Richard and Alice are prisoners. Both their cells have a leather sofa and a state-of-the-art computer. But only Richard’s has a TV. Outside, the snow falls. It has done for some time. Elsewhere, they say, parts of the world have been rendered an inhospitable desert, the earth parched and cracked. People live in the zones now.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (193 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 5, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"A dramatic tale that does not dimish minority voices to side characters. Wah wah wah."

Reviews

“Incredibly moving… A poignant, well-told tale, exploring themes of hope, despair and morality. And that’s not a thing you can say about enough games.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“A quietly powerful tale about parenthood and survival in a frozen world.”
Edge

“A game like this lives on the quality of its script, and Denby and Raze have written a tender, human story.”
PC Gamer

Steam Greenlight

About This Game

Richard and Alice are prisoners. Both their cells have a leather sofa and a state-of-the-art computer. But only Richard’s has a TV.

Outside, the snow falls. It has done for some time. Elsewhere, they say, parts of the world have been rendered an inhospitable desert, the earth parched and cracked. People live in the zones now. The lucky ones, anyway.

Richard and Alice have secrets.

Created by Lewis Denby and Ashton Raze, whose games journalism credits include the likes of Eurogamer, Gamespot and the Telegraph, Richard & Alice is a riveting mystery story about family, desperation and the weather – all set to the beat of an indie adventure game.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP 3 / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1 GHz processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
31 of 46 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Sigh. The plot was interesting, the overall metaphor was great and I wasn't terribly bothered by the less than stellar graphics, but the gamplay is poor and overall I found this game predictable, easy and bland. The level designs left a lot to be desired (lots of open space which is painstakingly slow to move across, tons of repeated sprites/tiles, almost no interactivity with anything), useless "cut scenes" that are used over and over. Most of the story focuses on Alice, there isn't enough background on what Richard was going through. No desire to do another playthrough even though there are 4 more endings.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Overview:

The focus of this game is a moving, post-apocalyptic story. Two people are locked up together in a world covered with ice, and Alice tells how she got there, and so you are able to play as Alice during each part of her story.
This is a mature and very sad story, with very strong and heart wrenching questions, so do not expect anything cheerful.

Gameplay:

Simple point and click interface, with only the left and right mouse buttons to interact or the ENTER button in the keyboard to skip conversations (hold to skip faster). Simple puzzles that make sense and are logical, but not very challenging. I only got stuck once, because I did not know what I was supposed to do.

Sound:

Amazing sound effects that make you feel the bleakness of the environment. Really good!

Voice: None, only subtitles for dialogs

Graphics:

Simple but functional, not a problem for a story-focused game like this. Just make sure you configure the game (setup) before launching to play it in fullscreen and use Directx 3D 9. You'll need to copy and paste the game's exe file ("richardandalice.exe") and rename the copy as "richardandalice_steam_final.exe". Then just click on the game through steam and choose setup while starting it to uncheck "Run in a window instead of Fullscreen" and change the Graphics Driver to Directx 3D 9.

Story:

Very well written for an indie game, it makes you want to know what is going to happen next. There are many possible endings, and it was not hard to get them all with a guide, after I was finished with the game. By the way, I recommend saving in the beginning of each scene to help you come back later for the other endings.

Conclusion:

This is a great game if you like story rich games that make you think and get involved with the game world. If you want hard puzzles, fast action or shining graphics, look elsewhere.

