After ten years apart, twins Tyler and Alyson reunite to sell their childhood home. They soon realize their past is not what they remember.
Publisher: Xbox Games Studios
Reviewed on: PC
Also available for: Xbox One
Cast: August Aiden Black, Erica Lindbeck, Grace Kaufman, Gianna Ernst, Emily O’Brien, Martin Sensmeiser, Forrest Goodluck, Neil Kaplan, Melody Butiu, Dave B. Mitchell
Game Director: Florent Guillaume
Narrative Director: Stephane Beauverger
Lead Writer: Morgan Lockhart
This review contains full spoilers for Tell Me Why: Chapter Three and previous chapters of series.
I have anxiety. It sucks. Although my triggers and mental health issues are my own, Tell Me Whys’ final chapter, ‘Inheritance’ and its confrontation with Alyson’s anxiety and trauma was tough to play. But it was also one of the highlights of the final chapter where my interest in discovering the truth of their father was lost and I just wanted to spend more time with Tyler and Alyson in their everyday lives.
After a morning spent seeing apparitions and memories she can’t tell fiction from fact, Alyson has a breaking moment with Michael. He’s come by to check up on her and Alyson breaks down everything that happened at the end of the previous chapter. The fight with Tyler, the stress that’s beating her down into the ground. You can choose how much detail you open him too. But it’s the sweet moment near the end of this conversation that nearly brought a tear to my eye. Michael politely asks if Alyson has ever spoken to anyone, a specialist, about her childhood and that night. She says no with money being a holdback. Michael tells her to do what’s best for her. Spend what money she has on help if she needs it, forget moving to the big city.
Alyson heads over to the Police Station for a lunch date with Debra. Unfortunately, Debra is unable to come out for the lunch after someone comes in with a racoon caught as the culprit of the mailbox crimes. A great payoff to a sub-plot if you’d snooped around the police station in previous chapters. It’s when she’s berated by one of the other officers about Tyler being a bad-egg that she runs outside mid panic attack.
I’ve never had to play a panic attack in a game before and it raised my heart rate drastically. I’ve been there. I’ve even whipped out the breathing app on my iPhone to help calm me down. I really connected to Alyson through this episode because of this though. Where past episodes had me more interested in Tyler, I was so glad we got more time with Alyson in this final chapter and the ability to understand how her trauma has been carried for the past ten years. Years of guilt and regret. Years spent questioning if she did the right thing in stabbing her own mother and if she did the right thing standing by Tyler’s choice to take the fall. Unequivocally heavy stuff to carry.
Although Dontnods mental health depiction has been hit and miss in previous games, I really feel like their depiction with Alyson in this chapter is their best stuff. The twins’ mother, Mary-Anne is questionable.
Alyson then heads off to ask Sam if he’s the twin’s father, which he is not. I gotta admit I was fooled by the obvious yellow coat red herring. Sam’s just a man who was obviously in love with Mary-Anne and hasn’t been able to move on following her death. Another person left with years of untreated trauma.
It should be obvious I was shipping Tyler and Micahel this whole game so when presented with a fish out and opportunities to flirt away, I sure did that. It’s not all about me being a sucker for some soapy romance either. Michael is the only person who’s able to chip away at the wall of protection that Tylers built around himself and I want him to be happy. He deserves it.
In my epilogue wrapping up the events of Tell Me Why I got to see a Tyler and Michael who moved away together while Alyson moved into the Ronan home. Although I have mixed feelings about Alyson moving into the home. I love that my Tell Me Why journey ended with Tyler moving away with Micahel. After all this talk of living in a cabin in the middle-of-nowhere with no friends, he was out with Michael making friends and living his life to the fullest.
Of course, before that epilogue chapter wrapping things up we had to deal with the main mystery at hand. No, I did not pick Tom to be the twins’ father.
It all makes sense in retrospective with how Tessa acted towards Mary-Anne and the kids. But I didn’t enjoy how we got to the result. Much like how I criticized the buried box with two letters in the previous chapter, I found the loft with several puzzles and a spot to place all of the collectables in the game kinda ridiculous. Having to combine the twins’ storybook with what we know about Mary-Anne made for some interesting puzzles, but I just couldn’t get into the whole concept.