Top Critic Average
Tacoma successfully overcomes the challenge of featuring eight characters and making them all interesting in a relatively short game. Using the out-of-sequence AR recordings to learn about the exciting events on Tacoma is a unique way to see every side of a conversation, and it's one I hope to see catch on. I would have appreciated more time and events that'd have given me a reason to explore more of the beautiful station, but the time I did have in this fascinating hypothetical future was great.
A short, sweet, slightly dissatisfying translation of Gone Home's cosy environmental storytelling into the realm of speculative fiction.
A smart and thoughtful science fiction mystery featuring a cast of believable, nuanced characters.
A disappointing follow-up to Gone Home that tells a less interesting and less focused tale, while failing to advance the art of interactive storytelling.
While some of its threads don't always come together as neatly as they should, Fullbright's sophomore effort is a quiet and haunting examination of the ways corporations dehumanize us all.
Tacoma tells a gripping story about mortality and relationships that makes it a worthwhile experience
Tacoma tells a story that is made compelling by a well-written and -acted cast of characters, but it's just short of being truly satisfying.
I continue to think of Tacoma as a story first, but it's more than that, clearly: It's an interactive experience, and that plays for and against it. The story is built out of the playback mechanic, which gives birth to the subtler suggestions of what's really going on with this station. But the playback system means there's a lot of talking to listen to, and a lot of wireframes to stare at. For a game about an abandoned space station, Tacoma gave me plenty of company. But the moments where I had to reckon with being alone in space were the ones that stuck with me.
Tacoma ultimately succeeds as a piece of emotional storytelling. Every moment spent with the crew is spellbinding, as their strengths and struggles play out in painful detail. The experience is sometimes frustrating, but Tacoma leaves a lasting impression.
It's rare to see game worlds as intricately detailed as the one in the space station of Tacoma. Even with its mostly lackluster characters and a story that never quite sinks its hooks into you, it's a spacecation you'll want to make time for. Hell, in what other game can I set up and play a game of billiards by myself as panicked digital ghosts worry about their livelihood? None, really.