Emily is Away Too is the sequel to the hit indie title Emily is Away. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
It’s 2006, you start up your PC, log in into a message program, and start talking to two of your friends, Evelyn and Emily. You talk about various things, like about music, movies and feelings with your two friends and usually these discussions veer off to other things such as relationships and your future. This is where this game shines.
Emily is Away Too is built upon the first game where you try and establish a relationship with Emily and it’s more of the same this time around as well. These relationships are built upon your choices, which gives you a ton of replay value for the game, to see how other dialogue options affect both Emily and Evelyn.
If you’re looking for a deep story however you will have to look somewhere else as this is as plain as it gets. To some people this game might seem boring as there’s not a lot of excitement and the story doesn’t have as many interesting plot points as you might find in something like a visual novel or a Telltale episodic game, for example.
The graphics are pretty much the same as the first game. There are a few other things, like fake YouTube and Facebook pages which all look close to their appearance in 2006. The pixel art style is really nice to look at. It’s a fun look that takes you back to the good old days of booting up Windows XP and going to your favorite sites.
Emily is Away Too has a lot more music and other sound effects than the first game. The characters can send you links which lead you to music tracks, which most of them are not my style, but it’s still a really nice touch regardless. The sound effects for typing and Windows XP booting up are spot on and sound authentic.
The gameplay in Emily is Away Too is limited at best. It feels like a visual novel and that’s what it is at it’s core. Emily is Away Too is controlled entirely using your keyboard. You pick one of three options you are given, then you mash your keyboard to type it in and send it to your conversation friend. If you played the first game you know what to expect in the sequel, albeit with some new additions.
First of all there’s a time limit for you to respond to someone. If you don’t manage to respond in time, both Emily and Evelyn will question where you are and if you are able to talk. Your response matters a lot and will determine what kind of ending you get. Other things like characters sending you links to their Facebook pages and links to YouTube videos, which actually take you to a real URL page, is really cool.
The game could also benefit from a choice to back out of a conversation. Once you pick one of the options that’s it; you’re stuck with your option and have to type in what you picked, which sometimes lead to things you didn’t want to write.
Emily is Away Too is in every way a perfect sequel. It has a great story, some truly great emotional scenes, and a lot of cool Easter Eggs to find. The five dollar price tag for it is entirely worth it. You are looking at least at four hours of play time for a single playthrough. It also has a ton of replay value which makes the price of entry more than acceptable.
Note: This game was reviewed with a code provided by the developer/publisher.