Released by surprise on PC, Playstation 4 and Switch after the last Nintendo Direct, Various Daylife is a JRPG that makes us live the daily life of explorers. A small project that won’t appeal to everyone, but is an interesting proposition.
Definitely very busy in recent years, the Asano team from Square Enix continues to offer us JRPGs with a modest budget, but which delight fans of the genre. After the very recent remake of Live A Live, the very convincing Triangle Strategy, Bravely Default 2 as well as Octopath Traveler (which will soon have a sequel), it’s Various Daylife’s turn to take center stage. This is an unknown title released in 2019 only on the Apple Arcade service. The game lands on PC, PS4 and Switch by surprise following its announcement in a Nintendo Direct. Developed in collaboration with DokiDoki Groove Works, Various Daylife is undoubtedly the most modest of the games mentioned above.
The title immerses us in the year 219, in the shoes of an adventurer freshly landed on the continent of Antoecia. This visibly uninhabited new world is colonized by the Empire which built the city of Erebia there where we are going to stay. The goal will then be to live our life in this new city, to work to help the empire and to go on an expedition to discover the secrets of this new continent. Various Daylife focuses a lot on our everyday life, often leaving the main plot aside. This does not prevent the title from being particularly talkative, our avatar will befriend several characters with whom we can have many interactions. Far from being a classic adventure, Various Daylife is more often akin to a management game.
Various Daylife is a title that is divided into two game phases. The first and the one on which we spend the most time is managing our team in the village of Erebia. During the many days that make up our adventure, we can take part in different activities. The most important is work. Several tasks are proposed to us, these are carried out in a simple fade to black of a few seconds. The point of the job is to be able to earn money, but also to raise our statistics gauges. Depending on the task performed, our character will earn points in different statistics, and once a certain number of points is reached in a category, it will definitely level up. Each half-day also offers a multiplier for two specific statistics, so it is more advantageous to prioritize these.
This system is the best way to progress and offers few limits. It is also quite advisable to abuse work to increase an experience bonus according to the number of successive tasks completed. We still have to pay attention to our mood and stamina gauges which, if they are low, increase our chances of failure. Worse still, a low stamina increases our chances of a work accident, which causes us to be bedridden for several days and cause us to lose a certain number of stat points, and therefore many minutes of progress. It is therefore important to take the time to rest, to have fun going out with the other characters, or even to take a bath in the hot springs of the village so that our hero does not collapse at the slightest effort.
Throughout the game we are going to meet characters who will team up with us and whose level and equipment we must also manage. The characters have different classes that give them a different role in combat, a class that our main character can also learn. All these statistical points earned by the strength of our work will be used during the second major phases of the game, the expeditions. In the company of three other characters, we set off to explore unknown lands filled with hostile monsters for several days. Here too, the progression is very simple since everything is done automatically. Not everything goes peacefully, as this walk is often interrupted by fights. Confrontations that we carry out very classically on a turn-by-turn basis, and whose possibilities vary according to the characters who accompany us and their classes. Expeditions are sometimes complex, you have to survive several fights while your resources are depleted along the way. However, it is possible to carry objects to be able to rest on the way. It is therefore necessary to prepare well before leaving on an expedition under penalty of finishing KO for a few days in the event of failure.
The Various Daylife experience offers us to spend a lot of time in menus, which will not please everyone. Add to that that the title is not very successful visually, frankly not very pretty, and with some apparent visual defects. The characters are made in a “super deformed” style close to what Bravely Default 2 offered, but without being as neat as the latter. The music is however very nice despite the fact that we often hear the same tracks because of the nature of the game. Its minimalist staging and its very slow rhythm will end up sinking the title.
Still, that doesn’t stop Various Daylife from being a rather addictive game. Expeditions are not always easy, which requires good preparation and above all spending time working on our statistics. The progress is slow, but remains satisfactory. The title offers many dialogues with the different characters which are not always interesting, but which make them endearing. Far from being an epic quest to save the world, Various Daylife is more of a relaxing experience, trying to replicate a life simulation aspect as best as possible despite its small budget. A simple experience that still takes a few tens of hours before seeing the end of it. The title will probably only appeal to a particular niche. If raising gauges and increasing stats trigger sympathetic reactions in your brain, Various Daylife might be for you.
Released on PS4, Switch and PC by surprise recently, Various Daylife is an Apple Arcade game released in 2019. The title is back in a slightly retouched version for the occasion. This is a game developed by DokiDoki Groove Works in collaboration with a team from Square Enix rather known to fans of the genre: the Asano team. A team decidedly very busy since it is at the origin of the very recent remake of Live A Live, as well as Triangle Strategy or the Bravely Default. Various Daylife is however a more modest title which will probably convince much less. We embody an adventurer freshly landed on a new continent discovered recently. Our character will stay in the city of Erebia and work for the empire in order to discover all the secrets of this continent. The majority of the time spent on the game concerns the management of our characters and particularly the statistics of our hero which we can increase by working. We also have the opportunity to go on an expedition to face monsters with a classic but effective turn-based combat system. Everything is very simplified, but the progression remains satisfactory. Unfortunately, the title is not a technical size, not to mention its very minimalist staging. We console ourselves all the same by listening to the very nice music. Various Daylife does not present an epic and thrilling quest, but rather a life simulation RPG that does not always prove to be exciting, but rather addictive in concept.
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WE love :
An addictive concept
A light and simple JRPG
The classic but effective combat system
A good sense of progress
We like less:
Very talkative and rarely exciting
A slow experience
A “low budget” presentation