Richard & Alice
Top Critic Average
Strong writing isn't enough to establish the apocalyptic stakes at play in Richard & Alice.
Uninspired puzzles and weak art might put some folk off, but they'd be missing out on a thoughtful, slow-burning tale that opens up into something poignant, even though it never stops being bleak.
There is plenty to like and the plot takes some riveting turns towards the end, but make sure you can look past its minimalistic visual presentation first.
In a game that brings a little of the very best of retro point and click gaming nostalgia and also some of it's worst, only a decent narrative and a big plot twist can save Richard and Alice from a far worse fate than living in an ice world.
Worth trying, especially for gamers who value story over everything else.
The strongest aspect of Richard & Alice is how it manages to tell an engaging story in a fairly compact amount of time. Although players start out as total strangers to the duo, they find themselves quickly interested by their plight.
Richard & Alice is a lesson in narrative that every video game developer should take a page from, and a testament to the power of its medium. Consistent, harsh and unafraid, it casts the everyman as neither antagonist nor protagonist, but as another survivor.
By comparison to mindless shooters, this is a breath of clean air, but it's disappointing if you think outside the small window of possibility it gives you.
Richard and Alice is an extremely unique, compelling game that lovers of narrative are sure to enjoy. While those who are looking for a more action-oriented title may leave disappointed, there is a great, original story waiting for those who invest the time into the game. Some obscure tasks and hard to find objects mar the experience a little, but cannot take away much from an otherwise great game.
Richard & Alice is a captivating character study, that absorbed me from the second I set foot inside Richard's extravagant cell up until its undecided ending, which leaves just enough unanswered to keep you wondering and filling in the gaps yourself.