A Walk Along The Edge – Game Review
Along the Edge is a narrative-driven game that allows you to drive the story forward with your own decisions. Much like many other narrative-based games, the content is delivered through text and still images. The images displayed will depend on your choices. You play the part of Daphné Delatour, the young heiress of the Delatour fortune. Daphné is in a slump, unsure if her research career is best for her. She chooses to take up the family fortune and move to a mansion settled in a small village that is isolated from the rest of the world. She leaves behind her ex-boyfriend, a sad past, and a potentially successful research position to put down new roots as a teacher in the small community. Daphné is in search of “a fresh start”. She also wishes to know about her family’s past, something that her estranged mother has decided to keep hidden. The only communication with her mother is in a vague letter early in the game.
Along with Questions
Along the Edge attempts to initially draw you in with mystery. What has happened in Daphné’s life to cause her to want to move? What is the Delatour family history? Why keep it hidden? What adventures await her in this new town? As players work through the mystery the game gives them two sets of choices, indicated by four symbols. The sun indicates a passive response, the moon indicates an aggressive response, the globe indicates a scientific approach, and the star indicates the magical approach. Your choices modify Daphné’s appearance as she sees her reflection during a dream segment in the game. For example, her appearance can be akin to a witch if you go down the arcane path.
The game wishes to emphasize that none of this is based on a “morality meter”, that we have come to expect from games in this genre. It is really up to how you perceive good and evil. People in line with “people getting what they deserve” may enjoy “the moon”. The moon results in Daphné being more likely to lash out at people. But, that is entirely on your dialog choices.
The game has four different “major endings” with the potential of two different lovers as you travel down these paths. Certain choices down certain paths of the game could result in negative consequences for those who want to be with you. It is up to you to decide what you are comfortable with. Each playthrough of the game can take about four to six hours, meaning that the game levels out to about 20 hours of story-based content. Considering that this is a ten dollar game, that is a pretty good value.
The Money and Power Cliche in Along the Edge
The game stresses the idea that money and power combined make evil. This is shown through the conflict with a particular character in the game: Yves Malterre. Yves has the money, power, and control over most of the town given that he owns a sawmill that employs a large number of people. While the individual has some good merits through helping various townsfolk, it is evident that the game wants you to think he only does this for self-gain. Even his own son speaks of his negative side, something that is a cliche in “power-struggle” stories.
The Evolution of Daphné
The golden point of this story lies with the evolution of our main character, Daphné. She is followed by tragedy and strife wherever she goes, but through your choices, you can make out what happens to her. You deal with how she responds to problems, and there is only one major event that is really completely out of your control. With that, the story does well to give you the idea of complete control, something other narrative games seem to struggle with. The magic versus logic aspect plays an interesting role. You can recognize that these dreams are happening, but it is up to you if you wish to give these dreams any merit.
My Final Verdict
Along the Edge does well in its storytelling. The game has a polished and simple user-interface. It seems easy enough for anyone to grasp. However, it is an adult narrative game. Some topics in this game can be uncomfortable for certain audiences. With that in mind, this game appeals to a small audience. Those looking for a good story to keep them interested for a week or two will be right at home. After a couple plays of the game, you may put this down forever or you might pick it back up to replay on a whim. For ten dollars, this game has a decent value to it. The game also has an impressive soundtrack which you can hear some of below. Along the Edge is quite an impressive feat for a team of three people. Pick this up if you are looking for a good story. This game is made available digitally on itch.io and the Mac App Store for $9.99.