We Were Here

We Were Here is a free-to-play cooperative game available on Steam, developed by Total Mayhem Games.

According to the game’s Steam store description, it was inspired by games such as: Myst, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and real-life escape rooms.

In ‘We Were Here’, you and your friend (or stranger) are trapped in separate rooms in a large abandoned castle. Armed with walkie-talkies as the only means of communication, you both must solve puzzles in order to escape the castle. Needless to say, having a working microphone is a must.

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Image taken from the Steam Store

There are two roles that players can take on in this game: explorer and librarian. Both of these roles will give players a unique game experience, completely different to their partner’s experience. Playing as explorer, you will get to roam around the different areas of the castle and encountering the puzzles. If you are playing the librarian instead, you will be confined to a large room instead, which has the solutions to the different puzzles the explorer faces. The explorer will have to describe their environment to the librarian who must find the correct solution. Only by finding the correct answer can both players progress any further.

I played this with realityvoid whom was streaming our game over on twitch, you can watch our play-through of this game right here. While playing We Were Here, we both noticed that we had low frame-rate, with noticeable stuttering at times. This was more prominent on realityvoid’s side as he was streaming the game at the same time.

I must say though, the game really has beautiful graphics. It makes me wonder if the game was made using the Unreal Engine. It appears that way, but I am not entirely sure about that.  Edit (15/4/17): Confirmed that We Were Here is made on the Unity Engine.

We Were Here does not rely on one style/type of puzzle throughout the game, each room has its own individual puzzle for players to solve. I enjoyed this aspect since you had no idea what to expect in the next room, and had to look around for the answer. There are a total of seven puzzles to solve.

Speaking of puzzle solving, while playing as the librarian I noticed it can be unclear at times where you needed to go or what you needed to do to get the answer. Since you spend majority of the game being in one room, it can get boring since your partner gets to do the exploring.

For one puzzle in particular, I managed to ‘break’ the film projector needed to give the solution. I accidentally dropped the film roll before I could place it into the projector. I could not pick it back up again either, so basically realityvoid died to the cold. We eventually swapped roles and we finished the game. Only took us about an hour or so to complete the game.

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Image taken from the Steam Store

Since death is a possibility if you take too long to solve puzzles, the checkpoints are a nice plus to the game. Although the last puzzle checkpoint has you redoing another puzzle before you can return to where you were previously. Luckily the puzzle is not that hard to solve, only tedious after a while.

I also swear to god that I saw a creepy figure twice in the maze. I KNOW WHAT I SAW! LOBOZO AND MAGASUPERSTICK (aka realityvoid) I AM NOT INSANE! I SWEAR THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THAT MAZE THAT I SAW!!

I did wish the escape was another actual puzzle, but this time both players are reunited instead of being in different parts of the castle. So they need to be together in order to escape the castle. Or at least give a way for both players to escape. Otherwise, the ending was pretty short and simple.

Overall, We Were Here is a good short game that gives heavy emphasis on cooperative gameplay and communication between players. I thought the puzzles were well-designed and had their solutions hidden creatively. Definitely had its creepy moments at certain points. I especially liked the idea of giving the players a different perspective and experience despite playing the same game together. If you are looking for a short game to play with a friend, I recommend giving We Were Here a try.

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