Top Critic Average
I came out of Eliza with the sense that I'd been on a journey of juggling grief, hope, and joy through the existential dread that is living a modern, tech-filled life. And for that reason, I recommend this visual novel as a must-play experience.
I came to this game imagining it would be a clever take on the Turing Test, a scenario designed to see if a machine can pass for a human intelligence. Instead, I explored the possible outcomes of trying to treat mental health problems at scale.
Eliza makes an effort to say that working on yourself counts as working on the world in the grand scheme of things. In real life, I am inclined to agree. In this game, where Evelyn’s choices can lead to an ending where she uses her massive intellect to fundamentally change how society works, I am not so sure that focusing on her grief is the most useful thing to do.
Eliza is a poignant, well-presented tale about how even technology created to help people can be harmful when it replaces human connection. Rather than demonizing technology, though, Eliza is a paean to compassion, communication, and all the varied ways people can lift each other up.
Zachtronics make a detour from its puzzle game destiny with the visual novel Eliza. It's slick in its design, though shy on the big choices you might expect from most visual novels. Still, packed with a stellar solitaire minigame, impressive voice acting, and one of the most prescient narratives I've seen in games, if you're a fan at all of interactive stories that'll have you gripped from start to finish, Eliza is it.
Eliza doesn’t stand out unlike other Zachtronics games, but it is enjoyable for its story and thoughts. It’s not bad but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a huge fan of Visual Novels.