YouTubers Life is a tycoon management game about rising to fame in the YouTube community. You start the game with a choice of your channel’s direction, Gaming, Cooking or Music. My first game followed the story of Barry; the fun-loving, critical but playful gamer. Little did his audience know, he was a psychopath.
A somewhat harmless psychopath no doubt, but a psychopath nonetheless. Everything he did had no personal attachment, his “friends” were merely a method of gaining views and money by exploiting them for collaboration videos. Likewise he only attended parties and events to further his career, some of his friends abandoned him, but he didn’t care because they weren’t famous like him.
I would like to explain; I didn’t start this game with the intention of playing a psychopath, it evolved over time, I’ll get to that later. YouTuber’s Life has a well paced progression, you begin in your parents house, making videos, going to work and studying for class. You have two major meters to focus on, sleep and hunger. If you’re well fed and rested you have more idea points to produce better videos. For a gaming channel making a video consists of choosing a game and the format, which can range from a playthrough to a review.
Then you start recording, this is when you can spend your idea points. A mini-game is played where you select a number of greetings, actions, reactions and goodbyes from a deck of cards. This deck of cards grows as you continue to play, adding greater variety and style to your videos. However you can only have a maximum of 24 cards in your deck when you make a video. This adds another layer of strategy I wasn’t expecting, I thought it was gimmicky at first, but with continued play it proves to be a robust system.
Once you have chosen your cards it’s time to edit your video. All the cards slot together in different ways, providing bonuses for when everything lines up. This is another unexpected level of complexity that works in the game’s favour. But if you don’t have the patience for this, you can slot all of your cards haphazardly together and still make a decent video.
Now it’s time to render and upload your video for the world to see! For the first couple of hours most of your videos won’t earn more than a few dollars. To upgrade your computer, buy new consoles, clothes and decorations for your room you’ll need to work several hours a week. On top of this you need to study for class or else suffer the wrath of your mother and get grounded.
U-Play Online have really nailed the time management aspects of YouTubers life. Your calendar quickly becomes packed, there is no possible way you can go to all the events, have a social life, pass your exams and earn enough money. From the get-go you have to prioritise, and it makes for some brilliant decision-making.
This is how our friend Barry the psychopath evolved. The focus of most management games is money, so that’s exactly what I did. Barry ignored all his friends, put his nose to the grindstone and lived a life of delivering papers. Spending all his money on upgrading his computer to make better videos. He even got ignored at the few parties he did attend due to his lack of formal clothing. Barry was missing out many aspects of life for the focus of his own personal gain. That is when I realised YouTubers Life is quite unique, there are numerous ways to play this game.
While the main focus is about becoming the most famous YouTuber on the planet, there are a number of ways to do this. The social aspects are surprisingly deep and self-aware. If you want to start dating someone it isn’t as easy as the Sims.
Some people will flat-out deny your invitation for a date, no matter how much they like you and this is refreshing. Some people won’t appreciate you bragging about fame, “Who needs fame when you are surrounded by wonderful friends and family?”. Other people won’t mind, it’s rather unpredictable and while I wouldn’t call it difficult, the game has an agency about it that makes it feel realistic.
After a while you can move out of your parents house and move in with a flatmate. Barry being the person he his, found his flatmate to be a massive nuisance. Constantly asking to use his computer, walking into his room without knocking and playing on his Xbox while he slept. While Barry had no privacy to speak of, studying for exams weren’t an issue anymore, however he did have to buy his own food.
As mentioned earlier, YouTuber’s Life is very well paced; constantly changing things up so you never get bored. I did get into a bit of a lull 3 hours in, but it soon gives you the option to automate certain aspects such as editing your videos which admittedly got a bit tiresome after a while.
All in all YouTuber’s Life isn’t a challenging game by any stretch. But the limitations it places on you are carefully primed to allow for experimentation and a varied style of play. Many aspects do become repetitive but there is enough for distraction, ensuring you don’t get bored. If you’re looking for a game to maximise your efficiency you will probably be disappointed. Rather, U-Play Online have created a bizarre social simulation that only becomes tiresome when you go against the flow.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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