How We Know We’re Alive

How We Know We’re Alive will break your heart

There’s a distinct adolescent charm in How We Know We’re Alive, a brief point-and-click narrative mystery that’s about confronting your past as Sara, an aspiring writer. Like a winding road trip back to the nostalgia and follies of your teenage years, the tale unfolds gradually as you speak to the residents of the town you’re in, which also happens to be your childhood home. Having moved out of this place a decade ago, you’re only now back here to uncover what happened to your estranged best friend.

Ostensibly, there doesn’t seem much to begin with. After alighting at a bus stop, the torrential rain foreshadowing the melancholic events to come, you decided to head towards the florist and town gossip, which is just a straight road down. Along the way, you reminisce about your bittersweet memories in this small town. It’s not long before you discover something much more sinister at play, as you even play amateur detective at one point to piece together the events that took place in your absence.

In the end, there’s so much more to How We Know We’re Alive that can be said without spoiling the hour-long game. Unpleasant conversations were had, and prior assumptions were smashed. And then there’s Sara, a character who I found insufferable at times, but only because of how intensely she reminds me of the worst parts of myself. This connection I share with her is both startling and uncomfortable. It’s a poignant game that will make your chest ache with resonance. 

How We Know We’re Alive is now available for free on itch.io, the platform for unspeakably evil games.