Earlier I posted a request on Twitter asking which games people would recommend. Entries could be rewarded with a random free Steam key. One of the games that immediately caught the eye was A New Life. Since I really like visual novel-style games, I made a promise to play the game. Promises are there to keep. Today I am giving a more in-depth insight into why I would recommend this game myself.
A New Life tells a moving story of two girls who fall in love and have to endure the hard life together. In their life story, all kinds of problems come their way. Think of a virus that is very reminiscent of COVID-19, and the diagnosis of cancer. The story is gripping and keeps you in its grip. You can definitely feel that your main character doesn’t want to be alone, still many choices in the story that affect the ending.
Ode to the LGBT community
What is special is that the story is an ode to the LGBT community, while at the same time it is a story that could just as well have been the love story of a man and a woman. It is good that the traditional model was not chosen for this game. This short but heartbreaking story has a point of recognition for many. This is a game that could literally make you cry. Not because it is bad, but because A New Life sometimes feels like an emotional rollercoaster where you can feel depressed and excited from time to time.
The story could have been a little longer. Especially in how the two girls fall in love, huge jumps are made where everything happened before you blinked. In any case, the story is rather short and there was still room here and there to go deeper. Still, you easily get emotionally involved in the story. This is a moving story from the start till the end. Sometimes it is a real tearjerker, sometimes a little depressing.
In the end, the story is told with fairly static but beautiful drawings. These are very soothing and are animated a little bit by shifting slightly from where your mouse is located. This keeps the static images nice and lively. Praise may be given to the art style, which is simple yet effective. It fits very well with the atmosphere of the love story. The colors in particular have a romantic and calming effect, which works perfectly for the setting of the story.
During the course of that story, boxes will regularly be shown on the screen that ask you a question. You then have to make a choice. This reminds me a bit of the TellTale games. The difference here is that your choices have much more impact on the course of the story. A wrong choice will cause the story to end early and you will have found one of the different endings of the adventure. Luckily you can easily decide to redo that chapter of the story. Still, you might get a lot of endings in a short period of time.
Should you play A New Life?
A bit disturbing aspect of the game is that it presents your choices but you have constantly made ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices. If you choose the right choices, the story will continue as intended. You go to one of the following chapters in the story. If you choose a bad choice, it will have catastrophic consequences and you get the ‘the end screen’ sooner than expected. This gives you the feeling that you actually have no choice at all, even if you are constantly making decisions during your play session of A New Life.
In the end, you will get a game that has 5 different kinds of endings, original art, and story and offers 40-90 minutes of gameplay, depending on which choices you make in the game. During your play through the game is strengthed by a beautiful soundtrack. For that few euros you spend on the game, you get a lot in return. You can get it yourself at Steam for €2,39. The game was also included in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality from Itch.io. I would recommend giving this game a chance.