Game: Best Day Ever
Genre: Adventure, Narration, Visual Novel
System: Switch (also available on Steam)
Developer | Publisher: ReRolled Studio
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 12+
Price: US $13.16 | UK £9.51 | EU € 11,06
Release Date: July 2nd, 2021
Review code used with many thanks to ReRolled Studio.
The Best Day Ever is a simulation and narration game that follows different characters through some difficult times in their lives. Players will have to go to work, connect with friends, go to classes, work out, and even go out to eat with significant others. You get to experience other peoples’ lives first-hand and make choices to try and give each character their Best Day Ever.
There are four stories in total in this game. They include a woman who is being harassed by her inappropriate boss, a gubernatorial race candidate, a young bullied woman in college, and a gay man on a basketball team that has yet to come out to his teammates. A lot of big social issues are covered in this game, giving you a lot to think about as you direct someone else’s life. The stories are simple and charming with a cartoonish style that belies how serious each of these issues can be.
Best Day Ever starts by tossing the player right into the main character’s life. They wake up on just a regular weekday, then learn more about the character’s day-to-day as time progresses. For example, in Jordan’s story, we learn that he has to attend his classes, keep morale up with his team, practice, and also make time for his live-in boyfriend.
Players start with six or so Energy and have to split that energy in a way that gets everything done. As an example, practising with the team costs 2 energy, going to class costs 1, and special events can cost 1-2 energy. Time slips away pretty quickly, and Jordan can’t complete everything in one day, just like real life!
His time is also regularly interrupted by phone calls, emergencies, friends asking for favors, and other things that will eat up both his time and energy. Players can interact with others by texting, calling, and sometimes visiting.
Pros of the Best Day Ever
The game feels very down to earth. Many of the characters are in full view and have different personalities and character arcs. Each of the characters experiences their own feelings, have spats with one another, and have personal connection moments that let you delve a little into their characters.
While juggling everything that is going on in the character’s life, experiencing these little emotional moments makes you feel closer to each of the characters. There’s a lot that’s very real in these stories. Being bullied, being afraid to come out to friends, being walked over by a boss figure: these are all things we have either experienced ourselves or know someone who has.
The style of this game is also great. It has the look of a Saturday morning cartoon. The animations feel polished, and the gameplay is smooth. It’s truly well put together and seems well play-tested.
The Cons of Best Day Ever
Also, like many games that have been translated (I believe this game started in French), the wording is sometimes a little awkward. While it isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, it can detract from the overall connection that players have with the game if the speech feels unnatural.
The game is a little too real at times. While yes it is normal for people to have to juggle remembering date night with their significant other while still getting all their work done, it’s not really how I want to spend my video game time. Life is difficult enough without also having to deal with someone else’s problems.
The game forces players to sometimes make phone calls; as a millennial, I can anecdotally attest that most of my generation doesn’t even want to make a phone call in real life. I feel the same kind of stress when I get a text in the game as I do when my phone actually chimes IRL! I find interacting with the game to be more stressful than soothing; managing someone else’s life is a big responsibility, imaginary or not.
This game isn’t for everyone. I can see several of my friends really loving this title with its deep connections and choices that deeply matter to how the rest of the game plays out. There are a lot of unique and interesting ideas here, and the game is beautifully put together.
While this game might not be for me, it is an amazing visual novel for those who really dig that sort of thing. It’s hard to state just how polished and pleasant the presentation of this unique title is. For what it is, Best Day Ever couldn’t be a better put together game. So if you can’t get enough of relationship simulations, visual novels, and games where choice matters, this game is certainly for you.
Final Verdict: I Like it.