Review: Our Life: Beginnings and Always

Create a character and live your life in a small beach town with your best friend in this highly customizable free-to-play visual novel by GB Patch Games.

Our Life: Beginnings and Always is a free-to-play game released by GB Patch Games. Play as a customizable character that you create and navigate your life from childhood to adulthood with your best friend, Cove Holden. 

When you start Our Life, you get to create your character and pick their name. There are quite a few options to choose from, branching out to include allowing the player to pick their pronoun and a voiced version of their name from a list if they so choose.

While this character is not shown on screen or in any CGs, it acts as a roleplaying base for the player to help them get fully immersed into the game. 

As time goes on and your character gets older, you can change the way they look, what pronouns they prefer to use, and even how much they like the main love interest, Cove. Will their love be gradual or will your character be in love with him from the very beginning? 

The game is told through several different memories scattered throughout the course of your character’s life, making the narrative feel very real and organic. The moments with Cove are sweet, and he’ll interact with you based on the choices you’ve made. The developers have assured players that there is no bad ending. You choose exactly how you want to see your relationship with Cove unfold. 

Because of this level of interactivity, players can go through the same memories over again with varying personalities and degrees of affection for Cove to create a whole new experience. 

As you and Cove grow older, you can even change certain aspects of your best friend. Choose his hair, his outfit, and his personality. GB Patch Games has done something really unique with their game and has allowed players to create a truly personal experience with Our Life.

The art in Our Life is gorgeous and plentiful. There are ample CGs, some animated and others simply representations of things the player interacts with. My favorite thing to see is how the different characters’ designs change as they grow older with you and Cove.

Our Life is set in a beach town, giving us a beautiful yet serene soundtrack. None of the music feels out of place or too jarring. Even further, the backgrounds all look lively and inviting. The voice acting is done by a very talented cast, with not one voice sounding like it doesn’t belong. 

All in all, I’d say GB Patch Games has created a very immersive world for the player to live in over the course of their character’s life. Every aspect of the game seems to have been meticulously planned, taking into consideration the player’s choices, the game’s aesthetics, and the overall narrative.

That’s not to say Our Life is perfect. I’d like to have seen more frequent voiced lines, especially from Cove, as he is the main love interest. Sometimes the story feels like it drags on for far too long during certain memories. While I enjoyed the way the narrative is presented through memories that you choose from (being able to play them all, none at all, or skipping some), it may not be for everyone. Some players may prefer a more rigid structure. 

I’d recommend trying out the free version of Our Life. If you enjoy it, there are currently two paid DLC packs out right now, and another is coming out in the future that features your character and Cove as adults. 

You can get Our Life: Beginnings and Always on or Steam.

Anna Mirabella

Spooktober 2022 Visual Novel Jam

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