Title: We Were Here Too
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie
Developer: Total Mayhem Games
Publisher: Total Mayhem Games
Release Date: Feb 2, 2018
Now that the January slump of game releases is over, we are back in full force with the release of We Were Here Too, an online first-person cooperative adventure set in a spooky castle. If you’ve read my work over the past several years you’d know my general distaste for online only affairs, and while We Were Here Too is such a title, it manged to captivate me from beginning to end.
We Were Here Too is all about cooperative gameplay; in fact, that’s the only way you can play the game. Teamwork through communication is the name of the game and We Were Here Too manges to do it in a very natural manner. The game uses in-game chat, but it’s done via the players walkie-talkie. You have two options while you play: you can interact with certain objects with the left mouse button and you can activate your walkie-talkie with the right mouse button to talk with your partner.
The crux of the game is all about solving puzzles together, but not in the way normally seen in most co-op video games. We Were Here Too makes it so you never actually play alongside your random partner. Instead, each player is dropped into a separate room of the castle-like building you both enter to save yourselves from a blizzard raging on the mountain you are climbing. You and your partner then must solve puzzles through communication. You are both trapped in different parts of the building and only your walkie-talkies will allow you to figure out how puzzles work.
Each room is connected together in some way, and finding out how is where the real fun happens. Some puzzles are harder than others, but the real challenge comes from trying to explain the clues you are seeing to your partner. What might make sense to you may sound totally foreign to your partner on the other end of the line. We actually managed to learn a lot of each other when we played the game here in the office for this review. And the more one plays the game, the more you get to understand someone, so the game can get really exciting as it drives on.
But you aren’t forced to play the game with a friend as you can join an open lobby and get paired up with a complete stranger. This is a total roll of the dice, but offers up a lot of unique playthroughs as each person is bound to play the game differently. We Were Here Too offers up a fair amount of rooms to get through, and while the rooms themselves aren’t procedurally generated, the developers state that there are multiple ways to complete many of them. Each player also sees a totally different game as the rooms are in different locations, but the storylines will also be slightly different for each player.
But for all the fun puzzles We Were Here Too offers there are a few issues to be aware of. The game does state that many puzzles have different solutions, but it doesn’t necessarily make each playthrough a totally unique experience. Once you figure out a rooms puzzle from one point of view then you are going to be done with it. And while the other players is getting a different experience, when you get to be the other player, chances are you are going to remember the puzzle from the first time around.
It should also be noted that the game isn’t all that long. It shouldn’t take you more than a few hours at best to complete the adventure from both points of view, especially if you have a partner that you really click with. Still, the game sells for only $10 and I feel comfortable saying that for the enjoyment you get from the experience the first few times around that it’s worth it. This is an indie title, sure, but even if it wasn’t you can’t really gauge cost to enjoyment. Not every game has to be a 40 hour experience to be worth the ask price.
“Total Mayhem Games has nailed the co-op experience with We Were Here Too.”