Instant message ’em up Emily Is Away Too is out now

Emily is Away Too banner

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.”

If you’re interested, you can buy Emily Is Away Too for £3.99/4,99€/$4.99 from Steam, Humble Bundle and itch.io.

And if you want a taste of what it’s like before you commit, you can pay what you want for the original through Itch.io. It’s free on Steam too.

2 Comments

    • indigozeal says:

      Yeah, and it handled it pretty poorly, too, as you could bumble your way into the game accusing you of rape (or sex in underhanded circumstances) quite easily, even if you had no such intentions or were trying to play a platonic friend. Here’s hoping Seeley has learned not to treat the subject matter in such a cavalier manner, though I’m not optimistic.