The Average Gamer

Richard and Alice Preview

In this day and age of first person shooters (which I’m terrible at) it’s refreshing to get a proper adventure game to preview. Given that the game is being developed by Eurogamer’s Lewis Denby and The Telegraph’s Ashton Raze, I was curious to see how writers do when put in the developers seat. When opening the game we’re introduced to a post-apocalyptic world, a world covered in snow and where society has totally collapsed. As per any good movie, it seems all the good guys get thrown into prison and this is where we start the preview.

Our first introduction to Richard sitting in his cell watching old nature TV shows. There’s no guards in sight and it seems everything is done via computer rather than personal interaction. I’m still at a loss as to why a prisoner would have a computer, a TV and what appears to be a 1 bedroom apartment/cell. Richard is portrayed as a bad-ass ex-military person and we are lead to believe that he’s been arrested for disobeying an order that would have sacrificed his troops. There is a hint that his family are still out there, perhaps for us to find later in the full game?

Shortly the other character of the title turns up and ends up in the cell next door. This would be Alice, but why is she the first person to be jailed next to Richard? There’s a brief amount of dialog but then we’re into flashback mode, were we get to play through Alices story. Alice is shown to be a mother trying to survive in this world while protecting her son.

As with most previews we’re left with more questions than answers. What’s the deal is between Richard and Alice. Will they escape together? Do they become an item? What happened to Alice’s son? What on earth occurred in the house in the wilderness?

I found the game to be very polished but the major niggle for me was to the dialog display rate. I found it was way too slow but you can click to speed it up. You might be tempted to speed through it, but that would be like skim reading a book. This is a game about the story and puzzles, not the graphics.

Now speaking of the puzzles, I found them to be rather trivial with the exception of the first one, which only seemed complex due to a bug. You have to pass a photograph over to Alice but it kept registering that I was clicking on the prison bars rather than Alice. Eventually it worked and Alice got the photograph. Further on the puzzles remained trivial and I really do hope that this will change as the game progresses.

Richard and Alice has been put forward for the new Steam Greenlight platform. From reading the current comments it’s clear a lot of the people are missing the point of the game. There’s the usual trolling people who want AAA 3D graphics, failing to understand the story is what makes this game.

I really enjoyed the preview, and if you are into adventure games with a retro feel then I’d suggest you check this out when it’s released.

Get updates from the developers on the official Richard and Alice site.