The Almost Gone is a point-and-click adventure with a strong narrative focus. As you make your way through the cleverly rotatable levels, you’ll uncover your past and the darkness hiding in the human mind.
What we liked!
- Charming visual style: The aesthetics are immediately striking thanks to the isometric perspective and pastel colours. The environments are full of tiny details and are pleasing to look at, which is a good thing as you’ll be inspecting every nook & cranny for clues while rotating the rooms and environments
- You spin me right round: The unique gameplay element here is that every level can be rotated and looked at from 4 different angles. It’s a fun mechanic and adds to the satisfaction when you discover a new key item.
- Genuinely clever puzzles: Some of the puzzles are truly fun to crack: redirecting a laserpointer to find hidden items, using message tubes in a hospital to progress, it’s all very satisfying.
- Dark Story theme: You’ll discover more about your past and that of your parents as you make your way through the levels. Even though there is no gore or horror, it’s not a game intended for a younger audience with its adult psychological themes.
- No voice-acting: We’ve been spoiled lately with even indiegames having voice-over narration and while it’s true not every game has the budget for them, I feel The Almost Gone makes for a strong case of a game that would have been vastly improved by it: hearing someone’s voice conveys emotions better and makes you care for the character(s) that much more.
- Short length: If you know what you’re doing, it’ll only take you around 4 to 5 hours to beat, with little to no replayability. This isn’t really a strike against the game, as the pacing was on point (except for the final chapter ending rather abruptly) but it’s necessary to mention either way as it plays an important role in deciding on a purchase
What we disliked
- Getting lost: The level rotation combined with only seeing one room at a time can make it easy to lose your bearings. I’ve gotten lost on multiple occasions, knowing where I need to go, but not remembering which path to take to the room I’m looking for. Some kind of map could have helped.
- Read the small print: The text in the game is rather tiny and the font is on the thin side, which will make you bring your eyes closer to the screen.
The Almost Gone is a wonderful point-and-click adventure with a charming style but a dark, mature story to tell. The puzzles are clever and satisfying but you could find yourself frustrated if you get lost or if you missed an obvious item to interact with. Definitely worth a single playthrough!
Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.