The Good Life – Interesting Take on Narrative Adventures
When I rolled the credits on The Good Life, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think. Was it good? I wasn’t sure. Was it bad? Not really. Was it interesting? Heck yes, and ultimately I think that turns the tables and makes what might normally just be an OK game into something much more enjoyable. Confused yet? Good – let’s talk.
See, The Good Life has a really unique gameplay mechanic which will eventually allow you to swap from your human form into animal form. And that mechanic alone makes a standard narrative simulation experience something different and special, which is desperately needed in this genre.
While the game doesn’t have simulation freedom with lots of room to work with like Story of Seasons or Harvest Moon, the strong narrative and unique mechanics make it a more enjoyable experience I think. Add on the 2021 theme of having cameras in games, and you’ve really got a game that stands out from the pack.
2021 has had so many camera based games, simulation based games, and narrative games, but so rarely do they mold well into a single experience. Story of Seasons has great simulation game play, but a poor story arc. Pokémon Snap and Beasts of Maravilla Island have great camera mechanics, but a subpar simulation and story. So why am I so conflicted here?
On the surface, I wouldn’t say that The Good Life is necessarily a good game. It has all the tenants of an OK game. Wide open, often empty spaces. Mediocre graphics. Wonky controls. For the sake of a numbered review, the game looks and often feels like a 6/10. But the mechanics are enticing enough to keep me playing, lowering graphical issues and a sometimes empty world, lifting the score to a respectable 7 or 7.5.
So don’t just take videos you see as a representation of this game. Because it’s more than than each part on it’s own. Graphics? Meh. Controls? Meh. Mechanics and Narrative – unique, and so worth a go. Everything else just seems to melt away.