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    Alone With You: Finding love in a doomed world

    From its onset, Alone with You paints a picture of doom and gloom. You are the only remaining human left on a planet. Your only connection to another is the colony’s A.I., which alerts you that the planet has 21 days left before it decays so much it becomes uninhabitable. You must build your own escape ship to leave before then, but you need to explore the colony to find the tools you need. Finding the right gear is just part of the challenge, since only long-dead crew members know how to use it.  Lucky for you, the A.I. can bring up holograms of past survivors who can impart their knowledge and aid you.

    This is an adventure game at heart, so there is plenty of exploration, such as visiting different parts of the colony and using your scanner to collect new data. However, the real draw comes from your interactions with the holographic replicas of long-dead inhabit-ants. During these chats, they give you tips on how to survive and make repairs, but you can also get intimate with them, learning more about who they were before they perished. Your chats can even blossom into dating and romance.

    In my demo, I chatted with Winnie. She talks about my pursuit to find some parts, and I respond to her questions by choosing from the different dialogue options. By the end of the conversation, she begs me to find out how she died; I immediately promise and make it my task. What you explore and what decisions you make tie into these conversations. “Different things you get to talk about on the date will be things you saw or didn’t see,” says creator Benjamin Rivers. “It’s not a game you’re supposed to min/max. [You’re] just supposed to naturally go through things and realize, ‘Oh yeah, we’re talking about that thing that I did. That’s cool.’ That exploring feeds into the dating and the dating feeds into the exploring.’”

    All players go through the main story, which focuses on getting off the planet, but the paths differ depending on your conversations with past colonists and how much you cozy up to them. Rivers created four different holo-grams, all with different quirks. For instance, Winnie deals with uncertainty and self-doubt, while the past colony leader, Pierre, is a cocky, flawed man. “Everyone has sort of a tragic ending,” River says. Rivers wanted the conversations to have a natural progression, where you get more intimate and discover more about these now-deceased characters.This even comes down to finding out how they died and why. He cites Persona’s social links as a big inspiration. “What I’ve tried to do is avoid the tropes that you often see, even like in Persona, the sporty girl or the shy one,” River says. “There’s always these very specific character tropes and I figured there’s a lot more room to get complex, while also being more iconic and approachable.”

    Alone with You holds a somberness that’s even more evident as you play, thanks to the tragic situation and the ambient soundtrack. Conversations with the holographic crew members come off as genuine, making you want to know more about these people. Even if it means coming to terms with the fact that they’ve ceased to exist and finding out the sadder circumstances behind that.

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