An indie title from Kyle Seeley called Emily Is Away Too is a simulation role-playing game set in a cordoned off section of the digital internet age. It centers around three friends, which includes you, Emily and Evelyn. It’s a multi-choice game where each decision you make opens up a new pathway and a new form of inter-personal discovery.
The game has been slowly gaining more and more traction as more than a thousand user reviews have piled in giving it an overwhelmingly positive score.
Seeley was wise enough to avoid posting up critical feedback from the big boys in the games media industry, and instead settled on some corny and satirically sincere feedback from popular YouTubers. Clearly he’s not interested in displaying the verdicts from the cabal that makes up the old guard of games journalism.
Despite the digitized graphics and somewhat old-school appeal of the chat rooms and design scheme featured in the game, the charm and wit of the characters you interact with through the text space seem to have come alive enough to capture the attention of the Steam gaming audience. I suppose it also helps that the trailer is a pretty nifty little meta-message about putting together something catchy and fun all while keeping it in kayfabe with the game’s world. You can check it out below.
Emily Is Away Too has slowly been climbing up the sales charts since its release at the end of May, and it seems to be gaining some steady momentum due to its non-linear and somewhat engrossing take on the effects and personalities affected by online chat culture and friendship.
It seems like a really dumb idea, but it’s a dumb idea put together really well within the canvas of exploring what makes friendship mean something when there’s no physical interactions taking place, and the breadth of emotions that friendship will take you through when it seems as if it’s ended.
Someone even gave the game a bad rating because of how the game didn’t quite meet their expectations on their third and fourth playthrough where something happened that they didn’t expect to happen and it took them for a swerve.
After putting in 11.5 hours worth of game time, 9WhiteMask wrote…
“All in all, I still took hours to play the game, and done four ending, hoping to have a better review for it! And no.
[…] And I ended mad, doing this review because this fourth ending wasn’t satisfying! And now, I’m crying a little because this game isn’t meeting my expectations! And f*** I do love those stupid teenager love stories when it’s well done!”
I don’t know if you could really ask for a better negative review when someone plays through your game four times and ends up being overtly emotional about it due to ending not quite giving them what they expected.
Anyway, the $4.99 title is one of those slice-of-life style role-playing games that seems like the equivalent of a thoroughly Western visual novel. Typically most of the slice-of-life games we get are from Japanese developers or Western developers pretending to imitate Japanese culture. In this case Emily Is Away Too is purely a Western take on internet communication culture, and the relationships that develop (or fall apart) within the space of an online chat room.
You can learn more about the game by visiting the Steam store page.
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