If you have any further doubts or need any help, please post a comment. Thanks for reading!
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
Personal rating: 7/10

PROS:
+ great story telling
+ really awesome gritty story
+ multiple endings
+ atmosphere

CONS:
- short game time
- slow walking
- MS-paint style graphics

Comment:
All aboard the feels train! This game really takes the post-apocalyptic setting and shows us how dark and gritty it is. Not by huge amounts of combat. It does it through it's characters, through the actions that the people who are trying to survive do. The story is great, the way we are served this story is even better. Piece by piece you uncover the truth. What brings down the score is the lack-luster gameplay (even for a point&click game) and the bad graphics. But despite these this is a fantastic piece of video game art I can really recommend!
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
Stunning and depressed story. I feel like I watch movie named "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas". Sadness along with beauty, what a perfect game like "To The Moon".
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
Richard & Alice is a well-writen adventure. It is not easy for me to actually care about the characters unless they are well developed, which is definitely the case with this game. It doesn't deal with black and white and it is not a happy title, but it brings variety and makes you think along the way. I was invested in the story the whole time and wanted to see what was going to happen next. It has also an interesting way to tell the story, using different time periods.

In terms of gameplay, it is basically what you can expect of Point & Click games. The puzzles do make sense and they are not random, which avoids the impression that they were just made to be filler. If you are used to similar games, then you are going to encounter a familiar environment here, but in a setting that makes your purchase worthwile. I definitely recommend Richard & Alice to everyone even remotely interested.

It is well done and polished. It isn't a long game, but the few hours you are going to invest in it are definitely worth your time.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 15, 2014
I enjoyed playing Richard and Alice. It's more of an adventure game, but the story had me legitimately interested to see how the characters would develop and just what the hell was going on. Little bit of replay value even for a slightly altered ending. If you see this one go on sale and you have a few short hours to kill, pick this one up and enjoy the atmosphere.

Great experience.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Before you even consider buying this game, ask yourself one question: Do you like games with a lot of dialog? If the answer is no, move along. This game is about 90% dialog and 10% point and click.

It's not a very long game. I beat it in around two hours the first time. There are multiple endings, so I'm working on those now.

The game is a bit dark and the story can get a little convoluted at times, however, I still enjoyed it. There was only one part in the game where I had to pull up a walkthrough. That's actually a bonus for this game -- I hate point and click games where it's nearly mandatory that you have a walkthrough for the entire thing.

I would only recommend this game if you find it on sale for 75% or more. It's definitely not my favorite game in the world, but if you enjoy a quick dark story, this will do the trick.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
An interesting short point-and-click adventure about two prisoners in a dystopian society where extreme weather has made survival difficult. Over the course of the game, Alice, a single mother, slowly reveals how she came to be imprisoned, in a series of flashbacks.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Overly Simple puzzles. Conversations that go on forever with limited choices. The choices you make must have some meaning but it is just guesswork until you see the ending. Long pauses and slow walking pace are frustrating. This is more like an old choose you own adventure story than a game.

Not a fan but there is some replay value if you want to see alternate endings.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
Richard and Alice guides the player through an interesting story. It started out slow at first, but as you learn more about Alice, the story starts to pick up.

However, the world exploration, clunky maneuvering through the space, and simple puzzles that occured between the dialogue took away from the strong storytelling.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
★★★★☆

Pros:
- A strong story, which is both beautiful and heartfelt.
- The tone is just right, in a desperate survialist world affected by snow.
- The relationship between Richard & Alice is authentic and realistic, you see how it grows through fear, laughter and their sharing of both hope and memories.
- Puzzles are imaginative and thought provoking with little guidence.
- There are two endings.
- Due to clever writing nothing is ever clear as you uncover the truth.

Cons:
- The graphics are not the best but are suitable for the games style,
- In more open areas gameplay is spoilt by some poor movement.
- A somewhat short story at 3 hours.
- Although this is no con for me due to its excellent writing, there is a lot of dialog so be aware.

Verdict: Story rich, with puzzle based point and click elements. This game is moving and under-rated.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
This is an almost purely story-driven game similar to "To The Moon"; there is almost NO gameplay! Despite that, I can recommend it but I believe the experience is actually improved if played with a guide (in other words, just experience the story).

This is NOT a game in the typical sense! Know what you are getting otherwise you will not enjoy it!

