“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” – Alan Turing
Alone with You is an emotive sci-fi adventure game in which the player takes on the role of a space colony’s last survivor. They must escape the doomed base with help from a troubled AI and four helpful holograms.
Released: 9th February 2017
Price: £6.99 – £8.99
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Switch
Available on: Steam, itch.io, Humble, Playstation, eShop
A group set off from earth and in 2048 they formed a colony on a new planet. 16 years later, in 2064, the protagonist finds themselves the sole survivor of this doomed space base, ravaged by extraterrestrial weather and infectious plant life. The only thing left to do is escape, this will require the help of a disturbedAI named AF4B/3B and the holograms of four deceased colleagues.
The story takes place over 16 days and as it progresses we learn more details about t what happened to the space colony as well as getting to know the different NPCs. The dialogue is very well written, with good characterisation and distinct, rounded personalities. The player ends up quite invested in the different characters which make some of the later interaction and narrative elements feel quite hard-hitting and emotional.
The gameplay is like a cross between a visual novel, a third-person adventure game and a point-and-click puzzle. Each day the player must explore a different section of the colony in order to find objects and information that will help prepare the escape ship. The player can decide in which order to explore the different areas. There are a variety of puzzle types that come into play in these sections including finding passwords and logic and inventory based conundrums. Some of the puzzles do get a bit tricky and it is worth having a notebook handy as there will be bits of information that need to be remembered, mainly this will be for passwords to enter different areas or access computers.
These exploratory sections are followed by a holographic meeting with a pertinent staff member from the section of the space colony the player has visited that day. Conversations include talk or repairing the escape ship, general colony life, lighter friendly chatter and the occasional difficult subject. It is easy for the protagonist to feel a connection to these holograms due to the great dialogue and engaging characters with distinct backstories.
The only tiny downside is that there is maybe a little bit too much walking back and forth, but not so much as to ruin the experience or become frustrating. There are also no manual saves, but the auto-saves are frequent enough for this to not be a problem.
Alone with You features some wonderfully detailed 16-bit pixel art that uses a slightly muted colour palette with vibrant accents. The dramatic and atmospheric lighting is a highlight of the retro visuals. The deliberate choice to have the protagonist hidden throughout the game helps the player immerse themselves in the character.
The music fits the game well and ranges from funky, digital, retro sci-fi tunes to mesmerising ethereal tracks. The surround sound effects are similarly immersive with noises from echoey caves, water dripping, lightning and thunder all helping to create a real sense of the different environments.
Alone with You will take around 6-8 hours to play and overall, is a very enjoyable game. The retro styling, emotive narrative, endearing characters and engaging gameplay all blend together seamlessly to create a fun and poignant experience!
Looking for more sci-fi narrative adventures? Take a look at:
Citizen Sleeper – A Sci-Fi Narrative Adventure – Outsider: After Life – An Emotional New Sci-Fi Puzzle Game – FixFox: A Wholesome New Space Adventure