The Almost Gone is a dreamlike puzzle adventure that hides a sinister story

The Almost Gone is a point-and-click puzzle game about poking around every nook and cranny of small 3D dioramas. You need to explore each of these vignettes, finding clues and solving puzzles to uncover the stories about the families who lived there. Oh, and you're also stuck in the realm between life and death and have no idea why—lovely. 

It's a surprisingly haunting game given its pastel visuals, and learning more about the people who occupied these now eerily empty spaces kept me intrigued. The Almost Gone released last week and developers Happy Volcano also have a free downloadable demo over the game's Steam page that takes you through the first chapter.

(Image credit: Happy Volcano)

Each chapter is a collection of these 3D vignettes that you can spin around from left to right, letting you change perspective and reveal new sides of the model. Arrows on the floor indicate another place you can move to, and you'll be switching from one place to another, scanning each room and connecting clues. The first chapter takes place in a family home, and to find snippets of information you'll need to rummage through the house, opening drawers, looking in closets, and clicking on shelves.

From the look of The Almost Gone, I was expecting something like Monument Valley and The Gardens Between, but it has a totally different vibe. It's got weird dreamlike atmosphere with moments of surrealism that caught me off guard.

In the kitchen of the house, for instance, a fridge is aggressively convulsing like something is trying to escape. Chains held together with a padlock are wrapped around its doors, stopping from whatever is inside getting out. In another section, I try to open an upstairs door, but a wave of black goo oozes out, forcing me to slam it back shut.

I've only played the first two chapters, but I'm really enjoying The Almost Gone. Its puzzles and sinister undertone has completely caught my curiosity. 

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.