I tried something a bit different than my usual tabletop games this week. Alice is Missing is a ‘silent’ role playing games where players must communicate via text message to solve the mystery of what has happened to Alice.
My friend had purchased the PDF (a cheaper alternative to buying the physical game, though you ultimately get the same components), and we met in a Wetherspoons with her partner to eat festive chicken burgers and give Alice is Missing a try.
Every player is allocated a character that has some sort of relationship with Alice. In our game I played Jack, her older brother, and we had Charlie (her friend who had moved away) and Evan (the crush). We were given a secret to keep, and had to record a voicemail message to Alice that tied in – these voicemails would be revealed at the end of the game.
We decided to use WhatsApp because the game requires a group chat, as well as private messaging too. As suggested by the game, we renamed each other in our phones to create a more immersive experience.
Then… we played.
The game is moved along by time cards. In a three player game, each of us had three cards, which would be activated at points during a 90 minute countdown timer. These prompted events in the story, such as finding an item that belonged to Alice, or introduced locations or suspects to the game.
As the game moved towards the endgame, things got really intense. The cards began to put characters in danger, and it was such a thrill when at one point Charlie feared for her life and so stopped messaging… we were so invested in the story that we were genuinely sweating, hearts beating, as we waited to find out if she was ok!
As we were playing high schoolers, there was a lot of angsty teenage swearing, spammed question marks, and dramatic ellipsis use, which was ridiculously fun to play around with. We all had such a great time – amazing how quickly 90 minutes flies by when you’re
having fun searching for your missing friend.
Like Fiasco, and Dungeons and Dragons, I think the enjoyment comes from who you play the game with and how invested they are in creating an immersive experience. I’m lucky to have friends who enjoy world-building and make-believe, and I think we could play Alice is Missing with the same group and still come out with a completely fresh game experience.
I’m not convinced you need to buy the physical version to have a good time with this. I recommend buying the PDF (available here), bringing a few friends together and really embracing it (with a festive chicken burger, if you want to).
Have you ever played Alice is Missing? Do you know any similar games that you would recommend?