After releasing their excellent puzzler Floor Plan on PlayStation VR not that long ago, developer Turbo Button are back with their new virtual reality title Along Together. It takes a much different approach this time, with the game playing from a third-person perfective as opposed to a first, which is always nice to see on the platform after playing similar titles like Moss. It’s a fun little game too, though those expecting the same amount of challenge they had in Floor Plan might be a little disappointed…
Along Together tells the tale of a child (at the start you can decide if they’re male or female) who has lost their pet dog. Fortunately, they’ve got you, a giant ‘imaginary friend’, who’s able to help guide them across a few landscapes as they look to find their treasured (and very dopey looking) pooch.
On the gameplay side of things, Along Together plays like a traditional third person puzzle-platformer. You’ll be guiding along a little hero, all whilst manipulating interactive objects in the environments to help give them a safe passage. There are plenty of little puzzles to solve too, with each of the game’s three environments sending something different your way. It’s all very simple, but in one of those satisfyingly relaxing ways.
Whilst there’s basic platforming, you won’t be expected to make any complicated jumps or anything, with the playable characters simply climbing anything within reach automatically. I think if the game allowed the player to be a bit more ‘hands on’ as far as platforming is concerned it would’ve made for a more varied and enjoyable experience, especially since most of the puzzles you come across in the game are easy enough to solve anyway. It’s not that it’s bad per se, but that it can make some aspects of the game a bit too automated.
In between the basic platforming and puzzle solving, you’ll get to use a slingshot to shoot at things in the environment. It’s typically just used to help get rid of a pesky foe or create a new pathway for our little hero, but its inclusion is a nice one and adds something different to the game. Much like the other aspects of Along Together though, it’s very simple to use and doesn’t do much outside of helping solve a few little puzzles.
At least the collectibles offer a bit more of a challenge, with each area of the game littered with toys to find that often demand you think outside of the box to find. Don’t get me wrong, I was never left too stumped as far as finding them was concerned, but they did often demand you think a little bit more than some of the main puzzles do.
You control everything in the game with the Dual Shock controller. By default, the main character moves around with the left stick, but if you point at an interactive object in the environment they can also be moved around across fixed paths instead by shifting the left stick. It actually felt a little odd using an analogue stick to move these objects, especially since other virtual reality titles have utilised motion controls to perform similar tasks in past. It works well though and never caused any issues during my time with the game.
Visually, Along Together looks pretty, with its world a wonderfully colourful and vibrant one that’s a pleasure to be a part of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lacking the depth and detail found in the likes of other third-person adventures like Moss, but it’s still a pleasant world to explore and suits the whimsical vibe of the game.
Along Together might not be the most spectacular title you’ll experience in virtual reality, but it is a charming one that wouldn’t be the same without its implementation. It’s a genuinely fun puzzle-platformer that’s both light-hearted and accessible, whilst feeling like you’re actually inside of this colourful world and really interacting with its cute little characters just adds to the experience.
It’s only real flaw is that it’s a bit too easy and automated at times, with the game lacking in a real challenge and often performing a lot of in-game actions for the player automatically. Still, it doesn’t make the game any less charming and you can certainly guarantee that your time with Along Together will be spent with a smile on your face.
Developer: Turbo Button
Publisher: Turbo Button
Release Date: Out Now
Format(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), HTC Vive, Oculus Rift