Emily is Away <3 is the third entry in the fantastic visual novel series. This time we are ditching the world of instant messaging (well kind of) in favor of social media with Facenook…. That is right, Facenook, not Facebook. Once again, it is a story of heartbreak and growing apart, but it is an experience that is truly something special.
How to Download Emily is Away <3
To download the game from Steam, click on the Download button located below this review.
The Game Review
We play as a high school dude and it is 2008, Facenook has just become a thing and he is setting up a profile. You have to create your profile and it is like a time capsule to 2008 which is pretty fun. Once you have created your profile, your Facenook is now active and it takes no time at all for the “story” to start.
There are two girls that you are friendly with, Emily and Evelyn and they both want you to come to a party. You can only pick one girl to hang out with on this night and this hard choice right at the start of the game is very well done. What makes this more complicated is that Emily and Evelyn used to be very good friends and now they are in a bit of a spat with each other.
You will have various instant messages pop up from Emily, Evelyn, and other high school friends. You usually get three responses to give them and how you respond to people will shape the story going forward. It is very hard to keep everyone happy and it can feel quite stressful. I am sure for people who went to high school back when Facebook first became a thing, this is very relatable.
I love the whole 2008 design of the game. You will get all kinds of fun stuff sent to you such as YouTube music videos from bands who were big back in the day, game requests, and poking, remember when poking was a thing? It is fun stuff indeed, but as well as showing the fun side of social media, Emily is Away <3 also shows you the darker and more stressful side as well.
There are different ways that the story can end, I am pretty sure there are 5 endings as well as many other paths the story can take. I am sure many people will want to play the game multiple times to see as many as they can. For me, Emily is Away <3 was such an emotional and personal experience, any playthrough after that first one never felt as real or special.
Just like the other two games, Emily is Away <3 is a fantastic visual novel. It is a game that once you finish it for the first time, it really sticks with you. You wonder if the things you said or the things you did not say could have been handled differently. If you liked the first two games, you will like this. On the flip side of that, it is not necessary to have played the other two games to get into this.
- The 2008 Facebook (sorry Facenook) design is a lot of fun
- It can be very hard to know what to say to people
- The story can go in different directions
- There are five endings to discover
- The game may be a bit hard-hitting for people who went to high school during this time
- I like that there is replay value with extra endings, but nothing matches that first playthrough