Work together with an AI and four friendly holograms to escape a doomed planet.
Alone With You
Developer: Benjamin Rivers Inc.
Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC (reviewed)
MonsterVine was provided with a PC code for review.
Alone With You describes itself as a “sci-fi romance adventure.” Two of those three descriptors are quite apparent.
You play the last survivor of a doomed space colony after a failed attempt to terraform an alien planet. With everyone else dead, your only hope is to repair your colony’s ship and try to escape. The colony’s AI guides you through the tasks you need to do, and each day, you visit a different area of the planet to gather supplies.
In every area, you can examine and scan objects to learn information about them. Some items can also be picked up to help you solve puzzles, in a simplified adventure game style. When you’re close enough to scan something, the game prompts you to do so, which makes it easy enough to find everything you need.
The puzzles often involve taking items from one place to another, but several are riddles, with clues you need to piece together to figure out passcodes. However, gameplay is not this game’s focus. Your exploration also reveals details about the nature of the disaster that destroyed the colony, as well as information about the people involved.
Four of these people will also be your allies. You see, the AI isn’t your only virtual companion. The memories of four key staff members have been preserved as holograms, and these holograms use their information to help repair your ship. Every night, you get a chance to talk to one of them.
Alone With You sets up a perfect situation for existential questions. As you learn more about these people, you bond with them, even though they’re no longer alive. In fact, they even consider themselves to be separate individuals from their original selves, since their memories diverged when the original people could no longer use the system.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t go far with this concept. There are some questions about human companionship versus virtual companionship, especially at the end, but the holograms’ personalities never shone strongly enough to make me feel true attachment—let alone romance. The romantic elements are present if you look for them, but they’re not nearly as prevalent as you might expect from the game’s description.
Alone With You could greatly benefit from a “skip” feature like those in visual novels, which would allow the player to try different options without needing to repeat everything. Multiple save files would also help. There are dialogue choices and multiple endings, but most of the game will remain the same—and the gameplay, while enjoyable enough the first time through, isn’t necessarily compelling enough for multiple playthroughs.
Nevertheless, it still delivers a good story. Learning the fate of the colonists, as well as the actions and hopes of the four hologram characters, was intriguing enough to keep me interested until the end.
The Final Word
Alone With You doesn’t delve as deeply into its existential themes as you might expect, and its romance elements are light, but it still provides an enjoyable experience and an interesting story about the only survivor of a sci-fi disaster.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 4 out of 5 – Good