Been away awhile. Working on other projects, and the budget constraints have prevented me from picking up the new releases I've wanted. But I still found time to at least poke around Steam for something interesting (and free) , and that's when I came across this delightful short little game, Emily is Away. Emily is Away is a quasi-Visual novel, its an interactive story that's free on Steam. It was released on November 20th last year, so we're getting close to it's 1st Birthday. We're a bit early but I figured we'd cover it now.
Emily is Away is short, and that's the first thing you should know. It's a short little game but there is a lot packed into it and it's a focused experience, you're lead down a specific road and it's meant to make you feel something. The creator, Kyle Seeley, obviously had a specific vision in mind for the game and he carried it out wonderfully.
It's rare that I find a game that completely stops me in my tracks, but if there was one I'd have to say that it was Emily is Away. The basic premise is that you have a friend, who is named Emily (absolutely connected to the title, by the way) and it involves your interactions over the course of five years. But instead of texting or emailing you've got some good old fashioned, classic instant messager. Technology that's a bit before my time but I can appreciate it the same as any other man I assure you.
Without giving too much of the story away you follow the lives of Emily and your character through college and the ups and downs generally associated with it. Do you know the feeling you have when you're chatting around with your friends online and suddenly something changes. You cant physically see the person and it's a bit harder to pick up on with such an impersonal means of communication but you just feel something is off? So you type out your inner thoughts, your concerns and feelings and right before you hit send, you just delete them. That is this game.
I wish there was more to say, but Emily is Away is a perfectly short little experience you can download quickly and finish in the early evening before moving into the hard liquor to help you sleep that night.