop up the following evening. In addition, the artificial intelligence will offer up special meetings between the survivor and a simulation of his/her choosing at several points in the game. It's here where more meaningful connections are made.
The ability to select different "partners" and the inclusion of different dialogue trees gives Alone With You some nice replay value. This is especially welcome as the game can be beaten in about five to six hours. That said, it would have benefited from longer and deeper conversations.
That's Alone With You in a nutshell: it's a strong foundation that would benefit greatly from extra content. The level and puzzle design is smart. It just needs more levels and trickier puzzles. The relationship-building aspect is engaging and provocative. It just needs more options and lengthier conversations. As it stands now, Alone With You is an intellectually challenging adventure game with a compelling story, but with a lot of room to grow.
This review is based on a digital copy of Alone With You for the PC, provided by the publisher.