Oh God. Emily Is Away Too [official site], a game about instant messaging, is giving me horrible flashbacks to when I used MSN Messenger in school and used random 50 Cent lyrics as my screen names on rotation. I even put the little music note icons at either end like quote marks. I was so cool. *Shivers*.
Anyway, the game is a throwback to your teen drama days and a spiritual successor to Emily Is Away, which captured the passive aggressiveness and subtlety of IM language superbly.
It takes place completely on a computer terminal during your senior year in school (that’s Year 13 in UK money). As in the original, you’ll message your friends on the non-copyright infringing EOL Messenger, but this time around you’ll also be able to browse profiles on Facenook, watch videos on YouToob and transfer files.
In the first game, you only got to chat with the sometimes-angsty Emily, but now you’ll get to talk to a second friend: Evelyn.
Apparently, there’s 10 times more dialogue than the first game, and “four different endings, each with their own mini-variations” – so says creator Kyle Seeley. Sounds promising. Here’s the trailer:
Brendan was a fan of the original, which might suggest it’s worth checking out. Here’s what he said at the time:
“It’s a game of passive aggressiveness, reading into things and admiring the Windows XP throwbacks. But the best touch is a small one. Whenever you type your ‘messages’ sometimes they quickly delete and edit themselves, as your own character self-censors their feelings. At one point ‘you’re my best friend’ tellingly becomes ‘you’re one of my best friends’. It reminded me both of the lo-fi feel of Digital: A Love Story and the text messaging system from Catholic-guilt-simulator Catherine. Which are not bad games to be compared to.”