Our Life: Beginnings and Always Review [Indie Spotlight]

Released: November 16th, 2020

Developer:  GB Patch Games

Genre: Visual Novel, Slice of Life, Simulation

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, PC Android, Steam, itch.io

SUMMARY

A twenty-dollar bill, four summers, fifteen years, and a one of a kind life. Create an experience that’s all your own in this near-fully customizable visual novel where you grow from childhood to adulthood with Cove Holden, the lonely boy next door.

Our Life: Beginnings & Always is a feel-good simulation, as well as a “feel-better” one, where painful emotions such as sadness, anger, stress, and worry can all be expressed, then met with reassurance, understanding, and support.

It’s a wholesome experience that faces large steppingstones of life, while having a focus on familiar everyday moments. With notable amounts of customization for even tiny details, you can enjoy pleasures as simple as having a preferred type of drink and a neighbor who cares enough to remember what it is.

Via GBpatchgames.com

In the past, I have played wrestling games, racing games, fishing games, etc. I try not to limit myself but of course, I do have my favorite genres. It wasn’t until mid-2021 that I discovered Visual Novels and Otome games. Growing up, I was more inclined to play fighting/adventure games with a little MMORPG sprinkled in from time to time. Maybe it is something I’ve grown to like with age but I have begun to steer towards romance games as well.

Then, I discovered Steam. Yes, I know I’m years behind but to be fair, I wasn’t much of a PC player, minus Sims. I generally played on my PS4 but as I worked from home, I found myself on my computer a lot more. There is where I discovered ‘Our Life: Beginnings & Always’. Immediately I was captured by the artwork and Cove.

For me, the main selling point aside from the look and plot would be the ability to customize your MC. I cannot explain the joy I feel when I’m able to see myself in a game. Above all, that makes me want to purchase a game. The beauty is they have made it so you can customize even tiny details. Your name skin tone, hair style, eye color, body shape, there’s just so much and I appreciate it so much. As you get further into the game they add on more things to customize such as your pronouns.

As much as I love visual novels, I find the lack of customization to be a little frustrating. Now, I know it might cost more to add that in, I’m not sure, but it’s just reassuring. 9/10 my MC is a fair-skinned girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and I feel a little less motivated to give it my all.

Next, you can also choose how you want to play the game. Do you want to fall in love or do you want to just be friends? There’s no forced romance at all and your choices are remembered and referenced later on. You can go straight for the romance or you can just have a good friend and the game doesn’t punish you for either so don’t worry about a bad ending. The characters a written so well I was interested in even the background ones.

Another neat aspect of the game is you can set the level of PDA. If that’s not your thing, no problem! If you want Cove to kiss you every chance he sees you, go for it! The choice is yours. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a game that gives you so many options and really caters to the player. They want to make it as comfortable as possible and the effort is not gone to waste. I’ve replayed the game several times and each time I’ve tried to create a different personality for my MC.

Features

  • 4 different periods of life to experience: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and fully grown
  • Name, appearance, personality, and pronoun (he, she, or they) customization for your character
  • Change your character’s details however you like as you grow, including transitioning to new pronouns
  • Shape your personality, feelings, and preferences, then see them reflected in the story as characters remember who you are
  • 1 love interest, Cove Holden, whose personality, interests, and appearance will develop in a custom way over the years based on his experiences with you
  • Decide for yourself how quickly or slowly the relationship with Cove develops by setting a unique dynamic; from love, at first sight, to last-minute confessions to always being friends and more
  • A welcoming, sentimental story that can easily be enjoyed over and over using new main character qualities or different connection types with Cove
  • 397,000 words, 16-24 hours of content in total

Gaming Checklist

Is it fun?

Y E S. I once spent half a day playing this game, for 12 hours, and never once got bored. Again, if you aren’t into visual novels then it might not be for you but for someone like me who loves them, it was peace on earth. The replay value on this game is amazing as well. If you’re like me and like to create different scenarios and personalities, this game is perfect for you. I am currently on my 10th playthrough and I’m not bored yet (plus I still have some DLC I haven’t finished!)

Is it expensive?

Absolutely not. It is completely reasonable! When you play the game and you see the beautiful backgrounds, artwork, CGs, attention to detail, and listen to the soundtrack, you definitely get a lot for the price. The base game itself is free to play but there are a few DLCs you can download for an extra $3-$4 so I’d say it’s a steal honestly!

Is it difficult or easy?

There’s not really a difficulty for this type of game. After all, the main goal is to make the choices YOU want to make in order to get the story you want. As long as you’re willing to read and just bask in the comfy mood, the game is a breeze.

Is it family-friendly?

Absolutely! There isn’t anything too spicy going on (not unless you join Patreon and download the Patreon-only moment) but other than that, it’s pretty tame. There are some romantic scenes but as I said it never really gets NSFW.

CONCLUSION

This game is HIGHLY recommended by me. It was one of the first visual novel games I had ever played. I didn’t even know what a ‘visual novel’ was. I was working from home, bored out of my mind, and saw this gem in the steam store. It was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve logged about 200+ hours into the game and I’m not even done with all the DLC.

If you’re looking for a nice, soothing, cozy, heart-warming game to dive into, this is your sign from the visual novel gods. With all that being said, you can’t possibly think I’d score this game any lower than 5 onigiris.

🍙🍙🍙🍙🍙

Once again, I encourage you all to please give this game a try. It’s so beautiful and I found myself tearing up at certain parts. Plus Cove is just peak boyfriend/best friend material.

Linked below are GB Patch’s social links as well as where to play the game. I’ve also posted their Patreon where you can get exclusive access to the game and be a part of their growing fandom. With access to their Patreon, you can get beta access to different versions of the game before anyone else.

They are currently working on Our Life: Now & Forever, which is a whole different season, plot, and characters so I’m definitely going to be reviewing that soon! You can also see behind the scenes and even get to communicate directly with the developer.

Once again, thanks for reading! Please like, share, subscribe, and/or leave a comment!

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My name is Tequila. My favorite color is blue, my favorite number is 5 and my favorite food is lasagna. I love anime and manga. I also enjoy a good game or two and I love talking about them with anyone who will listen. Do what you will with that information and enjoy my musings.

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