Also On: PS4
Publisher: Benjamin Rivers Inc
Developer: Benjamin Rivers Inc
Here's how I know that I love Alone With You: my only complaint with it is that the game suffers the occasional hiccup when it's saving or loading a new scene.
And that's it. That's barely even a complaint, too. It's more me occasionally thinking to myself, “Huh, that's annoying”, and then moving on from that thought a few seconds later, as soon as the loading or saving is done and the game moves on. It's one teensy, tiny wrong note in a game full of right ones, and it's something I'm totally happy to overlook considering everything else Alone With You does well.
Because my goodness is there a lot that Alone With You excels at. Most obviously, there's its look. The game is only slightly more advanced graphically than its creator’s last game, the pixel-heavy Home, yet it still conveys a sense of intimacy and warmth you might not be expecting. Alone With You may take place in a faraway world, and it may have be telling a story fraught with tension, but its design is so gorgeous, with a colour and an art style unlike anything else I could name, you can't help but feel immersed in its unique world.
It's helped in this regard by the score. Like, say, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Moon, Alone With You knows how to make a sparse soundtrack go a long way. Much like those cinematic masterpieces, the score here is simultaneously warm and inviting and cool and mysterious. I know there's at least a few contradictions in that last sentence, but believe me: once you hear it, you'll know what I mean.
Also like those movies, Alone With You's real strength — more than its visuals, more than its score — is its story. The game bills itself as a “sci-fi romance adventure,” and, somehow, it doesn't skimp on any of those descriptors. The stories here branch slightly depending on your choices, but whichever way you go, you're guaranteed to be immersed in a tale of alienation, isolation, companionship, and hope. Again, those qualities may seem contradictory, but in the hands of a work of art like this one, it's clear that there are no inherent contradictions at all.
At this point, I should probably circle back to my opening paragraph and admit that I may have lied a little. The real reason I know I love Alone With You is that I'm having a hard time explaining why I love it as much as I do. Sure, I stand by the idea that it has superior plotting, graphics. and music. But the real reason I love it is because, deep down, it just speaks to me. Give it a chance, and I suspect that it'll do the same for you.