Tired of the humdrum of city life, Derek and Michelle are lucky enough to have inherited the ‘Carpe Diem’ boating company that their uncle left to them, better yet; it’s situated in the beautiful JoJo Islands, now who would pass up that chance? Welcome to The Good Life.
Now we aren’t talking about a game based on the exploits of Tom and Barbara Good, The Good Life is a new open-world simulation that drops you in a collection of remote, exotic islands where you may do as you please in order to climb the ranks and be the best darn boat taxi there ever was.
The Good Life could best be described ultimately as a chilled out Crazy Taxi, and similar to the recently released River Master it hopes to bring purpose to the neglected ship simulator, a subsection of the simulator genre that carries the most potential in the modern gaming space. However rather than focus on haulage like the aforementioned River Master, The Good Life concentrates on the boat as a mode of people transportation across the substantial ocean of the JoJo Islands.
Travelling from port to port you can pick up passengers wishing to travel about the islands all the while competing with the top ferryman of the area and increasing your reputation allowing you to claim higher fares and more lucrative jobs, it’s a game for those that enjoy the idea of traversing the picturesque, laid-back out pace of island whilst in the command of a boat.
Alongside taking jobs you can also increase your reputation by boosting your renown about the islands by pretty much purchasing as much of them as possible, property is sold at auction very frequently, and if you’ve got the money you can bid and buy practically anything in the resorts dotted around, from as little as sunbeds and beach houses to fully fledged hotels that will help bring a little extra money in.
Riding around in your humble water taxi won’t bring in the big bucks, so if you’ve got enough money floating around you can upgrade to a selection of speedboats, luxurious yachts and sailboats to woo potential customers into paying top dollar for your transportation services, so you won’t be stuck simply controlling the standard throttle controlled boat, and can learn to sail like a pro.
However your transportation services are not the only missions you’ll have to perform, to spice things up you’ll be able to search for sunken treasure with a bit of deep-sea-diving, take photos of underwater beasts and island artefacts, then there’s always the possibility you may come across freak weather storms, pirates and survivors of ship wrecks all to make your stay in the islands that bit more exciting.
Whilst the game isn’t as technical as some of the ship simulators out there, it does pose a very enjoyable approach to the sim complete with docking procedures, however unless you are interested in ships and boating there isn’t really too much to keep you occupied. The 35 square miles of land distributed across the islands is impressive, but without the ability to walk up onto the land things begin to get a little repetitive.
Floating around on the water you’ll encounter a variety of other ships, your competitors, and the fabled cruise ship; follow the ship to every port it visits and you’ll find an overabundance of work sprout up, but only for one passenger at a time. After all, The Good Life is more like Crazy Taxi, and not Crazy Taxi 2 so you won’t be picking up multiple passengers at a time which leaves your traveler sat awkwardly in silence as you brave the high seas, and whilst you have the ambiance of the tropics around you there’s a real lack of jovial music.
The Good Life is another exciting progressive step for simulators, and the sandbox environment that developers immersionFX have created is fantastic, it just seems to lack a bit too much soul and variety to keep you engaged for as long as similar open-world simulators on the market.
The Good Life is available now in all good retailers and online stores for the SRP of £19.99.