As with Fullbright's previous game, Gone Home, Tacoma won't be for everyone, but it's a masterclass in environmental and gradual storytelling. It weaves an intriguing story against the backdrop of a believable near-future culture.
If you've played games like Gone Home, Dear Esther or Firewatch, Tacoma is instantly recognizable, but it remains distinct by introducing a wildly exotic space setting and a mechanic that keeps the "look and listen gameplay" from ever becoming a bore.
Tacoma, the second game from Gone Home studio Fullbright, presents an intriguing narrative that is bogged down by some glaring technical issues
As you step aboard the lunar station Tacoma, magnetic boots thunking to the metallic floor, you would be forgiven for a sense of deja vu.
The makers of indie cult favourite Gone Home have created a linear sci-fi title set in 2088 that feels satisfyingly lived in and free from stereotypes
Tacoma is as thoughtful and introspective as you'd hope, effortlessly pairing lofty sci-fi ideas with grounded personal stories and diverse characters. Your time on the Tacoma space station may be brief, but it's undeniably satisfying exploring the station and its interactive AR recordings, and there's enough intrigue to the plot to keep you guessing to the end.
Tacoma has a heart all its own, exploring a myriad of themes and advocating for the human condition, but the branches that sprout from the tree rarely bear fruit. Still, the growth is wonderful, even without that sweet taste you so long for.
With Gone Home representing a key moment in gaming, Tacoma had plenty of potential to suffer from so called "second album syndrome". While it never manages to hit the same emotional highs – or lows – as its predecessor, it still stands out from the crowd, mainly through the implementation of some nicely interactive AR scenes to deliver its key story moments. While there are certainly other complaints you could level at Tacoma – such as its rigid linearity and how it occasionally falls into genre clichés – these can be easily forgotten as developer Fullbright once again proves where its strengths lie: with down-to-earth characters and thought-provoking storytelling.
Tacoma is worth the time I spent with it, even if it isn't the same holy-crap-what-did-I-just-play experience provided by Gone Home.
Although Tacoma is short, it does a fantastic job telling the stories of the different characters throughout the game, using the non-sequential AR memory recordings to build emotional ties to each.
Tacoma is a beautiful, albeit graphically ascetic, game for fans of the "Walking Simulator" genre and interesting stories, which requires your attention when exploring the environment, listening to dialogue and viewing electronic correspondence. However, it is well translated into Russian, so you'll need just a desire to know the secret of the space station and enough perseverance. And that's not a problem for the project, which takes just two hours from start to finish.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Tacoma‘s three-hour span was a delightful experience, and I can see myself booting it up once or twice more to comb through the space station. And while this game cements Fullbright as a leading voice in the storytelling, first-person-experience genre, it showcases that both the genre itself and the sophomore developer still has some growing to do before we see masterpieces. For all those who can settle for less-than-perfect, Tacoma is a sci-fi tale worth playing.
Tacoma‘s simple premise expands into something much larger, and it invites each of us to examine what it means to be human, and how we might pretend to be if we can't actually achieve that. There's a game there, underneath the questions it's asking, and it's a wonderful, technologically sound port. I'm not sure what else needs to be said about the achievement of Tacoma, because so many smart people have already discussed it at length when it was released on PC in 2017. All I can say is that is has aged well, attacks concepts like human will and capitalism on angles that seem fresh in 2018, and remains a must play for those willing to set aside a few hours of their time to experience some very fine, challenging work within the video game medium.
Fullbright has crafted an impressive yet ultimately unfulfilling narrative adventure in Tacoma. Its characters and setting are some of the best in the medium in terms of dialogue and atmosphere, but the overarching plot is far too weak to hold them altogether. That being said, exploring the lonely space station is a journey I don't regret taking.
Tacoma's augmented reality cast allow it to tell its engaging story in a unique way. It's a slow burn of a game that deftly interrogates interpersonal relationships in an engaging sci-fi setting.
Tacoma is a rightful heir to Gone Home. Exploration of the station, with the possibility to learn about the crew through holographic projections, makes us feel we are in a very lively place and the main story, that wants us to think about capitalism and I.A.'s future is captivating, even thought the experience is quite short.
Review in French | Read full review
Tacoma tells a compelling story with a disappointing conclusion.
"Tacoma's" core appeal comes from watching the characters behave differently as they move between areas and interact with each other.
Tacoma is a playable science fiction film with exciting ideas, but it is flat in terms of gameplay and emotion.
Review in German | Read full review
Tacoma is a great narrative driven game that puts you in the middle of a mysterious space station. From the creators of Gone Home, this a Sci-Fi experience that you should check out.
Review in Spanish | Read full review