PC, Mac, smartphones, Nintendo Switch; Happy Volcano
Set in a strange limbo, this game offers a rich range of visual brain-teasers that are not always matched by its storytelling
A puzzle-box game along the lines of Monument Valley or The Room, The Almost Gone has you poking and prodding at beautiful miniature dioramas of homes and neighbourhoods to uncover the story of the family who lived there. Set in a liminal space between life and death, it is a surreal few hours of brain-teasers that revolve around secret keys, patterns and and hidden numbers.
Its clean architectural lines and calm palette contrast with the dreamlike (or nightmarish) puzzle logic: on inserting a wedding tape into a VHS player, the TV blows out in a snowstorm to reveal a wedding cake behind the screen; thick tree roots and black tendrils snake through otherwise pristine living spaces; an apartment is full of scale models of buildings, creating an unsettling Escher-esque feel.