Last year developer Kyle Seeley released a peculiar mix of dating sim and AI chatbot with Emily is Away, a game about being a teenager flirting with a girl you like over AIM in the formative years of the 21st century. Like Gone Home before it, Emily is Away was chock full of pop-culture references relevant to its era, transporting us back to those doodling in the margin days where we half paid attention to our teachers and half daydreamed about IMing our crush after school.
Now that game is receiving a spiritual successor, Emily is Away Too. Not a literal sequel, this updated entry will feature an all new Emily with all new choices. Sometimes these are small, like font colour, but other times they’re pretty big, like whether you tell your crush that you think her favourite band sucks. Truly a moral dilemma if there ever was one.
One of the most novel features in Emily is Away is that players choose their dialogue from a branch, then mash on the keyboard to watch the player character type out their full, more well-realised response, ala Mass Effect. The kicker is that sometimes your character will self-edit their messages as they’re written, deciding that hey, maybe that winky face is too flirty. Pull back!
Emily is Away Too is due in 2017, though you can play the first Emily is Away for free on Steam. See what exciting, unpleasant memories it stirs up!