A nice addition to one of my favourite genres.
Personally, I am a massive fan of what might be called ‘communication’ games. Not in the manner of Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege, where communication is a nice extra that’s been added in, but like Deceit, where if communication was removed then the game would be unplayable.
We Were Here Too is very similar to Deceit, where communication is not only a massive part of it but something which the rest of the game is built around. Essentially, one person is faced with a puzzle, and another person is faced with the answer, with both players completely blind as to what the other is seeing. Using walkie-talkies you need to communicate what you see in order to pull the right lever, light the right candle, or push the right button.
And to be honest, I’m a bit cautious about going any further – We Were Here Too isn’t a game which lends itself well to replays, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. As such, I’ll tentatively talk about the first puzzle, show a screenshot or two of the second, and leave the rest to you.
You and your motley crew are trekking though the mountains, and after suffering two casualties, see a castle. You and the one remaining member of your party enter, and when faced with two doors, adopt the Mystery Machine approach of splitting up and looking for clues.
The first puzzle sets the tone and lends a hand with the sort of puzzles you’ll have to solve later. When you spawn in, person A is faced with a stone casket with three symbols etched into it, and person B is in a burial room. Person B has to find the correct symbols, tell person A what they are, and then person A highlights the right symbols and proceeds to the next room.
All the puzzles are of the same ilk, with one person seeing a puzzle which has the answer in it, and one person seeing a puzzle which needs the answer. You’re in different rooms, so not counting screenshots, you can’t share information. Typically, most puzzles aren’t too difficult. I will admit to one or two of them leaving me scratching my head, but I suspect that that was more to do with my partner than anything, a recurring issue throughout.
If your partner isn’t that good, so to speak, you’re going to have a bad time. There is a random matchmaking system, but despite the ability to set language preferences I got matched with Chinese, Russian, and Indian players. For a game where speaking is imperative, this isn’t good. Factor in that your partner just might not be good at relating information across – and that some puzzles are essentially timed, with the floor giving way to lava – and it can be a frustrating experience.
For example, An American stranger and I were stuck in a room, myself in the puzzle room, and him having the answer. He was stuck, with no idea what the potential answer could be. I had no clue what he was seeing, so was trying to suggest things to him that might possibly be the answer. He ended up leaving (which the game gave me no notification about), and I had to leave as well, the game being impossible to play solo. However, when I came back to the same room with a friend, this time playing the character who sees the answer, I saw what needed to be done right away. The solution was quite obvious and I had even suggested the possibility to my American partner, before he immediately discounted it.
Aside from the reliance on other players, the only problem is that We Were Here Too has next to no replay value. For me, this is a massive problem. When a game can not only be done in a matter of hours, but can’t be played again, it makes me wary about suggesting it to others. As such, I can’t fully recommend it: for the casual player, this will be a two-hour affair, maybe longer if they play both roles, and I can think of a few other games I would rather spend the current asking price of £7.19 on. In short, We Were Here Too is quite short with minimal replayability, and it’s highly reliant on who you’re playing with. If you don’t have a friend who also wants to play, I wouldn’t buy it, and instead opt for the first We Were Here which is free.