PROS:
-Good dialogue
-Good characters/story

CONS:
-Art looks like MSPaint
-Walking speed is PAINFULLY slow. The puzzles are simplistic enough such that not solving one usually equates to having missed an item, combined with the slow walking speed destroys the immersion. This is why a guide is recommend as the puzzles are really simple anyway.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Richard and Alice strikes me as a hybrid mix of point & click adventure meets visual novel. Let's start out with the high points here. The story of Richard and Alice is absolutely compelling with a particular high note being the well written dialog between characters. The conversational segments in the game flow naturally and realistically. At no point did the dialog seem stilted or poorly written. This is a particularly notable feat when one considers the amount of dialog between Alice and her 5 (and a half!) year old son Barney. It's hard to write children's dialog between parent and child in such a way that it seems natural. Most novels can't get this sort of thing right, let alone the medium of video games. I think you almost have to be a parent yourself in order to effectively write this sort of dialog, and IMO Richard and Alice excels at it. Creating emotional connection between the player and the in game characters is critical to this games success, and thankfully it nails this part.

The game also presents itself as an interesting piece of sci-fi. The near future dystopia has been done to death for ages untold at this point, but Richard and Alice neatly avoids most of the typical tropes and clichés of this setting in that it never waves its world around in your face. The setting here merely serves as a backdrop for the unfolding human drama, but for the most part leaves the concrete dystopian details as part of that backdrop. It's a largely successful approach as it (rightly, IMO) assumes most players are sophisticated enough to be well versed in the rules of such a world by virtue of previous exposure in the form of other games, film, and books. It effectively tells you what you need to know of the world in order to move the plot along and leaves the rest to imagination.

The gameplay is largely successful but equally does falter in some areas. The point and click adventure elements here are fairly straight forward and rote. There are only three relatively confined areas to explore in the game (four if you're feeling exceedingly generous). Further, the level of interactivity in these areas is limited in such a way as to effectively move you from point A to point B in the story without a lot of tarrying about. If you're seeking a richly vibrant, highly interactive point & click title, Richard and Alice is not necessarily going to give you that. The world here exists as a plot device, and the interactive elements within that world are strictly limited to those that serve the plot in some way. So yes, this is a rather tightly wound narrative without the indulgence of unnecessary distractions. Having said that, Richard and Alice incorporates some interesting game mechanics in service to that world and to the general tone of the game. Much has been made of the fact that character movement feels extremely sluggish, and believe me it does, it really, really does. It's my opinion though, that this was a conscious decision on the part of the developers. The slow movement combined with the relentless sound of the snow ratchets up the tension and anxiety in the game, particularly when there are other characters in peril. It makes the world feel claustrophobic and as if it's actively working against you. It doesn't make it any less frustrating mind, but it is ultimately an effective decision.

The one other aspect of the game play that troubles me a bit is that of the multiple endings offered here. There are no less than five possible endings for Richard and Alice, which would seem to indicate the possibility of a branching story line. To be clear on this point, there are absolutely no branches along the way in this story. The ending you get is strictly based on rather arbitrary in-game choices that do not affect the narrative in progress whatsoever. So if you want to see the multiple endings, you'll play through the exact same story multiple times with the only points of differentiation being the endings themselves. It's as if you're reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book in which the only story deviation occurs in the final two pages of the book. Now to be clear the story is excellent, and IMO it does warrant at least one additional play through to pick up on the clues and hints that you may have missed the first time around. But to play through the game five times introduces a sense of drudgery and tedium, particularly when coupled with the slow character movement mentioned above. More damningly it also reduces some of the emotional wallop present in the game with each additional playthrough. Accordingly, if you're going for multiple playthroughs I'd recommend taking a suitable cool down period in betwixt.

