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Alice is Missing


Alice is Missing

(2021)

Published by: Renegade Studios


Players: 2-5

Age: 8+

Play Time: 180 minutes


Overview:

Alice is Missing is an immersive RPG where you and your friends communicate via text message to uncover the secrets around the disappearance of your friend Alice.

Main Mechanics:

  • Role playing

  • Silent Communication


Components Review:

The physical components of Alice is Missing are very simple, just a box and a deck of cards. Box art is soft and sets an intriguing and somber tone for what’s inside. The cards are large with a nice linen finish and very functional. The best "component" is one that is not in the box, the soundtrack. The soundtrack of the game, which also acts as a game timer, is phenomenal. It is beautiful and emotional. I was a bit nervous to play Alice is Missing, but upon starting the soundtrack, I was immediately invested; really, this part cannot be understated.

How to play:

Alice is Missing is played over 90 minutes, not counting character creation time. During that time players are completely silent communicating solely through text messaging. The conversations and decisions players make uncover the story in a way that feels natural, and the cards are there to keep things on track. For a role playing newbie, Alice is Missing is very intuitive.


Gameplay Review:

It is somewhat difficult to talk about Alice is Missing gameplay without spoilers, so instead I will comment on how it felt to play this game.

Starting the game you create your characters, with their motivations, secrets, and relationship dynamics. I really tried to embody my characters dynamics, but within minutes of the game, a key grudge my character had was dismantled by new information; information that another character shared with me completely took precedence to the situation, and it was genuinely hard for me to "hold my grudge” knowing what I now knew. Within minutes, Alice is Missing demonstrated the real life lesson on how encountering people and learning about them can completely reshape the way you see things.

The themes of Alice is Missing can be emotional and heavy, which might make some people less serious out of comfort, so know your group. There are discussions prior to the game that are important for everyone's experience, so don't cut them short.

My game group is far more casual of gamers than I am, I often think they play games to indulge me, so I was worried about the play time, but it wasn’t an issue. Clocking in at almost exactly 3 hours, the character creation process really gave us time to wrap our heads around the game, our roles, and ease into starting. Once the game officially started, the 90-minute gameplay seemed to pass quickly, in a way where we were always engaged.

Final Thoughts:

Simply put, I loved Alice is Missing! As a player new to role-playing games, this was a fantastic first experience. The role-playing felt very natural. The soundtrack was great for setting the mood of the game, while the texting gave you time to think, which was really helpful for a group of noobs. The cards were great, both keeping the story on track and giving us something to fall back on when we felt stuck. Alice is Missing is a wonderful entry point for players new to RPG’s (which was true for my entire group of 5) and I can’t recommend it enough.


These are my honest thoughts, but a HUGE thank you to Renegade games for sending me a copy of the game to review. This was truly one of my favorite gaming experiences this year, and I can’t wait to feature it in my Top 10 new to me of 2021.


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