It is a great time for Daydream gamers! After the wonderful Virtual Virtual Reality and the fantastic Eclipse: Edge of Light, with Along Together another title exclusive to the Daydream platform launches! The game was developed by Turbo Button who had brought us the great but too short Floor Plan before. Can Along Together score with equally high production values as Floor Plan but deliver a longer, more meaty adventure? Find out in our full review!
Along Together is part point-and-click adventure, part environment puzzler with definitely a strong focus on the latter. You are a kid’s imaginary friend, an invisible companion that guides the way and guards the kid on the quest to find the kid’s lost dog.
The action unfolds right in front of you, from a first person perspective of you, the imaginary friend watching over your protégé. You interact with the world using your motion controller that becomes your hand and allows you to guide the kid wherever you deem necessary to reach the end of each level.
Even though you seem to be an invisible, imaginary friend, your interactions with the environment are very real. And they need to be because without your interventions the kid would never get past the first level. You can grab and move all the objects that are marked with a certain symbol. These objects could be blocks of wood, movable platforms, gear wheels, elevators, cubes on rails and basically anything that’s between the kid and that lost dog.
You will get really busy moving objects around in order to solve the environment puzzles that block the way. Throughout the levels you will find switches and levers that need to be operated, either by the kid or by the lost dog that has occasional cameos before running off to the next level, of course without waiting for us.
Sometimes you will even use a slingshot to operate unreachable switches or scare away bats that in turn lure your favorite pet to another location, making him operate a switch that opens a door for you to proceed. Yes, at times you really got to think out of the box in Along Together!
Controls are spot on. Grabbing things is as simple as pointing at them and clicking the touch pad. Keep it pressed and point elsewhere to move the objects into that direction. To have the kid move around simply point anywhere in the kid’s proximity, click the touch pad and guide the way. Whenever there are levers to be operated or slingshots to be used, a little action button appears above our protagonist that simply needs to be clicked. It works great and the game controls never get in your way. Everything simply works as you would imagine it should work.
The puzzles are very simple in the beginning. Have the kid step on a platform, move the platform so that the kid can reach a lever, operate said lever, rinse and repeat. There is basically no challenge at all and you would simply have a look out for switches and levers and find a path to them. I was starting to dismiss the game as too simple to be fun, because for the first 30 minutes or so, the difficulty level does not pick up at all.
Gladly I can tell you though that eventually things will get much more complicated and your trusty old brain cells will be up for quite a challenge. Suddenly you will find yourself in the middle of environment puzzles that are much more complex and for example require you to interact with objects in a certain order for you to proceed. Also you will have to find ways to open gates by activating several switches instead of only one. The developers seem to really enjoy those cubes on rails that you can pull to certain positions and that can also carry our favorite kid. This gameplay mechanic works really well and opens up a number of interesting challenges that will keep you busy.
Even though Along Together is a single player game, you kind of have the feeling that you are working on the challenges cooperatively. Either together with the kid or in certain sections with the kid’s dog. It’s great and Turbo Button have really succeeded at making you feel that way. This also has to do with the superb presentation of the game.
Along Together looks fantastic. From the very beginning you can tell that the developers have spent a lot of time and effort to make this game look and feel great.
You, the first-person player, seem to be a huge imaginary friend in terms of size, because everything in this world looks really tiny. The kid that you are leading through this adventure for example looks like the size of a walking doll. This makes the game look very cute, incredibly charming and indeed gives you the feeling that you are some kind of god like creature that is above things.
The protagonists are animated in great detail and look lovely. As mentioned above the developers have succeeded at making you feel that you are playing cooperatively together with the kid and the dog instead of playing alone. They are also achieving this feeling thanks to the beautiful animations, like for example when the kid is looking at you and pointing at a gate that just opened thanks to your actions. Details like this make you actually care about the kid and how the adventure will finally conclude.
At rare occasions though you will encounter little flaws in the graphics department. In these occasions the collision controls don’t seem to work perfectly and you can see objects overlap that should not be able to do so. However, the developers have proven to be able to fix any little bug that I had reported to them, so I am confident that within a few updates these little imperfections will be gone as well.
The game can also score points with its atmospheric music. Along Together features an original sound track that perfectly fits the game’s charming nature and that completes the overall great impression that I have of it.
Along Together does a great job in terms of immersion as well. The interesting perspective makes you feel like a giant watching over your little protégé. The kid looking at you and interacting with you strengthens that feeling of immersion, making you believe that you are actually within the game and that you cooperatively solve the puzzles.
The only thing that breaks immersion is the automatic camera movement that you cannot control at all. At some occasions I had wished I could step back to get a better view of the puzzle at hand but I could not. In the majority of the cases the camera perspective was fine though but if the developers would at least allow limited movement capabilities to improve the view at times, this would be a greatly appreciated addition for future updates.
In terms of comfort you will have no problems at all since most of the time your perspective does not change and you are not moving at all. The occasional camera movements when you are advancing through the level don’t pose a problem for your comfort levels at all but instead you will feel right at home in the charming world of Along Together.
Developer Turbo Button really knows how to make engaging and fun VR games! They had given us a taste of their skills with Floor Plan which had us beg for a longer adventure and now they have delivered! Along Together is a charming puzzle adventure in VR that will keep you busy for at least 3 hours, if not longer, depending on how fast you can solve the puzzles and how ambitious you are about finding all the hidden collectibles. The game scores with high production values, likable characters, spot-on controls and gameplay mechanics that simply work great in VR. If you like puzzle games you can’t go wrong with Along Together and you should head over to the Play Store and pick this one up right away!