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I've just experienced this Tale, and I felt need to write review, immediately. It ended up being too long for reviews section in game's page, so it end up here, in the board, I hope someone find it useful:

Richard & Alice is not a regular game. The phrase: "After ending it, you won't say ''that was good!" and went to play something else" may be overused lately, but it's truly approriate.

It's a very special case here. There are just a few stories, that would be enough to give 5/5 stars, even if graphic would be non-existent, controls totally unbearable, and final game would crash every 5 minutes. Fortunately, the later things are not the case here - while basic and "retro", graphic catches the mood nicely, with many subtle allusions ("snow" as seen on old TV's, when retrospections start...). Controls are as easy as it could be - no need for any manual, whatsoever. You can jump into story right after downloading - just be prepared, that for (just) few hours required to get whole story, you'll be out for world.

Do you recall books, that just *won't* let you stop for sleep/meal/whatever, until you read it completely? Do you remember movies that, while no widely known and broadcast on insanely late hour on TV, just won't let you turn it off 'till end, no matter how early you need to wake up next day? Well, it's this kind of thing.

In my book, "Richard & Alice" is best story set up in post/during apocalypse world, since Fallout - period. And that's said by old RPG geek (both cRPG and pen-paper ones) about ADVENTURE game. The old truth about ''if you ever lick the freedom real RPG's give, you will hate adventure games forever" is not the case here. Richard & Alice is all about plot (can't repeat it enough times), so "puzzles" are logical, quite obvious, and exist only to compliment the story. Nothing feels like being put only for sake of boosting puzzle's counter. Story flows without unnecessary "obstacles".

Now you may be surprised, that I compare story here, to writing for such classics as Fallout. Well, it's that good. Oviously, it's different approach to post-apocalyptic genre. "Richard & Alice" seems damn real, from background information, to characters. It's just like any of us could get into similar situation, given comparable circumstances. From the very beginning, to the end, characters are like real people. It's an art, to create such strong bound with player, almost immediately. While short for a game (it's true, that few hours are enough to finish it), it feels to be just right - complete story of own length, that could get hurt if artificially prolonged or shortened.

And the story. did I said, that I couldn't mention it enough? Well, without spoiling anything (which, in case of THIS game, would really ruin everything, so so stay away from walkthroughs, or choose ones that just descript actions, not results or plot) I'll say that this is one of most powerful, well-written, depressingly sad stories (especially, if you're a parent).

If not most sad of them - and I've played a *lot* not-so-happy-ending ones. It's hard to describe in which state it leaves you, no matter, which one of three ending you get (none of them is better than other, they're just different). and it really IS that kind of story which, in terms described by Neil Gaiman, changes something in you. It doesn't give answers, and I'm not sure if it rises questions - it just alters something inside you (for the better, I think). For my personal use, I call such stories "Gaiman's style", and this one, while having own touch and climate, definitely deserves this mark.

Summing it up - despite taking "only" few hours from my life, a tale told here, will live vivid in my memories, no less than highest accords of literature, movies, and best RPG games. If you have few free hours, just grab it - it's worth any price, especially so good as one here.

/Estel