HomeVideo GamesGAME REVIEW | Calmness & Silliness Leads To Mysterious "Good Life"

GAME REVIEW | Calmness & Silliness Leads To Mysterious "Good Life"

GAME REVIEW | Calmness & Silliness Leads To Mysterious "Good Life"

How does one begin to describe a video game like The Good Life? The latest title from Swery65 (Deadly Premonition) and his White Owls Inc. team is a cornucopia of things. It’s got mystery, magic, comedy, and even a little it of horror. This is the sort of game that offers many sorts of emotions and styles, yet it doesn’t quite master them all. So why does it still intrigue me so?

Backed by a Kickstarter campaign, The Good Life follows a Big Apple journalist named Naomi Hayward. She is drowning in a ridiculous amount of debt, with her job doing almost nothing to make a dent from it. That’s when she’s given a task to uncover the mystery of a small English town, with the promise of having her debt wiped if she succeeds. Without hesitating, Naomi books a flight overseas to visit Rainy Woods, the happiest town on Earth.

Naomi quickly finds herself being a fish out of water in her surroundings. Everything is small, quaint, and brimming with positivity. But deep down, Naomi attempts to find what makes this town tick, and as the night falls, one of the town’s deepest secrets begins to take shape. Just what is going on in Rainy Woods, and what is the cause behind it?

For the most part, there’s a serene feeling in The Good Life. You spend your time walking around Rainy Woods, talking to its townsfolk, and completing quests for them and Naomi. It’s quite endearing walking around this countryside, as the sights, people, and animals you come across have a whiff of calmness in everything. But then, as you come to find out, everything is not what it seems to be.

One of the big secrets that’s revealed early on is the fact that everyone in Rainy Woods turns into dogs & cats at nightfall. Why such a thing occurs is the main mystery in the game, as Naomi is forced to run all around the town to find even the tiniest of clues. The journalist also finds a way to turn into both a cat and dog, with both animals using unique skills to find items, solve mysteries, and even defeat other animals.

However, as this is a Swery65 game, that cheerful outer exterior in The Good Life is but a facade. Soon the quest becomes darker when murder is involved. This turns the calm and cutesy atmosphere of Rainy Woods into something a little unnerving. It doesn’t reach the Twin Peaks level of weird & uncomfortable like Deadly Premonition; in fact, it’s still kind of funny even when the darker elements are thrown in. Nevertheless, it makes the urge to solve the mystery quicker even more of a priority.

Because of the way the story is told and how the characters are, I can’t say that we’re meant to feel horrified by the darker parts. Quite the contrary, The Good Life can’t help but not take itself seriously, even when the tone should be. Whether it’s the overtly cheerful narrator, the strange attitudes of the townsfolk, or even Naomi calling Rainy Woods a “Goddamn hellhole” for the umpteenth time, the overall tone of the game is a sharp contrast to the story that it’s trying to convey.

That’s not to say it’s bad that it can’t take itself seriously; far from it! The Good Life has this attitude where it knows what kind of game it is, what it wants to make you feel, and how it wants to present itself. Again, this is something that Swery65 has mastered with many of his games, as he teeters between the weird-yet-funny and the funny-yet-weird. Needless to say, if you looking to have a strange time, then this is the game for you!

With that being said, there are some elements of The Good Life that make it a very hard game to recommend. Most of your time will be spent on either Point A to B to C (and sometimes back to A) or fetching quests, most of which make the story progression drag a bit. The photography aspect of the game is kind of cool, but it’s sometimes tough to tell if you got the picture right in order to make the money. Then there’s the way you make bank, which takes a very long time to even make a profit from questing and online uploading of your pics.

But perhaps that’s the point of The Good Life. Maybe Swery65 wants you to take your time on most of the quests (save for the Urgent ones), and take a moment to smell the roses and take in the game’s scenery. I’m a lover of the iyashikei genre (as evident by my love of such anime as Laid-Back Camp and Flying Witch), and the tone of this game is the kind I might need after a long shift from my day job.

However, there are those out there that would rather solve these mysteries quickly. Those folks probably won’t have a good time with a game like this. The Good Life isn’t meant to speed through; it’s meant to make you take your time with its surroundings and take in the sights you come across. If that sounds like the kind of game for you, then Swery65’s certainly got your number; if you’d rather “get on with it”, then you’ll no doubt be disappointed by what’s offered.


  • Lots of quests to complete
  • Humorous tone and characters
  • Worlds are calming and beautiful


  • Very slow-paced game
  • Lots of running around
  • Voice acting is a little wooden


The Good Life is a strange game to behold, but at the same time it’s pretty soul-soothing. It’s quirky, humorous, and has enough mystery to keep players intrigued. But if you attempt to rush through it, chances are you won’t get the true experience The Good Life is offering you.


Promotional consideration provided by Evolve Terminal. Reviewed on the PC via Steam.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)