Average Playtime: 1 hour

Emily is Away

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About

Emily is Away is an indie-developed visual novel created by Kyle Seeley.

Plot

The game tells the story of the main character relationship with a girl named Emily which lasted for five years and began in the early 2000s.

Gameplay

Unlike most visual novels, this game is linear, with the players being unable to influence the plot development severely. The game resembles an online chat using an EOL messaging client running on an operating system that closely resembles Windows XP. There are multiple pop-culture references to the early 2000s era, such as the user profile icons, that resemble multiple old memes (like the Polish Polka), the icons on the main character's desktop that show that he is a fan of 28 Days Later, Lord of The Rings, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

As the game goes on, the players are able to change their profile icon according to the tendencies of these years. It is also possible to interact not only with Emily, but also with their classmates, and the main player's friends. The main gameplay revolves around chatting with emilyluv (she will later change her nickname to emerly). You discuss your high school love with her and your classmate Brad that harasses Emily. It turns out that your other classmate, Travis, is planning a party, which the players can choose to attend with Emily or stay at home.

Platforms
Release date
Developer
Kyle Seeley
Publisher
Kyle Seeley
Age rating
Not rated
Website
http://emilyisaway.com/

System requirements for Linux

System requirements for PC

Minimum:
  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2+
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or later
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM

System requirements for macOS

Minimum:
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Processor: Intel
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
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Last Modified: Sep 17, 2019

Where to buy

Steam

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Emily is Away reviews and comments

Emily is one of the most one-dimensional I have ever encountered in a video game, there is absolutely nothing special about her, but the game still manages to make her seem like she's worthy and makes the protagonist to be at fault. You cannot control the events that happen outside the chat, such as the option of kissing Emily at Travis' party or being in a relationship with Emma. It's a very mundane game and the creator could've easily fixed it, starting with Emily's character.
«Waste of time»
«Boooring»
Not much of a game as it is a late 90s/early 00s simulator of being a teen during the early days of the internet. The story is told via AIM messages and there is so much nostalgia here for me. It was a great experience and I'm glad that it exists.
«That ending!»
The best executed elements of this game have to do with the ambience and storyline, which manages to hit on both nostalgia for the relevant periods and the profound feelings of regret and loss that we all have about the friendships and crushes that slowly faded into nothing.  The big narrative twist at the end of the game moved me in a way that few games can, and the dialogue between the main characters was very well-written and believable.  There's also a fair amount of extra dialogue to explore given the number of options that you can hit.  

Why, given this fulsome praise, does it get a "Recommended" rating?  It's not very much of a game in that almost every option shunts you off to the main ending, so your choices don't end up mattering for most of the game.  Now, I get the message that the creator was trying to send with this choice and I don't oppose having the game have a single ending, but there's no other game play other than dialogue choices and you aren't really rewarded for choosing different paths beyond some extra flair in the ending messages.  (There are two additional endings but they are pretty predictable and not as well written as the main one).

The easter egg screen-names that you can unlock are very fun, and the creator of the game gets bonus points for making them hard to guess but still intuitive and writing a bunch of extra dialogue for each one.  Overall, it's recommended as an artistic experience even though there isn't much of a "game" here.
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«That ending!»
«Beaten more than once»
Translated by
Microsoft from French
This is not a game with challenge. This is not a game that offers great replayability. It is not a game that congratulates the player for his actions and whose choices are based on long hours of gameplay. It only brings the illusion. It's a game that interactively reminds the past of many of us, before Facebook, Twitter, and social networks, where the only way to meet people was to surf the Internet looking for MSN addresses and/or nicknames. It is a generational game for those who have known the Internet with instant messaging and chats and who have been emotionally involved in passionate discussions, sometimes without ever meeting or seeing the person but knowing all about his life, his doubts, and his daily life. It is finally a game intended for those who one day discovered that a relationship could not lead to anything and that despite everything continued to try to maintain the flame, until even exchanging banalities for the sole purpose of remembering the memory of an old friend, until he rejoiced to see that the person was still connected even if he did not speak to us already. And until it moves on, builds a life, abandons the software/site and by this fact, all hope to reconnect contact. The strength of the game is that each, through the character of Emily, is brought to remember these conversations and his feelings of then, bringing some nostalgia. Emily is not a great character, on the contrary, she represents the clichés of the friendly friend who we like to discuss and that we lose little by little sight. The great character is that person whom she represents, for us, and that we see through her: this friend or this lost love who, while we have long been moved to other things by making other relationships, perhaps even stronger, remains in us as a nice little souvenir of our adolescence and these long hours to type our thoughts on a keyboard to an attentive ear. Download it, try it, a game lasts no more than an hour. It's a free, unpretentious little game,.. If you don't like it, go your way: there are flaws (the girl who only talks to us every year for example, some choices too expeditive or not quite varied) but they are here to streamline the story and extract its pure message , like some details that will not fail to make the nostalgic smile (the expectation of writing the message symbolized by the small sentence meaning that this one was written, erased, rewritten, or the main character who erases certain words for re-formulate his sentences and make them less revealing). If you are not receptive, it is that it was not created for you; Too bad. But, if you recognize yourself in what I wrote above, play it, give it a chance. I don't think you'll regret it. PS: for more immersion, listen to the music that Emily speaks to you while you play:)
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