Alice is Missing is a role-playing game to be played in silence.
Players will find themselves investigating the disappearance of Alice Briarwood, a high school student from the quiet town of Silent Falls in Northern California.
During the game, the participants will use their phones to text each other as they find themselves revealing clues to what happened to Alice.
"Who killed Laura Palmer?"
Got the quote?
Here, Alice is Missing aims to recreate a story with themes and characters similar to the famous TV series of the 90s created by David Lynch and Mark Frost.
Alice is Missing it was designed to be played in a single session, lasting about two to three hours, in which up to five people can participate. The project, by Spenser Starke of Hunter's Entertainment, was subsidized through the platform Kickstarter where it met with some success thanks also to the particular "silent approach".
It is news a few days ago that the Raven Distribution will distribute the game in Italy "Alice is missing".
ALICE IS MISSING - SURVEY MATERIALS
Inside the box we find the regulation and 72 cards. From the site it is also possible to download the character sheet, a game breviary and a collection of 10 different missing person posters in order to give Alice a different face each time.
ALICE IS MISSING - THE GAME
The game does not require a master but, as happens for many narrative games, there is the figure of the "facilitator", that is the one who knows the rules, exposes them and gives the "kick-off" to the evening.
Alice is Missing it is basically divided into two phases.
During the first arc, during which you can speak freely, Silent Falls, Alice, the characters (the archetypes are predefined but flexible) and how they are linked to her, and the relationships between them will be outlined collectively.
Places e Characters suspects are identified by cards. It is up to the players, in turn, to say a few words about their "role" in the city, about rumors circulating about it, or about past that everyone is aware of.
This can be done with two cards that players will receive at the beginning: Character e Drive.
Each Character card has three types of aspects.
- Context: which helps us to get to know Alice better
- Secret: something about us, our relationship with Alice or something else, that we don't want to know as it could crack relationships. This element is the only one whose answer should not be shared in the first phase
- Voicemail: this part will come into play shortly, and indicates the topic of the last voice message we left with Alice before we learned of her disappearance
The second card will help us get to know our character better. Here there are only two aspects.
- Attitude: how we are reacting to the situation and how we behave towards others. Here there is no answer to give or questions to discuss, it serves to give the player an idea of who his character is
- Relationships: two relationships to be attributed each to another character, can indicate attitudes or past, this also serves to guide the interpretation.
Once the phase of delineation of the protagonists of the story is completed, each one, privately, will have to record the message left to Alice.
The key places linked to the story and the possible perpetrators will then be decided. Each player will in fact receive some Clue Cards that on the back, the only part visible to all, have numbers ranging from 90 and down to 10.
Now that we know something about Silent Falls and who lives there, it's time to find out ...
"What happened to Alice Briarwood? "
The second phase, unlike the first, will take place without one being able to talk to each other, at least not verbally ... the exchanges between players, in fact, will all take place via telephone messages.
The facilitator, who will always have the role of Charlie barnes, a friend of Alice who has left the city a few years ago and only recently returned, will write the first message, thus starting the game.
From this moment the 90 minutes of play begin!
On the YouTube platform, on the Hunters Entertainment page, you can find the soundtrack official to play in the background with timer included.
The passing of time is a fundamental game element, in fact when the timer indicates the time of one of the clue cards, the player who owns this card will have to turn it over and read it, without showing it to others, and follow the instructions.
Le Clue Cards they usually ask to reveal a card Location o Suspected, they also give a narrative suggestion that the player will have to try to insert into the message flow. The narrative evolves thanks to the help of these cards that manage to ensure that the game does not stagnate, gradually adding interesting elements to the story.
With the revelation of the last Clue Card so we start to the conclusion, coming to discover where Alice has ended up.
OPINIONS & CONCLUSIONS
The idea of this approach to the game fascinated me from the first moment I heard of it. In fact, it presented an innovative and very interesting idea: a role-playing game where you don't have to talk.
The title has absolutely not disappointed expectations, indeed it has definitely outclassed them! It is much more immersive than I imagined and actually manages to transport you into this story and make you feel an important part of it.
The issues addressed during the session are not always easy and light. In fact, difficult topics can arise such as abuse, mistreatment, drugs and rape (a bit like in "Twin Peaks”Precisely!) And, although the game has tools such as X-Card e Lines & Veils, their excessive use could limit the enjoyment of the game.
The only sore point that I feel like highlighting is the obstacle to overcome in order to play it if you are far away. A game that, as a premise, says that it must be played only through messages suggests that it may not be in the same room, but the strong component of cards is very limited to remote play, or in any case requires extra precautions.
However, it is an easily overcome obstacle. Playing it on Discord gave a more realistic and therefore more immersive feeling, which I don't think is achievable if played live ...
COMMENTS FROM SOME POST SESSION PLAYERS
“Definitely a very positive experience. A breath of fresh air with something new and fun. The fact of having played it on Discord, in my opinion, is a bonus, perhaps it is the only game that is better with this setting than in person where perhaps inevitably in the face of an easier distribution of the cards there would inevitably be some moment of embarrassment in writing messages silently in front of each other. Definitely an experience to be redone 100%! "
“In my opinion, paradoxically, it works better on Discord than live. The fact that you are not in direct contact with people, the fact that you do not create the opportunity for a stupid joke helps a lot. The music in the background also helps to enter the depressive mood. "
“If I had to describe it in a few words, I would say that the feeling of playing it is similar to that of when you are about to go bungee jumping. You hold your breath because you are not sure if the rope will hold, so until the end you do not know if Alice is dead or not. "
"Games to feel a strong emotion!"