Together Alone: Love in Limbo
Ben and Isabelle are on the outs, in more ways than one, but that's the least of their problems. Stuck in limbo, battling dark forces that threaten their very existence, each are alone yet must find a way to work together to, um, "survive" their predicament. Via the [arrow] keys or clicking adjacent tiles, help Ben and Isabelle navigate their paths, breaking the tiles behind them until they reach their exits. This tile-removing puzzle game begins rather easily but quickly gains momentum; each of the 75 levels pose their challenges even with special abilities from power orbs and the aid of Ben's dog, Marley. If Together Alone: Love in Limbo sounds familiar, that's because it is...
We originally met Ben and Isabelle's alter egos in Qwok Games' first incarnation of Together Alone when it was a much shorter game with a simpler, sweeter story. It may technically be the same game, but more has changed than you may think. Revising the user interface to be more intuitive—including keyboard commands such as [U] to undo a single step or [R] to restart from the beginning of a puzzle—adding diverse puzzle elements, and tripling the number of levels, creators Jan Niestadt and Gijs Rosengarten have evolved Together Alone: Love in Limbo into a richer, more polished, and more substantial game then its predecessor. Additionally, the simple character interactions of the first have been developed into a full-fledged—and immensely snarky—narrative, replete with complications and twists which enhance and mirror the gameplay. It's a bit what you'd imagine a game made by Charles Dickens and Danny DeVito would look like.
It's hard to find fault with the results without nitpicking, so here's a nitpick: in some ways it's almost too complex. The evolving black comedy of the story panels, which are interspersed between levels, and the wide range of puzzles, many of which require a lot of back-and-forth between characters to solve, make this a hefty undertaking, not a light jaunt of laid-back game playing. While it's easy enough to skip past the story or disable it in the options, you can only skip a few puzzles before you're required to stick it out and solve your way through, taking a bit of the casual out of the gameplay. Then again, that's hardly a complaint, especially if you're craving this style of puzzle. In fact, once you make your way through the first 75 levels, you can continue on with a level editor and player-made puzzles. Together Alone: Love in Limbo is overflowing with hours entertainment, a remarkable treat for fans as well as those new to the genre.