Richard & Alice, from new developer Denby Raze, is a rare kind of game. It s a game where the story conquers all else, where the puzzles are so simple you wonder why the developer bothered with them at all, yet the incredibly strong story keeps you playing, despite the lack of challenge, and despite the lack of innovation.
A basic point and click adventure game, Richard & Alice tells the tale of two cell mates in the cosiest prison I’ve ever heard of, swapping tales of how they came to arrive in the opposing cells they find themselves in. The outside world is a post apocalyptic wilderness, with the snow and freezing conditions wiping civilisation away day by day.
The story is probably the best yarn I have heard in videogames for a long, long time, with adult themes told in a manner rarely seen in the medium. Everything that happens is affecting, with some memorable dialogue that lifts the game beyond its meagre looks and gameplay. It really is good, and not in a ‘good for a game’ kind of way, as Richard & Alice is truly well written.
The plot, which deals with many different trials that the characters have to go through, is completely involving, and keeps you going, wanting to know the answers. The characters feel real, and behave in a realistic manner, although some of Alice’s son’s dialogue is a little forced.
The puzzles are not going to trouble you or stick in your mind afterwards, which really is the only thing stopping this from becoming a classic game. If the puzzles and complexity were anywhere near the 90’s LucasArts games, then this would elevate the game considerably, but this is still a lovely game.
With true heart and a wonderful tale to tell, Richard & Alice is a game that provokes a true emotional response while playing, which makes it worth every penny, especially as this is a story you will come back to again and again over the years.
Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.