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 Two and previous chapters of series.
Read the spoiler-free review of Tell Me Why: Chapter One
This chapter was a lot. Between having the ultimatum with Eddy, accepting the apology of Tessa and watching Tyler and Alyson fight I was left emotionally drained. Seeing the reveal at the end and knowing that Mary-Anne was trying to protect her kids at that moment brings up some interesting feelings. We know that Mary-Anne wasn’t a great mother in those final months, but surely she didn’t deserve to die? Will it bring some reprise to the twins when they finally face the man that caused all of this trouble? The man that is presumably their father, or will it make it harder to deal with that night and the actions they took?
Amongst all of the faster-paced emotional scenes in the second chapter, I appreciated that it also featured some slower moments as well. The beginning of the chapter and the house clean allowed the twins to get some alone time before piecing together that the characters in their childhood book were allegories for real-life people — a great touch. Although I did find the lock-box under the shed to be a touch too far. The idea that Mary-Anne not only hid that box under the floor-boards but then also put a lock on it that was hidden in the kid’s book was a little extreme. But I’ll play along.
At the supermarket, the time Tyler gets to spend with Micahel was some of my favourite in the chapter. Especially since it seemed the majority of this chapter was moving at a much faster pace than the previous. This slow-down to enjoy a flirtatious plushie doll fight was great. I tried my hardest to set-up Tyler and Michael as well. I needed more flirtatious options! They seem like they’d be a great together. More so, being able to see Tyler flirt with someone and have a person other than his sister take interest in him was heart-warming. Tyler’s whole “I’ll go live in the woods alone” is an obvious mental wall to protect himself. Being able to open him up to another person was something he needed.
I’m not sure how much further the game will delve into the Tlingit culture but there was a couple of great moments involving Michael. For one, when Tyler asks about the gun control policies of Tom, Michael’s response about the government taking guns away from his people was a perspective you certainly don’t see represented in media. It was also a great moment to show that Tyler is open to new points of view on things he’s obviously passionate about.
Shoutout to the Life is Strange reference in the storage room also. A poster behind Michael as you count stock if you want to go find it yourself.
Although I did enjoy the face-to-face ultimatum with Eddy this episode, I found the Police section and puzzles the most lacklustre of the game so far. The distraction I caused with Tyler to get Alyson upstairs was silly and the box-finding and tag entering puzzle upstairs were just tedious. Having a puzzle built into the computer involving searching for specific tags and finding new keywords would have been more interesting and they already have the basics for that in the game. This section was the bulk of the chapter as well, but when you realise the majority of that time is spent walking around a room looking for boxes, it feels like a superficial stretching of this chapter.