OFFICIAL INFO FROM COMPANY...
🗺️ Based In United States
⏲️ About 60-90 Minutes ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 2 Teams
📚 Your puzzle solving and communication skills will be put to the test. Control mysterious gadgets and work your way through a two-player online escape experience. Collect items and share them with your teammate using the new items transfer feature. Help each other discover the truth of an enigmatic device and find out how the many items and controls you find can assist you. Use your new found skills to finally fix what was broken and escape the machine! Using two separate devices, play with a friend on the couch, or even across the globe on the phone or video chat!
THIS IS CLASSIFIED AS...
▪ Play At Home » Purely Online Digital Game
▪ Cooperative (Co-op) Communication Puzzle Game
YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF YOU...
▪ ...Want a game designed specifically to test compatibility between family, friends, and lovers. (Be careful now!)
▪ ...Are looking for a team-building activity that strengthens communication skills or explores ways to improve them.
▪ ...Don't really mind the lack of a true narrative, and just want some fun, challenging puzzles to pass the time.
GREAT! ANY ADVICE OR TIPS?
🧐 Based on my 2 teams of 1 each, the difficulty subjectively felt like a 5 to 6/10. However, your miles may vary, as cooperative puzzles challenge level largely depends on how well you and mate(s) know each other, and how well you can communicate on any one particular day. If you happen to be on the same frequency, you may just fly through the game!
🔢 With the reasoning above, I would recommend 2 teams, with 1 to 2 players on each. Try to place those who can complement each other well on opposite teams. (Split a couple up and see what happens! Heh!)
MY BODY IS READY! NOW WHAT?
🛒 TO BUY, CLICK HERE!
▪ For this: Company recommends playing on a desktop or a laptop due to heavy use of graphics and animations.
Somebody is missing a heart... won't you help the little fella out? ▪ Enchambered: Sacramento Escape Room
▪ The "Alone Together" online cooperative puzzle game series started out as a small but ambitious project to help pay for rent and wages for Sacramento's Enchambered escape room company during COVID shutdown. Little did they know, (or perhaps they did, since they are quite talented,) this series would go on to become the internet sensation that it is today. When the community asks for a good quality co-op puzzle title, this series ALWAYS comes up!
▪ Here comes the third installment, titled "Together At Heart". I like the title--a lot--and here's why: The sequel, Alone Together 2, was named Together Apart. And now the third one ends with "Heart"? Hello, apart, heart, rhyming, how cool is that? (The correct answer is very.) Next, since the newest game was released on Valentine's Day, a lovey dovey reference of the heart in the moniker makes good sense. Finally, after 2 follow-ups in the series, the world is still plagued by an incessant pandemic. The title reassures us, though socially distanced, we remained connected... by our heartstrings. 🥰
▪ ...And also, the little robot boy is missing his mechanical heart. Man, this name's got layers or what?!
▪ For those who are just joining us midway, why not check out the first and second titles first? It'll give you a good idea of the setup, which can otherwise be summed up as followed: Player 1 and Player 2 will have two separate game screens, or work tables, if you will. On each table are notes, gadgets, and trinkets with puzzles, clues, and secrets embedded within. What Player 1 sees will most likely be key info that Player 2 needs to solve their puzzles, and vice versa. So communication--excuse me, EFFECTIVE communication--is key! Be descriptive, be specific, and be patient!
Players have different clues and tasks, but communication is still the key ▪ Enchambered: Sacramento Escape Room
WHAT HAS RETURNED
▪ Alone Together 1 & 2 are, in many's eyes, huge successes. These fan-favorites are recommended repeatedly among the puzzle and escape games communities due to its niche specialty (not many well-known co-op games are out there, even to date), quality puzzles, and impressive graphics. As such, there really isn't a strong drive for the designers to drastically change the formula. Whatever you saw before is a pretty good indication of what you'll get.
▪ There are tons of co-op puzzles in store waiting to entertain, test, and/or torment teammates of opposite teams. Obviously, every puzzle will require communication. Assuming that you overcome the communication barrier, which is the main source of difficulty, what's left behind are escape room style puzzles of low to medium difficulty, including: item collection and usage, symbol and number ciphers, pattern matching, spelling and word plays, and other neat little tricks that are harder to verbalize. Variety is satisfying but remains in similar territories as previous works.
▪ Keep in mind, these otherwise seemingly simple puzzles are a lot more complicated to solve when you don't have all that you need in front of you! If your partner misses a detail, you may just get stuck for some time. Possibly an hour. Or two. (Ah! Traumatic memory flashback!) Also beware, many of the on-screen elements are clickable, leading to entirely new areas. (Some are even only clickable after being unlocked by previous puzzles.) So click away, my friends, click away.
▪ Signature, beautiful graphics also return, but instead of tarot cards from the fortuneteller and clock gears from the clockmaker, you get an old timey, monochromatic tv set, and an adorable, heartless--quite literally--Wall-E lookalike.
NEW FEATURES & IMPROVEMENTS
▪ A brand new feature, advertised front and center, are the "Matter Transfer Devices" where one player can send found items from their end to the other team. In reality, this is a password-based item retrieval system, and the machines are not actually linked. Nonetheless, the illusion this scheme creates is just convincing enough to increase the connectivity factor, which renders the game more engaging, bringing the teammates closer in spirit. Simple, yet quite ingenious.
▪ The story technically changed, though one may argue it's just a different overlay on the same basic idea--to help each other out. (In the original game, there is no story.) In the sequel, two professionals work in tandem to discover the power behind artifacts. This time, you work together to mend a robot's broken heart. (Again, quite literally!) Candidly speaking, both stories are light. The robot tale, however, at least offers a common goal that's more clear cut and easier to grasp.
▪ Puzzles that took too long to solve, or were just simply annoying, were axed. So RIP and don't you come back, logic puzzles and (overly complicated) sliding puzzles. These were probably implemented in the second game to beef up the challenge level, though they more than likely just stalled one player while the other player (im)patiently and helplessly stared at their partner's struggles. To me, co-op communication puzzles are fun if there is an ongoing conversation. The socialization is an integral to the fun, so I am content to see anything that encourages otherwise to get the boot.
Player 1 gets lightbulbs, and Player 2 gets stars--both are bright and shiny! ▪ Enchambered: Sacramento Escape Room
▪ Both players have access to more or less equal puzzle contents, whether it be quality or quantity. While they are not exactly the same, the overall playing field is calibrated well, so there is no one "better" side. However, if you want a slight advantage, strong puzzle solvers should choose Player 1. Reserve Player 2 spot for those with great observational skills.
▪ Whatever you do, make sure not to refresh your internet browser! One hour into my game, I accidentally closed my browser tab, and everything on my end is reset upon reloading! 😱 There was no progress saved, so I ultimately had to resort to the cheat guide to replicate previous effort. Do yourself a favor and write down all your "Matter Transfer Device" passcodes. It'll save you heaps of trouble when accident happens.
▪ Alone Together 3 costs $10, $5 more than its predecessor. However, the product value still comfortably justifies the relatively low price tag. The series as a whole is probably still the cheapest available for the co-op puzzle subcategory.
OVERALL: 😃 [RECOMMENDED RANK!]
▪ Although the release around Valentine's weekend is conspicuously intentional, "Alone Together 3: Together At Heart" does not feature holiday-specific narrative or puzzles, and is a great enterintament option for any time of the year.
▪ The original Alone Together tested out the waters, Together Apart (Part 2) pushed its boundaries, and Together At Heart (Part 3) got all the kinks out and is the most polished of the 3. What do you know... Third time IS the (most) charm(ed).
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. ESERHeart.