The Good Life throws you into its offbeat little story with out a lot preamble.
After a cute storybook introduction, New Yorker photojournalist Naomi Hayward is dropped off in an Untitled Goose Game-caliber sleepy British hamlet referred to as Wet Woods, the self-proclaimed “happiest city on the planet.” Why is it the happiest city on the planet? No one is aware of, however that is what Naomi is there to search out out. The place supposedly has an earth-shattering secret that her employers on the Morning Bell need her to uncover—although as a result of she’s drowning in debt it is much less of a request than a mandate.
Regardless, within the recreation’s first 5 minutes, an enigmatic lady in an electrical wheelchair provides Naomi a home. Not lengthy after, the Bell has her importing photos of the city to an Instagram-esque website, Flamingo, to earn “emokes” (likes). Every is value mere pence on the British pound, a mechanism used to slooowly pay down Naomi’s debt. Within the subsequent hour, she learns everybody within the city (besides the girl) turns into canines or cats at night time—and that is it isn’t the million GBP scoop she thinks it’s.
Lastly, she will get her personal feline-canine transformation powers, permitting her to smell out scents as a pup or climb up partitions as a kitty. Every of those by-turns-loopier developments are dumped quickly and unceremoniously into Naomi’s lap, a less-than-ideal technique for getting you used to The Good Life‘s goofy ideas. Coupled with some dated design selections, it is an ungainly solution to begin a recreation.
Uh, what did I simply learn?
For gamers who’ve by no means heard of director Swery65 (truly Hidetaka Suehiro, or simply Swery to his followers) this combo of narrative lunacy and sometimes endearingly rough-around-the-edges technical presentation is nothing new. A David Lynch megafan, Swery launched Lethal Premonition in 2010, an open-ish world survival horror journey that begins out as an unapologetic homage to Twin Peaks earlier than veering off in its personal great and unusual instructions. Since its launch on Xbox 360 and subsequent ports, the sport has grow to be a meme-worthy cult classic as a lot for its unrefined gameplay as its absurd humor and delightfully eccentric Dale Cooper stand-in, Francis York Morgan. (Additionally like Twin Peaks and Lynch, Lethal Premonition is admittedly good at being deeply unsettling when it needs to be.)
Swery’s video games have since all had equally bizarre concepts: a canceled-midseason episodic collection a couple of time-traveling detective making an attempt to piece collectively his spouse’s unsolved homicide (who additionally could or could not have a girl who thinks she’s a cat dwelling in his condominium); a university scholar with the flexibility to horribly dismember her physique to resolve usually lethal puzzle-platformer challenges; a sequel to Lethal Premonition that is filled with (spoiler-y) new happenings within the bayous of Louisiana (with a newly skateboard-riding York). Virtually all of them have additionally been sadly hampered by efficiency points, bugs, and at instances clunky implementation.
So it goes with The Good Life, a recreation that has its justifiable share of appeal, if you may get previous the old-school shortcomings of this so-called “debt compensation RPG.” With its bucolic setting and easygoing nature, The Good Life is modeled on life sims like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing. It seems to be modern-enough principally, not that you simply play a recreation like this for its visuals. However its stiff controls, repetitive in-game dialogue samples (please patch this), and an inefficient cadence that may get gummed up in choice menus in locations like outlets really feel like relics of a recreation relationship from wherever between 2001 and 2005.