This murder-mystery game with a transgender character is free for Pride Month

Tell Me Why
(Image credit: Dont Nod Entertainment/Xbox Games Studios)

Tell Me Why didn't earn a high score in our review. The graphics — depicting a fictionalized, stunning Alaskan town decorated with Tlingit-inspired architecture — reeled me in, but the anti-climactic conclusion was a huge disappointment.

However, we praised Tell Me Why for its nuanced, realistic portrayal of what it's like to grapple with one's gender identity while living in a small, insular-minded town. Playable transgender characters are a rarity in the video game world, and DontNod Entertainment (DNE) nailed it with its introduction of Tyler Ronan, a transgender man. That's why we're excited to tell you about DNE's new announcement.

Tell Me Why is free in celebration of Pride Month

Tell Me Why, developed by the same team behind Life is Strange, tells the story of a young transgender man involved in a sinister murder mystery in a rural Alaskan town. To celebrate Pride Month, DNE is allowing free downloads of Tell Me Why.

As mentioned, Tell Me Why isn't my cup of tea, but I was impressed by how well DNE managed to capture the plight of a marginalized community, allowing players to step inside the shoes of a transgender character. In fact, Tell Me Why is the first triple-A video game to feature a transgender character as the main protagonist.

DNE consulted experts at GLAAD (an organization founded to oversee media coverage of the LGBT community) for Tell Me Why. DNE wanted to make sure its portrayal of Ronan was authentic and respectful. As such, the Tell Me Why team put in the work to ensure that its depiction of transgender men was factual, relatable and thought-provoking — and it shows.

If graphically stunning, interactive visual novels are your thing, and you don't mind slow-burn plots, you may find yourself loving this episodic game.

Tell Me Why can be downloaded for free on Xbox consoles, the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 and Steam. You have until the end of June to download it. Once it's in your account, you can keep playing it even after Pride Month is over.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!