Ports of console games on the mobile platform usually aren’t that fun to play for one reason – the
controls. Most video games require precise movement and actions, and that doesn’t translate very well to
However, one particular genre has comfortably found a new home on smartphones and that is ‘interactive’ video games.
Life is Strange is a story-driven interactive video game in which you play as a time-traveling protagonist on a mission to save the life of her best friend, and many of your choices throughout the game shape the outcomes of certain events.
Since the game does not have any action, it fits perfectly for mobile devices.
So, is it worth your time and money? Let’s find out.
The gameplay of Life is Strange is very simple.
It’s not a point-and-click game and you do actually move your character around, but the only thing you can do is interact with the environment and NPCs.
The game has a main goal available at all times, but going out of your way to make sure that you’ve explored everything is always a good idea. Seeing these extra pieces of information can provide you new choices and conversation options later on in the game, or just give you context for certain things.
Most of your time is spent interacting with things and having discussions with NPCs. At certain points the game offers you multiple choices to choose from.
Making these decisions affects the story of the game going forward, and the results can be life-threatening for the supporting cast as many characters can die if you don’t play your cards right.
You can also rewind time to an extent in the game, which allows you to redo some of your decisions if you did not like the outcome. This allows you to change your mind after seeing how something ends, although the game disables the power sometimes so that you have to stick with your decisions even if you don’t like them.
Despite the slow pace, the gameplay is pretty entertaining and thanks to good writing, it does not get boring.
It’s always fun to discover new details and very satisfying to see how these little things can make a difference in how the game’s pivotal moments escalate. And even if you only stick to doing the main storyline, it’s still like watching a good TV show with the exception that you control what happens.
Since this is a story-driven game with a focus on providing a fun cinematic experience – it’s very
important for the game to have a good story to begin with.
Fortunately, Life is Strange starts off with a very compelling set of events and every episode manages to be consistently intriguing and entertaining to follow.
The game is simultaneously something where your choices matter and don’t, and that is because the ending of the game leaves you with only two final options.
So, the fact that the majority of the choices you make within the game have no impact at the ending can be a bit of a bummer, but it’s still somewhat satisfying to see how the world can change because of those small choices along the way.
The game’s inclusion of supernatural elements are balanced out with realistic themes, so it doesn’t feel as if the game is set in a fantasy world. Instead, it feels more like having a superpower in the real world.
Also, though the game is filled with high-school aesthetics, it deals with many mature themes in the storyline and is even a bit of a tearjerker if you get invested in the characters.
The graphics of Life is Strange follow a specific art style, so that means it cannot be compared to
video games that try to have the latest and most realistic graphics available at a given time.
This allows the game to take some liberties with how everything looks – and it does not disappoint as LiS is one of the most visually pleasing games that you’ll see on smartphones.
The game combines simplicity and detail in the best way possible and it becomes very evident that the team knew what they were doing once you play the game for a while, especially when you step out into the streets and wilderness.
Since this is a straightforward story game, the UI does not have much of a role to play as you’ll be accessing the story right away rather than have to visit a shop or an inventory section.
The polish on the other hand matters a lot as this game is a console port – and the developers have done a great job in that regard.
Although the game can be a little slow on older phones despite being supported on them, if you have a decent mid-range phone it should run very smoothly for you with crisp graphics. Whether the game should have been released for low-end phones that don’t run it smoothly is a different debate to be had, but the polish of the game overall is pretty good.
Life is Strange has a beautiful soundtrack that includes many original tracks and some licensed music as well.
Whether it’s the main theme or the background ambiance in some of the calmer moments in the game, everything is pleasant to listen to and has a bit of catchiness to it.
The licensed music is picked with a passion too, as songs like Spanish Sahara fit the game’s melancholic theme perfectly and make the scenes feel even more powerful than they already were.
Life is Strange is an excellent game that acts as a perfect bridge to something that you can play on
both consoles and mobile phones thanks to its easy controls and calm gameplay. The story is engaging,
the art style is beautiful, the characters are likable, and the soundtrack will leave you with a new
playlist once you’re done playing.
The only thing it could have done better was providing players with more options to choose from in the ending, which would have made your decisions feel more meaningful. But it’s still a fun mobile game and the ending is not as disappointing as it may sound.