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Emily is Away review
by Kyle Weber

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.
«That ending!»
«Beaten more than once»

Other reviews5

cool story but got kinda boring by the end
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!»
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:)