I'd recommend this game to fans of visual novels (slightly more so than fans of adventure games), as well as to anyone who appreciates quality storytelling coupled with quality characterization in games, especially so this latter element.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
It was a good story line. Bit darker than I expected.
About 3/4 through the game you realize how Alice and Richard are connected.
Wasn't sure how to unlock the other achiements though.
But all in all if you don't mind a slow paced game, go for it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
First I thought this was an RPG Maker game. It's nothing of the sort, so don't be mistaken due to the artstyle.

Owl Cave, the developing team, is clearly fond of old-school point n' click games, and this is exactly that! Honestly, there isn't much to it, as a game, to make it stand out. It doesn't have any interesting mechanic, or anything of the sort. It's visual and audio design is also very minimal.
Where it shines, however, is in its story! I've taken a few points to write about, but it's mostly about how they could have made it more of a game, and also overcome the downsides of old point n' clicks, with their very sluggish movement, and some frustrating puzzle design.

This game avoids most of that, though, using the puzzles merely to get you more into the story. I will not, of course, review the story, and I'll avoid spoilers, but I'm very positive on it, overall.


Presentation
This is, by far, the weakest aspect of the game!
I've seen some people disappointed, claiming it's "MSPaint Graphics". It's not that bad, for sure. But you can definitely understand that reaction. It has a very low resolution, and also simple and outdated tile sets. The structures' perspective is also a bit off...
All in all, this is not something you'll play for sight-seeing in the least. However, it has just enough to carry the story, and giving each scene the right atmosphere, in this barren and anarchic world.

Unfortunately, it's very static, which is okay, but I would have liked it not to have been in one particular aspect: the character portraits. They're always the same! I realize that it was perhaps more work than it warranted, but it was a chance to add a lot of personality into the game, as I see it. Just having the portraits be in sync with their tone. Heh, it's not very important, but could have been better.

The music seems to be equally as low-fi, strangely enough. It's not 8 or 16 bit or anything like that, but it somehow feels... old? It's strange to describe it. But it's mostly ambience music and sound effects, complementing the visuals to set the stage for the dialog. I found it surprisingly fitting in the game.
Everything loops well and nothing felt out of place.

There is no voice-acting.

I appreciated the writting quite a lot! You can understand the tone in each character's line, and the dialogue options that they give you are always legitimate. I'll talk about this further ahead, but there are a few choices that will affect the endings, although you may not initially realize it.


General Structure
There are 2 main characters in Richard & Alice, unsurprisingly. You're both in a prison, and all you can do is talk to each other, in separated cells. Mostly,it's about you, Richard, listening to Alice's story, about how she got there.
The game alternates between the characters. The smallest chunk of the game is in the cells, where you play as Richard, speak to Alice, and solve some very minor puzzles. It also helps you understand the world around you a bit more.
The biggest chunk, is where you play as Alice and her son, Barney, following how she was "arrested".

The prison sections are mostly there to break up the pacing, which is surprisingly good! The game never felt tiresome or to drag on as a result.


Puzzles and Gameplay
The first thing you'll notice, is how sluggish the movement is. You shouldn't be unfamiliar with it, if you're used to point n' click games... it's always their sore spot!
This game is just the same. It's a bit awkward to move, and even to pick things up. You left click to use and right click to inspect. And that's basically all you need to know.
You can also advanced dialogue by clicking, skipping to the next line. There's a way to skip a scene entirely (scenes which you do not control) by holding SpaceBar -- This is never explained in the game...

You can always Save/Load at any time, which is great! There are a couple of bugs, sometimes, which can easily be fixed by simply reloading, without losing any progress.

There isn't much to the puzzles, honestly. It's mostly about exploring the scenes, collecting items, and then using them in the right place, or combining them. It's very standard in the genre. There isn't any pixel-hunting, and you'll generally be able to solve them rather quickly.
During most of the game, the areas are also fairly small, so every solution to a give puzzle is nearby, avoiding the slow walking that usually comes with these puzzles.
Unfortunately, there are 2 (maybe) scenes that have 3 areas you can visit and in those, you'll have to walk back and forth, very slowly, until you find the right items. That was a bit frustrating to me, as are most of point n' click games, but it was nothing unbearable. Honestly, they've avoided most of it, so that's good! It will not get in the way of the story.


