In a biomedical room on board the deserted space station Tacoma, something strange is happening.

As glitchy holograms representing real people play out a ghostly conversation from the past, you begin investigating, scouring the room for extra details.

Behind one door is a toilet. Behind another, a shower. Behind a third are stacked boxes of medical supplies.

But there's a fourth door. As you slide it open, you find something: it's a full human skeleton, dangling from a hanger.


Skeletons in the closet? Tacoma has plenty of those.

The game, out now on Xbox One and PC, is Fullbright's follow-up to Gone Home, the really rather good, and really rather disturbing, family drama from 2013.

Its storytelling ploy, which embeds gamers into events like a foreign correspondent, has been a neat trend over the past few years, thanks to similar titles like Firewatch and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.

If you're a fan of those, you'll love Tacoma too. It employs similar tricks but changes settings, heading into deep space and the year 2088. You're AI communications specialist Amy Ferrier, alone on board the vacated space station Tacoma, armed only with an augmented reality device.

Something happened to the ship's crew, and you can use that AR machine to replay scenes throughout the ship to help piece together its past.

Often, those scenes contain crucial parts of the puzzler. One conversation could mightily advance the plot. Another could give you a code to get through a locked door. You need to pay attention, rewinding and fast forwarding those scenes to cement key details.

Other scenes aren't quite as illuminating. In a bedroom, a spaceship employee serenades himself on a guitar. In a storeroom, two female staff have a tense conversation, then make out in a corner. Down the hall, a cat sleeps curled up on a chair.

These scenes aren't essential, but they colour in the corners, adding layers to Tacoma's eerie vibe.

That vibe can be overbearing. Sometimes, your only soundtrack is the empty vacuum of dead air and the hum of the space ship. But there's another character along for the ride, the ship's AI bot Odin, one that comes with a fully fledged personality. Keep an eye on it.

You'll also need to keep an eye on the updates. Tacoma hasn't exactly been a success story for Fullbright, thanks to an early bug that shipped with the game that stopped people from playing.

Don't let that put you off: for a game that's about rogue AI, it feels kind of appropriate.





Xbox One, PC




For fans of:

Firewatch, Gone Home, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture