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Tacoma [GOG, Steam, Official Site,], the sci-fi narrative adventure from the developer of Gone Home has officially launched. It includes day-1 Linux support so I took a look.

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Please be aware this may contain spoilers, I’ve done my best not to give much away.

Note: The game does not have a SteamOS/Linux icon on Steam, but it can be downloaded and played it’s just not advertised yet. The game has some technical issue with SteamOS directly, which is preventing it being listed. See more info on that here.

Disclosure: Both GOG and the developer sent over keys.

Tacoma is set in the near future of 2088, as a contractor you’ve been sent to investigate the space station Tacoma, which has been abandoned. You’re tasked with piecing together information played out through Augmented Reality, to find out why everyone left. The AR system is like a futuristic “black box” where you literally retrace the exact steps people took.

The AR mechanic where you playback recordings of conversations from the crew is pretty weird at first, but I grew to love it. It’s strange, since some conversations sound a little private and you end up a little like a voyeur peeping into the lives of these people. I mean, it seems to record everything they do, including going to the toilet (not the we see that, but it’s implied).

What made me truly appreciate it, was that I could fast forward and rewind as many times as I wanted to while it was playing. I often thought I misheard something, so a quick key-tap and I would go back a little. It really made it an enjoyable experience, since I’m admittedly a little slow on the uptake at times.

These recorded conversation often happen between multiple groups of people, each having a different conversation. So you will be stopping, walking into another room, rewinding and listening in again. It so weird and unique, but it can end up feeling a little messy. There’s also times you need to interact with other systems while it’s playing, to recover more lost content, like private conversations between crew or or their families.

It’s a very interesting narrative-driven "walking simulator" game, where a lot of it will be spent just standing around and listening to the wireframe characters talk. It’s quite short too, but memorable and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It’s almost like actually being inside a film, with you piecing together the story bit by bit.

I appreciated the diverse cast they had for the game, both in terms of race and sexuality. I'm very open minded when it comes to everything and I thought what they had done with the characters was fantastic. Learning about some of their backstory from their private conversations was a good touch too, especially a certain joke about sunglasses, which I will leave you to discover.

For me, the ending came too soon. I was really getting into the atmosphere of the game, feeling more and more connected with the characters and I feared the worst as the conclusion to their story drew near. The ending though — wow, didn't see that coming!

Very rare for me to play an entire game through in one sitting. Not really a game with huge replay value, given how linear it is. While you go at your own pace and listen in to who you want in any order, the outcome is the same. Still, I found it to be an absolutely fascinating experience overall.

As for the Linux version: It seems the Linux port was done by Aaron Melcher of Knockout Games, who also ported other Linux titles including Darkest Dungeon, Sunless Sea, SOMA and more. He was even listed in the ending credits, which was really nice to see.

The game completely locked up on me twice in my play-through. The developer has been sent a log file, hopefully it helps. Each time my progress was saved just before, so it wasn't really an issue.

There’s also an AR cat you might find in some funny places.
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Comandante Ñoñardo 5 August 2017 at 12:19 am UTC
How much this game costs in your country?
The GOG version of this game in Argentina costs 11.39U$D (including Event0 for free) and the Steam/itchio version, 19.99U$D...

...I just bought the GOG version, by the way.
Eike 5 August 2017 at 12:41 pm UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoHow much this game costs in your country?
The GOG version of this game in Argentina costs 11.39U$D (including Event0 for free) and the Steam/itchio version, 19.99U$D...

...I just bought the GOG version, by the way.

19,99€ on Steam in Germany
Eike 22 October 2017 at 11:31 am UTC
For the records: The game has problems with floating comma locales like German (as Gone Home had...). Subtitles are not playing correctly. You can start it with "LANG=C %command%" in the Steam startup options to work around. The game took me five hours, didn't meet a crash. It's a good game if you like walking simulators.
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