Emily is Away wasn’t the first visual novel I had ever played, but one of the few to transport me into a period of my life I thought I left behind. Maybe that was due more to the accurate recreation of Windows XP and AOL Instant Messenger from 2002 (even if it was in pixel art), but I had experienced many of the same scenarios the game covered.
It was heartbreaking to see my own mistakes and know what I could have done to prevent them. By that same measure, it made me realize that I’m not the only person to have felt the same way in such a situation, even if I beat myself up over my choices every day.
It wasn’t perfect (the characters were basically one-dimensional), but Emily is Away was effective in at least capturing a time period that seemed to disappear overnight. So what could a sequel possibly add to that? How about two potential love interests and multiple endings!