Games of the Year

Tacoma

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Tacoma is a narrative adventure set aboard a high-tech space station in the year 2088. As you go about your mission, you’ll explore every detail of how the station’s crew lived and worked, finding the clues that add up to a gripping story of trust, fear, and resolve in the face of disaster. At the heart of Tacoma is the facility’s digital surveillance system, which has captured 3D recordings of pivotal moments in the crew’s life on the station. As you explore, echoes of these captured moments surround you. You’ll use your ability to rewind, fast-forward, and move through the physical space of these complex, interwoven scenes to examine events from every angle, reconstructing the multi-layered narrative as you explore. Tacoma is the next game from the creators of Gone Home, and carries on that tradition of detailed, immersive, and powerful storytelling, while pulling players deeper into the narrative than ever before.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

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tacoma is an enjoyable walking sim in space. more involved than the dev's previous game, gone home, mostly because it couldn't be any less involved. I liked that too for what it was though.
you're sent to a deserted space station to find out what happened by recovering all sorts of data. no jumpscares or anything remotely scary, though the place is pretty dark even with the brightness slider cranked all the way up. go from room to room and snoop around the crew's personal and professional life. still no puzzles, if there's a locked door, the key or the code is somewhere in the same area, just need to find it.
rummaging through items and snippets of the crew members' personal desktops will provide more background info about the happenings, but the meat of the game is the recovered recordings. not a whole lot of meat, admittedly, but hey. when you enter a room, you'll recover a scene to watch over and over, following different people to hear their conversations. sounds tedious, but the game provides all the necessary tools to make it fun. you can move around freely, leaving an area won't reset anything, there's pause, rewind, fast-forward and restart, meaning you have more control than most lazy interactive movies provide.
the story was nothing extraordinary but it had its moments, not much else to say without spoiling things. the game looks good enough, music is forgettable but voiceovers are excellent across the board. you might care more about certain characters than others (nat was my favorite), and there are little details to find everywhere, so it's worth keeping your eyes open. though it didn't help me when I accidentally dropped a key and never found it again, so I locked myself out of a small room. oh well... no inventory, you can only examine/carry a single object at a time, but there's no need for more, it's fine.
controls are mouse-based except for movement and crouching, though scene controls also have hotkeys. settings are plentiful, separate volumes, resolutions, windowed mode, various graphics, ui and control settings, including rebinding, plus subtitles, languages, and a developer commentary is also available. saving is automatic and also happens when you quit. single save slot, starting a new game overwrites it, but clicking continue after the credits lets you continue exploring.
going in blind, I expected gone home in space, so I was pleasantly surprised to find actual gameplay elements that proved to be enjoyable. it's a short game, with a decent amount of exploring it shouldn't take much longer than about 3 hours. while done well and there's not much to complain about (e.g. incoming messages display painfully slowly and with an annoying sound), I think anything more than half price is way too much.

Review from Steam

Good game. Short so you can enjoy the game and go on with your life.

Review from Steam

Tacoma is an narrative adventure walking simulator game set aboard a high-tech space station stationed new Luna, our moon, in the year 2088. You enter the station as Amitjyoti "Amy" Ferrier and your mission is to uncover the mystery of Tacoma Station, as well as getting the AI Core safe from the station. You’ll explore every detail of how the station’s crew lived and worked, finding the clues that add up to a gripping story of trust, fear, and resolve in the face of disaster.
The mechanics of the AI Recorded memories where you would follow different characters around during various scenes was interesting and quite enjoyable. I was really interested in learning about each character, and the fact that the memories often divided between rooms and characters added replay value for each memory.
Sadly I found myself wondering what the relevance of some of the "desktop" files were, as the world-building that was often delivered through various news articles felt like a lot of reading for very little relevance. They didn't really give me more information or insight into what the characters were going through, but there were enough interesting conversations between characters to learn something about them.
One of my gripes with this game was that I would have wished for the characters to be shown as more personalized designs, rather than just the basic mannequin holograms with different colors. It would have given more personality for each character, and learning about them would have been more enjoyable.
Tacoma was also quite short, maybe even too short for it's own good. The story is intriguing and gripping you at every turn, but sadly, there is just too little in a short amount of time. I feel like the game would have been better with more optional memories, more info on who the characters were, more dialogue about the happenings on the station and the reason why it was now abandoned.
Tacoma is all about its characters and the overall story, and because those aspects of it were well balanced, I would absolutely recommend it. I find the full price of it a little hefty for how short it is, but the game is a quality product, there is no mistake of that. If you enjoy walking simulators, especially ones that provide good, and immersive story experiences, then you’ll likely enjoy Tacoma.

Review from Steam

Really short game and it's easy to finish in one sitting.
Definitely not a game for everyone as it's basically just a walking simulator. However, the way they tell the story and elements they use to tell it are fairly unique and helps build the environment for the game.

Review from Steam

Reviewed according to the Three Axes of Space Station Games:
AUDIOLOGGERY: 10/10. This is the dream: a game about nothing but logs. Text logs, holographic logs, you got everything in here.
MALFUNCTIONINGNESS: 5/10. Some audio logs are corrupted but barely anything is broken. You barely need to crawl through vents.
OXYGENATION: 3/10. Oxygen running out is mentioned in the plot but you, yourself, never run out of oxygen. 3 points for having an area without gravity, that's important too.
Overall, good at logging but could have less oxygen. 7/10.

Review from Steam

This is a short exploration game with some minor puzzle elements. I completed it in 6 hours, but it would probably take most people 2-4 hours.
You are exploring an abandoned station after a disaster. You can watch recordings of the crew at various places in the station, and look through their stuff to learn more about what happened.
It's an entertaining, short indie title.
You cannot pet the cat. Her name is Margaret Catwood. There is an achievement for finding her.
For achievement hunters, it's easy to get 100%. If you miss any, you can "continue" your game from just before the ending, you can go back and pick up any you missed.

Review from Steam

Tacoma is a walking sim game from the creators of Gone Home, and both games play very similarly, where you play as a woman exploring an empty dwelling and slowly figuring out what happened. This time however, it takes place in a space station named Tacoma, abandoned by the crew and you are tasked to recover the station's AI who knows about what happened. There are no scary moments in this game, except if you think about human corporate greed and advanced AIs.
In some areas you can activate AR recordings of the crew, where they appear as colored silhouettes moving and talking about. This is the main method of storytelling in this game, so be sure to pay attention and not ignore them. They can be paused, rewinded, and fast-forwarded as you wish. Some of these characters will activate their AR desktop, which you can view for more story context. Other than that, like in GH, you can pick up and examine items, some may provide more background info.
Length-wise the game is short, only around 2-3 hours, and I wish it was longer. However, I do not recommend finishing it in one sitting, as the game's only method of saving is by quitting, no autosaves or whatsoever. Although my playthrough here's been stable, when I played this one on Epic 2 years ago I tried to do it in one sitting and it crashed during the ending, with no option to resume. Frustrating if you're going for the achievements, which many only trigger during the credits, meaning you have to redo a lot.
Tacoma's a pretty great walking sim, with a mysterious, but sometimes heartwarming tone. Its better and longer than Gone Home, especially if you explore and rewind the AR recordings to see what the different characters have to say. Try it if you like their previous game, or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, who uses a similar storytelling method of talking silhouettes.

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