Two of the most popular romance tropes to read about in both original novels and fanfiction are the Friends-to-Lovers and Childhood Friends tropes, and they’re often even mixed into one. The characters grow up together, then build a life together. These are stories that so many readers know and love, but now, there is a version of this story where you get to be in control.
Our Life: Beginnings & Always by GB Patch Games is a fresh take on the visual novel genre in which you play through four phases of life—childhood, adolescence, teenage, and adulthood—alongside a shy boy named Cove Holden.
Our Life is truly a unique approach to the genre as so many visual novel games take place over the course of a day, a week, a year, or sometimes a few years, but definitely within a more contained timeframe. Sometimes visual novel games will have flashbacks to childhood, but they are rarely something you can control.
It’s virtually unheard of to see a visual novel where you actually start off as a child and play through the stages of life and into adulthood. Our Life is eye-catching due to its unique design, and it’s immersive in a way that gets you invested in a story with a larger scope.
Make your character
When you begin your journey, you are able to design a character. Nothing is gender locked, and you can choose your eyes, hairstyle, skin color, pronouns and more.
Meet your childhood friend
When you start off your journey, you and Cove become friends after he moves in across the street. You can choose whether you are nervous or comfortable around him, and whether you just see him as a friend or as a crush. The game does a great job of exploring boundaries and capturing the innocence and drama of youth.
Friends to lovers, or best friends forever
As the game goes on, you choose whether you would like to take the lovers route and romance Cove, or, if you prefer, you can just stay friends until the end. Either way, the game is all about growing up and your connection with Cove, whatever the nature of it may be.
According to the developer, there will be also DLC coming down the road. These paid DLCs will add on new special moments in the different phases of life, side stories with two other characters named Derek Suarez and Baxter Ward, and even a special wedding DLC that will fast-forward the timeline to you and Cove planning your wedding together and getting married.
Each DLC will cost between $3 and $5 individually, but will also be available in one bundle deal for all the DLC together at a discount.
Our Life: Beginnings & Always will be free-to-play and is available Aug. 28 on PC, with a later release planned for Android.