Along Together is a puzzler for PlayStation VR that tasks you with rescuing your pet dog Rishu as two different characters, either the pooch’s male or female owner and their imaginary friend. With a fair few comparisons able to be made between itself and Moss, Along Together arrives with a decent amount of promise, but is that potential realised?
Controlling either the boy or the girl is done using the left thumbstick, while the imaginary friend gets about through the use of the DualShock 4’s motion controls and light bar. Represented by a gigantic translucent hand, you’ll be able to manipulate certain objects within the environment in order to create a path for your real life character to traverse and bring them one step closer to Rishu. Taking place across three different settings, the pup definitely makes it a bit of a marathon, too.
Each zone introduces a new mechanic to its puzzles, with the forest basing itself around the movement of logs as you get from one place to the next, while the caves are all about rock deformation and manipulating moving switches in order to venture forward. The final area, the junkyard, is where the game is at its trickiest. Cranes are the name of the game here, with vehicles to move about that can activate switches and pressure pads in order to power a piece of machinery.
Thanks to this variety, you’ll never tire of one mechanic too quickly. Gameplay gets another mix-up with the introduction of the slingshot, which you can use to fire off shots at certain targets in the distance to make life easier for yourself once you get there. You can shoot down supports so that a bridge can be lowered, or unholster apples from a tree to rain down terror on a flock of birds blocking your path.
And for the most part, Along Together is simply a rather pleasant experience. Most of the puzzles are only mildly challenging – it’s impossible to die – and the ambient music and positive atmosphere that works its way through the entire experience makes for a nice and relaxing time. The game doesn’t attempt to do anything brand new in the virtual reality space, but what it does manage to create is a solid adventure that you’re sure to get a good amount of enjoyment out of.
That is, until you reach the concluding hour. For some reason things seemed to take a sharp turn in the junkyard environment, as we began to encounter puzzles with very unintuitive solutions, as well as head scratching segments where we simply weren’t sure what the game wanted us to do. It was a real shame to see the game struggle in its final moments after the lovely experience we had in the lead up to it, but unfortunately we were left with a slightly sour taste in our mouth upon the title’s conclusion.
Presentation wise, the graphics aren’t exactly top of the line, but then we don’t think that’s what developer Turbo Button was really going for as locations resemble drawings you’d find in a child’s story book. With blocky but colourful tones painting the world, it can be a joy to just take a second and observe the world around you. Play-time wise you’ll get roughly four hours out of Along Together, with collectibles to be found in every level should you want to explore every nook and cranny of each stage.
Along Together serves up a fun virtual reality experience that doesn’t attempt to do anything new, but rather refines mechanics introduced by others. It's mildly challenging puzzles won’t present much of a roadblock in your path to progress, besides the unintuitive junkyard location, and so an afternoon’s worth of enjoyment is around about where your expectations should lie.