The Choice of Life: Middle Ages Review (Switch)
Release Date: January 28, 2021
File Size: 494MB
Publisher: Redblack Spade
Developer: Blazing Planet Studio
Click here to view on the Nintendo eShop.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Have you ever wanted to live in the Middle Ages? Be given the chance to build yourself up from a mere peasant, to working directly under the King as a scholar or a jester? See a promising life bloom in front of you, only for a nearby rat to take a bite of your ankle and pass along a disease that leads to your untimely demise? Then The Choice of Life: Middle Ages may be right up your alley.
The entirety of the game is played out almost like a card game, where you have to choose between two options. Depending on the choices you make, you will carve out a specific path in the story. As you progress, you will take on new parts of your life. To coincide with those moments of life, you will carry certain items, although whether you use those items is mainly left up to the story.
Much like the unpredictability of life back in those days, where modern medicine wasn’t a thing, you will constantly be finding yourself being injured by the strangest of things. Did you try to help an old person cross the street? Well, you tripped on a rock and broke your ankle along the way. This kind of randomness is scattered throughout the story. Thankfully (or unfortunately, if you enjoy a truly randomized experience), every outcome ends the same, so if you have a good memory or jot down which choices lead to injury, you can avoid those choices.
Your goal is to make it to the kingdom from your lowly life as a peasant out in a far-off village. How you go about this is up to you. There are a decent amount of choices, so you don’t have to always make the same decisions in order to advance. And you’ll find that you may go farther if you don’t play as carefully and just “go with the flow.”
Gameplay and Presentation
The main objective is to make it to the treasury in the castle, starting from nothing. With a good amount of choices made available, you can find yourself jumping through several “job” titles as you make your way closer to your goal of entering the city. During your first playthrough, you will more than likely die, which will kickstart your main goal of making your way to the treasury thanks to a mysterious voice.
Outside of that, you kind of get what you pay for – you’ll get through most, if not all, of the content in a couple of hours. Given the random nature of when you can die, each playthrough is very short. Along with that, you have access to a checkpoint system, which will allow you to start an adventure at the beginning of any point already unlocked. So if you’re looking to 100%, it’s fairly easy to narrow down the parts of the game that you still need to go through.
Along with that, the game keeps a record of which choices you have made, which ones you haven’t, and which choices have another possible outcome. Choices that you haven’t made yet are gray, choices that you have already made and have no other potential outcomes are green, and choices that you have made that have other outcomes are blue.
The art of the game is reminiscent of an older storybook. The art on the cards that depict the choices that can be made are simplistic, yet get their point across well. There is also art displayed in the background that shows the current location. The UI, while also simple in its design, does a great job of showing no more than is needed in a polished way.
While The Choice of Life: Middle Ages is a cute little game to pass the time, the random deaths that occur through the entire game can wear you down over time. It’s the type of game where, depending on your sense of humor and what you’re looking for in a choose-your-own-adventure game, it could wear out its welcome very quickly. Or, alternatively, it could amuse you for the entirety of your playthrough. That being said, for the price, it’s a good few hours of entertainment.
For those who enjoy this type of game and random deaths at every turn, this is a nice, cheap game to pick up and play through. Otherwise, you’re probably better off looking for another medieval title to scratch that itch.