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Emily Is Away <3 has made its launch Facenook official today

Emily is typing...

Social struggles media simulator Emily Is Away <3 has officially launched some more teen drama for you to live through. Like the previous Emily Is Away games, it ferries you back to the days of social media past. It's Facebook circa 2008 this time, where you'll navigate the trials and tribulations of your senior year through "Facenook" messenger and wall posts and pokes and playlists and more. It's an excellent recreation. Is it warm in here or was I actually sweating while talking to my fake friends?

Emily Is Away <3 tosses you into a browser window that's likely familiar to my fellow 2008 teens. You'll start out with a friend request from your friend Mat who chats with you over Facenook Messenger while you make your first status, learn how to wall post, and get tagged in photos. In between choosing responses to Mat's questions via Messenger, you can click around and investigate the profiles of your other friends Evelyn and Emily and so on.

I've not played former Emily Is Away games, though the second one rates on RPS's list of best visual novels on PC. For anyone who is familiar with former stories, Emily and Evelyn are no longer talking when you join Facenook. They're hosting end of summer parties on the same night, in fact, which I'm sure totally won't be the source of some drama when school starts.

After setting up my profile, my first chat with Mat involves me settling a debate between him and his girlfriend Kelly over a 3OH3 song—you remember the one. I tell Mat it's a good song—which was apparently his side of the argument—after which Kelly sends me a friend request that reads "Heyy julia! I can't believe you like 3OH3 too!" Oh god, I've made her mad, haven't I? Mat said he was making the playlist for her because they'd been fighting. Wait, am I flirting with Kelly's boyfriend while they're arguing or are we just friends?

I booted up Emily Is Away <3 just long enough to get the gist, because I'm already quite certain this is an experience that will go down easier with a glass of wine. I'm all too familiar with these teens and their excessive use of extra letters and extra exclamation marks just to prove how totally casual they feel about everything.

I wish I were joking about sweating while choosing what to say. I can deal with spooky games but this is a special kind of horror.

As a quick tip for those that don't want to keep slapping their keyboard keys around to make their posts type out on screen, check the settings menu in the top right. You can toggle your posts and messages to auto-type after you've selected them.

If you're made of sterner stuff than I am, you can find Emily Is Away <3 over on Steam and Itch for £7.19/€8.19/$9.99.

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