Appearances are deceptive. While Tell Me Why appears to be a supernatural mystery on the surface, the actual story itself is a different beast altogether. Tyler and Alyson Ronan’s story may not have the twists and thrills one would want in a story, but it has plenty of heart.
The final chapter follows our twins in the aftermath of their fallout. This episode addresses one of the biggest issues from the previous episode: Alyson.
Where Alyson felt more like a background character in the last chapter, she grows more into her own character as she is forced to reckon with her past and realize that she may need some help to come to terms with her grief. Both her and Tyler have their own individual moments that allows them to develop more into their own people while also highlighting how much they need each other.
What really brings this chapter together is how the twins are finally able to piece together the mystery of their mother’s past as well as what drove her to act the way she did on her last night alive. Surprisingly, there are no supernatural forces that compelled the twins’ mother to act the way she did. The answers the game does provide are surprisingly grounded, yet they also make the truth hit even harder.
My initial reaction to the truth was something along the lines of, “wait, that’s it?” However, after giving it some time to stew over, what Dontnod accomplishes here is actually some brilliant storytelling.
Tell Me Why is a ghost story, but not the kind one would expect. It’s a story that deals with memories and the specters of grief that can cloud our emotions. It’s appropriate then that the Ronan twins’ final challenge isn’t chasing after some villain, but them finding a way to heal and move on from the past.
Chapter 3 also contains the best puzzle in the whole game. In order to uncover the final mystery concerning their mother, the Ronan twins have to solve a series of mural puzzles that are tied to the Book of Goblins, a gorgeously animated scrapbook of fairy tales left behind by their mother.
The Book of Goblins offer up some clever solutions to the mural puzzles, and each mural build upon the previous puzzle. This gameplay sequence does a masterful job of combing storytelling elements along with interesting puzzle sequences.
Chapter 3 makes it clear that players’ choices do have an impact on the story. While some choices may not make a major difference in how the arc of the story progresses, it does affect is the type of ending you receive.
The endings felt more like a culmination of your different choices rather than only a few major story ones and lead to a great payoff. In particular, the kind of relationship you foster between the twins dictate what kind of ending you receive and seeing how those choices reflected their relationship was amazing.
Tell Me Why is a must-try if you have Game Pass. While the runtime is short, and the slower pace is certainly not for everyone, this game delivers on solid storytelling characters, and it is sure to be a staple on the Game Pass library for years to come.
Game reviewed on an Xbox One X.