Warning: minor to moderate spoilers for the sake of underlining the flaws in the narrative. Please read at your own caution and discretion.
Always Sometimes Monsters is one of those games that I tend to avoid if I know it'll disturb me emotionally. It's a story that doesn't add up the closer you get to the end, but contains enough validity to make you sit and reflect and realize that your heart goes out to the character you embody. It's not a game like something you've experienced before and while that may make or break it - depending on what your outlook is - it contains a narrative that analyzes choices we may make in life. It's gritty, it's dark and it makes you realize that even if we think a choice we've made is to survive, we are always sometimes monsters.
Imagine falling in love, feeling as though you've found the one you've been searching for all your life. Your world, your inspiration, your motivation for giving life your all. In a split second, blinded by your ambition and desire to make a name for yourself in a world where you feel small, the only thing you love walks out the door. Imagine that after losing everything and falling from grace, you get an invitation in the mailbox of your terrible apartment run by a scum lord. Your invitation: the wedding of the one you've loved and lost and their to-be spouse. You have until the end of the month to make it across the country and find your love and try once more to prove your love and rebuild the life you lost. That is the story of Always Sometimes Monsters.
Always Sometimes Monsters is an 16-bit, Pokemon-style adventure that is similar in genre to Heavy Rain; it's more about the choices you make and the subsequent consequences than anything else. You won't find yourself engaging in car chases or action sequences, combat or violence. Instead, you're morally tested and must make decisions that will ultimately define who you are and the outcome of your story. You'll choose between right and wrong, life or death, love or loss and ultimately, discovering what fate has in store for you. Your choices and actions will determine your fate and the fate of those around you as you choose to travel across the country to find the love of your life and win them back...or make a sacrifice and build a new life for yourself and let your lost love do the same.
You'll begin your story by choosing your protagonist and their would-be significant other and experience the narrative as it unfolds based on your choices and moral compass. You're a writer, who's career depends on penning your first gem and signing a contract that will set in motion the consequences of your actions. However, like Heavy Rain, the consequences of your actions don't exactly unfold the way you'd think they would, or even as they should. You'll often find your choices, morally acceptable and otherwise, to result in unfair consequences and essentially underlining the "life is tough, deal with it" attitude, when in some situations, the consequences should unfold in your favor. Either way, sometimes you'll find that your character goes through what they don't deserve to experience and there's no worse feeling than the fact that there's nothing you can do about it.
Regardless, Always Sometimes Monsters is an experience to be had, forcing you to decide between right and wrong in order to secure your survival and ultimate happiness, whether that involves trying to win back your love or choosing to let them go. It will test your morals and conscience as well as haunt your thoughts and emotions, making you truly think back on a choice and ask yourself, "What have I done?"