First Look: Alice Is Missing, A Silent RPG

A new kind of RPG is on the horizon! From Hunters Entertainment and Renegade Game Studios comes Alice is Missing, a silent roleplaying game. Designed by Spenser Starke (Icarus), Alice is Missing is an immersive experience played almost entirely through text message. The players also use cards, collaborative worldbuilding, and a customized soundtrack to navigate a 90-minute story, without ever speaking a word.

Alice is Missing brings the players into the world of Silent Falls, a small California town that’s been rocked by the disappearance of local teen Alice Briarwood. The players take on the roles of Alice’s friends and family then dive into the mystery, searching for clues.  The main conceit of the game is that none of the characters are ever in the same place at the same, requiring all communication to happen via text message. The game is timed, with Clues being revealed every 10 minutes, raising the stakes and sending players further down the path to the truth.

Setup for Alice is Missing is fairly simple, and it’s the only time that players can speak to one another. The group will decide on a Facilitator, a person who knows the rules well enough to clarify any confusion during the game. Other than that knowledge, the Facilitator experience is essentially the same as the regular players’, so “Forever GM’s” rejoice, you can join in the fun with very little extra preparation or responsibility. Once the Facilitator has been decided, the rest of setup is dedicated to character creation and worldbuilding.

The characters in Alice is Missing are all connected to Alice in some way. They each have a pre-determined Background, Secret, and Voicemail Prompt. Then Drive Cards are dealt randomly to each player to help determine the relationships between them. Only Backgrounds and Drives are revealed during Setup, Secrets and Voicemails are revealed by the end of gameplay. After the characters have been solidified, the Facilitator creates a group chat, so that players can text each other in game. After the group chat has been established, every player separates to record a voicemail message to Alice. Then, the Clue cards are distributed among the players. Finally, the players go through the Suspect and Location cards together, collaborating on why they might be involved in Alice’s disappearance. This builds the framework for all future roleplay and allows the players to build their unique version of Silent Falls together.

After the world and the characters are determined, setup is over, and the rule of silence begins. The Facilitator begins the 90-minute playlist and all communications happen over text. Every ten minutes, a new Clue Card is revealed by a player, activating Suspects, Locations, events, and prompting roleplay. After 90 minutes, the final Clue is revealed, Alice is found, and the voicemail recordings are played, bringing the story full circle. This process is designed for the players to be in the same place, but the Guidebook also provides resources for virtual play, for people looking to try it remotely.

Alice is Missing depends heavily on the players to make big choices and create their own lore on the fly, and so requires investment and a good amount of vulnerability. With this and the heavy subject matter in mind, the Guidebook also comes with detailed safety tools, to ensure players comfort and well-being. These tools are a very helpful resource, and an excellent way to play with care, not just for Alice is Missing, but for any RPG. For players who enjoy text-based roleplay, deeply immersive scenarios, and lots of player agency, check out this latest offering from Hunters Entertainment and Renegade Game Studios. You’re in for a memorable, affecting game unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Check out the Kickstarter here: