Don’t worry, you don’t need to tell me anything. Dontnod’s latest miniseries, Tell Me Why, has finally wrapped, closing out a three-part tale of supernatural twins in small-town Alaska with today’s release of Episode 3. So, does Tell Me Why hold up against Dontnod’s lineage of magical youth dramas? And can we make it through another post without making more Backstreet Boys references?
I’d want it that way, after all.
Now, Dontnod’s episodic schedule has been historically erratic, with Life Is Strange 2 taking a whole year to wrap. But two weeks after Episode One’s debut, Tell My Why is done and dusted and ready to be finished. Our Alice B dove into supernatural small-town Alaska for her Tell Me Why review and reckoned that, while it may not be their most dramatic game, it’s still a perfectly fine entry with plenty of too-relatable sibling hijinks.
“The overarching plot itself is intriguing, if ultimately predictable. While the twins take a very long time to figure out that the made up fairy-tale characters in the stories their mother wrote are one-to-one representations of them and the townspeople, I still enjoyed their portrayal of the silly, specific games you play when you’re a kid. It’s all stuff you recognise if you have siblings. For example, one time I got very upset because I was playing imaginary fishing with my brothers and my older brother stole my imaginary fish. Mum couldn’t understand why I didn’t just imagine another, bigger fish. Tell Me Why captures that feeling very well.”
My bugbear, however, was always going to be around Dontnod’s extremely vocal efforts at doing trans representation right. On that, Alice reckons the handing of trans character Tyler is fine enough, if ultimately forgotten by the time episode 2 rolls around. It’s a relief to see it not pan out a trope-ridden mess, but responses from fellow queer critics has been mixed. Kotaku’s Riley McLeod was completely won over by the relatable awkwardness of returning home after transitioning, while Sam Greer and Dia Lacina both felt the game pulled too many punches in attempting to play its representation safely.