Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download


Application *
Download from itch.​io available for Linux, Mac, PC.
This is a pseudo-format used to represent download adviser records that apply to multiple formats.
Mac beta download *
The beta build submitted to IF Comp 2015.
Mac OS X Application
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

Emily is Away

by Kyle Seeley

Nostalgia
2015

Web Site

(based on 11 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

Remember a time before Facebook and Skype? When Windows XP was the next big thing and AIM was king. Relive that era with Emily is Away, an interactive story. Create a screenname and browse buddy infos in this chat-bot meets adventure game. Explore your relationship with Emily, a fellow high school student, in a branching narrative where you choose the outcome. And most importantly, change your text color to lime green so people know you're the coolest kid in school.

Game Details

First Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
IFID: Unknown
TUID: hyx43j8wxbxi48hl

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
No Longer IF Comp 2015: Emily is Away
Emily is Away is a text-focused game that was originally entered in IF Comp 2015, but withdrawn because the author also planned to release it to the public as a paid commercial work... Nonetheless, I did play this in the free beta version that I received as an IF Comp judge. My first impression of it was extremely positive, since it struck me as polished and inventive and very easy to get into.
See the full review

Mammon Machine: ZEAL
There’s a real disconnect in how this game is talked about. There are two components to how Emily is Away tells its story: The UI design, and the writing. Those two halves work in concert: One sets up the piece’s emotional environment (wistful, nostalgic) and the other supplies the narrative arc and referential content that are supposed to play on those feelings. This doesn’t actually work; taken out of the context of the UI, the writing is bland and vaguely creepy at best, and so it doesn’t really support those themes and ideas.

But one is privileged over the other so enormously, that it highlights a fault line in how we perceive games: Because the presentation is doing so much work to sell this feeling of nostalgia, this is taken as the overall effect and content of the piece. Reviewers seem to barely read the lines of text popping out of the fake chat window, let alone read between them.
See the full review

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(4)
3 star:
(2)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review


The MSN Generation, October 3, 2015
Emily is Away is breathtaking. The author has managed to create a simulation of exactly what social interaction was like for teenagers and young adults in the 2000s- the exciting development of instant messaging created, for the first time, a world where we are constantly connected, taking the first steps towards our social-media oriented world today.

What better age to experience this exciting development than highschool? Anyone who grew up with ICQ, AIM or MSN messenger at this time in their lives know exactly what this game is trying to do. It incapsulates the confused angst of our late teen years, where for the first time, we realise, we have no idea who we are; the transition to 'adulthood' – leaving our past behind – and becoming our true selves. This is a game which relies on the user's nostalgia as its primary emotive device, and for someone who has this shared experience with the author, it works perfectly.

The game is completely based around IM chats you have with a school friend 'Emily', and uses a menu-choice system for user interaction. Usually these games suffer from a lack of immersion, forcing the user to go outside of their own decision-making to fit with what the author wants them to do. This is not the case with Emily is Away. The responses you can send emily are broad enough that your approach can vary wildly – mature, pining, jealous – and you can reflect your own personality onto the game.

This immersion is helped greatly by making the player able to put in their own (real or false) name and screenname. You feel like Emily is talking to you. You feel attached. You start to feel what the game's main character does, towards her.

Another brilliant mechanic the author has employed is the typing system. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but by having the user's input make the player character type, you feel like you're typing the words he is saying – even though you're just spamming the keyboard. This is extended to backspacing, and replacing your own typed words, just like we used to when we were talking on IM when we were overthinking what to say.

The only criticism I could give this game is that I was so enthralled by it that I want more story. I want to be able to talk to more than just one person. I think opening this game up to become a 'chat adventure' engine for other people to use to tell stories would be a great idea. Or at least give us a few sequels!

Reader, if you are of the MSN generation, I suggest you play this game, right now. Prepare for a not-always-comfortable trip down memory lane.

If you enjoyed Emily is Away...

Related Games

People who like Emily is Away also gave high ratings to these games:

Adventurer's Consumer Guide, by Řyvind Thorsby
Average member rating: (26 ratings)

Bronze, by Emily Short
Average member rating: (196 ratings)
When the seventh day comes and it is time for you to return to the castle in the forest, your sisters cling to your sleeves.

Fair, by Hanon Ondricek
Average member rating: (21 ratings)
As the most famous self-published Science Fiction author residing in Hillview, you are eminently qualified to judge their annual Elementary School Science Fair.

Suggest a game

Polls

The following polls include votes for Emily is Away:

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible PCs of 2015 by verityvirtue
This is for suggesting player characters from games released 2015 who you think might be worth considering for Best PC/Best Individual PC in the XYZZY awards. Leave the name (or namelessness) of the PC (or PCs) in the comment on your...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible settings of 2015 by verityvirtue
This is for suggesting settings from games released 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Setting in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...

Links




This is version 10 of this page, edited by CMG on 21 November 2015 at 10:24am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item