Well... I think that covers it. As I can't review the story, it's hard to tell you what this game does right. The game itself is serviceable, but the way it paces the story, and gives you some freedom within it is where it shines. This is definitely not something you'll play for the puzzles or mechanics. If you enjoyed To the Moon, Primordia, Home, etc. I think you'll definitely appreciate this.

The story is quite mature, and the world has gone to hell, but the story it tells is credible, and there are certainly many aspects with which the player can identify with. Some people found it depressing, which is understandable, so know what you're getting into. I don't think it's anything shocking, but it's definitely not a light-hearted and happy story. It's a lot about what people would do if faced with risk of survival. It's not about zombies, or nuclear war. In fact, the setting is never explained, as it's there as a mere symbol/concept. And that's all I'll say about it.


The issue I've had with the puzzles was simply the fact that you can easily miss a very specific item, for an ambiguous purpose. What I mean by that is that several other items in your inventory could provide you with the exact same utility – but of course, the game doesn't aknowledge that, and will leave you walking in circles, re-inspecting everything. That's not something I like, of course, but changing that would probably require a whole re-design of how puzzles are done in the genre, which is far outside the scope of the review. One last thing.

How choice is handled in the different endings
From what I understand, the most important choices, are the ones you make when talking to Barney. These are usually question about the state of the world that you, as a player, may not know about. It's interesting, really. It's an uninformed decision, yet, it's a valid one, since you're basically telling your son how the world is, and sometimes how people interact. And how you choose to show him, is how the ending will be presented, in a way.
The ending is based both on deduction done with the clues you've found (depending on the notes you find, your actions in the end may change, thus changing the ending), and also based on how you chose to see the world.

All in all, it will be very fitting to you, personally, and how you've played the game, it's very good!
The downside to it, is that getting several endings may be a bit laborious (since you'll have to replay big portions of the game that doesn't change much, expect for the ending), and also that the forum discussion will not be as interesting.
Take Home, for instance. That game's discussion were based on what actually happened in the game, not just the ending. And it was great! Since in this game they're mostly about its conclusion, discussion will not be as nice.
To be honest, I think it's good news, if such an issue is what I throw at your game, haha!

I enjoyed it a whole lot!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Book Sim

I reccomend this game if you are a fan of reading.

I Do Not Reccomend if you hate clicking LMB or all stories you like end like a Disney film.

Great story, played to the end because of story and not the gameplay. Wouldve gave up if story wasnt interesting.

Gameplay is typical Find this object and add to this object to create another object that you need to further story.

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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
I found this game boring and generic, a very VERY typical post-apocalyptic story that brings nothing new to the table. Characters are just okay and there's THAT kid, you know, completely useless, oblivious, gives predictible dialogue about toys, meant to portray innocence but just ends up being annoying as hell. After Clementine in Walking Dead, its even harder to tolerate.

The gameplay is okay, the puzzles are interesting enough but it takes forever to walk anywhere and there's a fair bit of walking. Its appropriate since you're walking in very heavy snow but I was fustrated instead of feeling immersed in the enviroment. I think is because the slowness is so exaggerated that I end up going on my phone or doing something else, and this is moving from one tree to another in a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ woodland.

Overall not terrible but a pass.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
The art is absolutely atrocious, the puzzles are 80% trivial and 20% difficult, but the storyline is fantastic and the ending sublime.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
This game is short, but it's high caliber and gonna drag you a part of your deep sadness emotion! Litterally heart broking but also in some kind of way, educative. Hard to explain, you must play to fully understand what i mean! If you like adventure game for their stories this game is definetively for you!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
An interestingly unique point and click game with 5 alternate endings, a sad story throughout and moderately easy puzzles. I enjoyed my playthrough.
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