3 Reasons the Emily is Away Games Are More Than Just Visual Novels
When it comes to video game genres, visual novels can be somewhat niche, as the last thing some gamers want to do to decompress is read. As time has gone on, though, series like Emily is Away have proven that these titles are more than just video game literature.
And with the newly announced release date of the next game in the series, Emily is Away <3, now is the perfect time to discuss why exactly these games are so good. These are three reasons why the Emily is Away games are more than just visual novels.
The main draw of the Emily is Away series is how it plays on the nostalgia of growing up through the rise of the internet. Each game allows players to relive times where AIM and Facebook were new and dominated everyone’s social lives.
Experiencing these sights, sounds, and interactions again for the first time is a pleasant stroll down memory lane, invoking fond memories of what it was like to be young again with things like Away Messages. Just hearing the door opening and closing sounds just makes me want to go to AOL and log into my Jonnysunamy account (yes, I didn’t know how to spell Tsunami).
Heck, even if you didn’t grow up as a teen during this time period, Emily is Away does a great job at conveying what is was like, thanks to the way it builds its world.
Now, it may sound far-fetched to think that a visual novel is able to flesh out an entire world simply based on an hour-long experience reliving old social media sites. Yet, that is exactly what Emily is Away manages to do.
Even though the core experience of the game revolves around talking to either Emily or Evelyn and choosing what messages to send, developer Kyle Seeley put a lot of attention to detail into each game’s environment. Whether it was replicating even the slightest sounds of people logging on or off, the colorful Personal Profiles of NPCs you couldn’t interact with, or the entire layout of Facenook, the layouts are perfect.
Thanks to the setting that the game builds, the story is able to thrive, as it really feels like your talking to someone despite it being an on-rails novel.
While it may not be something that is unique to Emily is Away, the amount of choice and interactivity that make up each game is still pretty impressive. Depending on the choices that are made throughout, players can experience numerous different stories.
In the first game, those choices are a bit more limited, as you always end up with the same ending regardless. Still, you’ll receive numerous distinct responses to choose from that lead to that ending depending on the message you choose to send, resulting in very unique journeys.
Emily is Away Too builds upon this idea, creating multiple endings for each character that can only be reached by following certain paths. In total, there are six endings for Emily and Evelyn, varying from good, bad, and neutral endings where you’ll either stay friends or end up as a couple.
With up to five characters to interact with in Emily is Away <3, we can only imagine all of the possibilities the next game in the series will have when it comes to its branching narrative.