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 known as Rainy Woods, the self-proclaimed “happiest town in the world.” Why is it the happiest city on this planet? Nobody is aware of, however that is what Naomi is there to seek 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’s 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 footage of the city to an Instagram-esque website, Flamingo, to earn “emokes” (likes). Each is price mere pence on the British pound, a mechanism used to slooowly pay down Naomi’s debt. In the following hour, she learns everybody within the city (besides the lady) turns into canines or cats at night time—and that is it’s not the million GBP scoop she thinks it is.
Finally, 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. Each 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’s a clumsy solution to begin a recreation.
Uh, what did I simply learn?
For gamers who’ve by no means heard of director Swery65 (really 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 Deadly 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 fantastic 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. (Also like Twin Peaks and Lynch, Deadly Premonition is actually good at being deeply unsettling when it desires to be.)
Swery’s video games have since all had equally bizarre concepts: a canceled-midseason episodic sequence a few time-traveling detective attempting to piece collectively his spouse’s unsolved homicide (who additionally might or might not have a lady who thinks she’s a cat residing in his condo); a school scholar with the power to horribly dismember her physique to unravel usually lethal puzzle-platformer challenges; a sequel to Deadly Premonition that is filled with (spoiler-y) new happenings within the bayous of Louisiana (with a newly skateboard-riding York). Almost all of them have additionally been sadly hampered by efficiency points, bugs, and at occasions clunky implementation.
So it goes with The Good Life, a recreation that has its fair proportion of attraction, if you may get previous the old-school shortcomings of this so-called “debt repayment 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. But 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 retailers really feel like relics of a recreation relationship from wherever between 2001 and 2005.