PAX West 2018: The Good Life

Friday, August 31st, 2018

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Let me preface this by saying I know who SWERY is, conceptually speaking. But I’ve never actually played a game made by the legend. Which brings us to The Good Life. I didn’t know much about the game, other than it was a mysterious game involving a village called Rainy Woods. What’s particularly unusual about this town is all its inhabitants transform into animals at nighttime. You know, totally normal behavior.

The Good Life | Naomi

Into this realm is thrust our less than sympathetic heroine, Naomi. On the run from a shady past and trying to escape her past, she comes to the town with one goal in mind – to make money to pay off her debts. She plans on doing so by taking incriminating photos of people and selling them to those who will pay good money.

The Good Life | Snoop

I’m all for the premise and enjoyed the great dialogue and witty humor I encountered in the demo. Naomi is noticeably snarky and often rude. I also appreciated the distinct art style and simple controls. What I was less appreciative of was being utterly unable to fulfill the quest put to me in the demo. I needed to get an incriminating photo of a man’s wife having an extramarital dalliance. I quickly found the pair smooching behind a fenced area, and took a picture. But when I went back to the man, he didn’t react any differently. I took multiple pictures from various angles, and still no dice. I considered maybe I took a photo of the wrong couple, but seeing as I was unable to open doors or go past areas gated by fences or traffic cones, I quickly ended up merely wandering aimlessly. Even then, I could find no other culprits.

The Good Life | Photography

That said, I can see the potential of this game to be another of SWERY’s cult hits. I’m also hoping that the gated areas and other oddities are just demo issues, and are resolved in the final build. If you want a quirky game, then you’ll be able to experience The Good Life sometime in 2019 on Steam and PlayStation 4.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.