Over the last few years PC indie games have arguably produced some of the best and most intriguing titles, with many taking on an old school graphical style. One upcoming indie game taking this approach is Richard and Alice, and Midlife Gamer were fortunate enough to get hands-on with a preview build to check out some gameplay.
Written and developed by games journalist Lewis Denby, working with fellow journalist Ashton Raze, Richard and Alice is a point and click adventure game set in a world where the weather has gone mad. Half the world is engulfed in a perennial ice age whilst the other half has become uninhabitable desert.
You take up the role of the titular Richard, a prisoner serving time in a rather cushy cell, whiling out his days alone watching repeats of old nature documentaries, until one day a mysterious stranger named Alice appears in the cell opposite. As the story develops you’ll also get to play as Alice in a series of flashbacks, helping to discover what happened to her and revealing what is truly going on in the world outside.
In the preview build we were allowed to play, we were able to experience gameplay as both characters and sample the engaging narrative.
The gameplay is your traditional point and click style, finding items in the environment and using/combining them to solve various puzzles you encounter along the way. The puzzles themselves seem realistic, and instead of leaving you stumped they provide some pacing to the story. The simple art style compliments the gameplay perfectly as there isn’t a mass of objects on screen to leave you clicking away like a mad man. The art style alongside the melancholy soundtrack, also adds to the narrative, really putting across the bleakness of the world, very reminiscent of Lone Survivor – another indie darling of a similar style.
The writing is strong with the theme of needing each other in such desperate times really standing out, making for a compelling relationship between the characters.
With its mature storyline and strong writing, and original score by Yonotan Luria and artwork by Kyra Hills, Richard and Alice is shaping up nicely from two games journalist’s love letter to the point and click genre to the next indie hit on PC. We’ll be sure to let you know our thoughts on the full title when it launches later this year.