I suspect that building a YouTube channel, or at least a successful one, is a lot harder than it seems. I mean, there’s more to it than just slapping up videos left, right, and center, correct? Any given YouTuber worth their salt knows that they need to stay relevant and watchable, at the same time as keeping up with the latest tech to ensure that quality in feedback is top-notch. That goes on top of balancing every day life, of course. Does that process sound fun? Well, if that appeals to you, you may enjoy Youtubers Life OMG Edition.
Youtubers Life OMG Edition finds some similar footing to that of The SIMS. You’ll begin by selecting one of three passions; gaming, music or cooking. Your chosen passion will shape how you play the game. I tested two of the three, both gaming and cooking. The general crux of play sees you working hard to pull in subscribers, views, and likes. That sits on top of ensuring that your tech is constantly improving and that you’re fulfilling your day to day activities. Starting out, you begin your venture in the bedroom of your parents’ house.
The game does a good job at feeding you into the basics of play; how to create, upload and respond to videos, how to keep on top of your lifestyle, how to purchase new wares, and so forth. It’s a relatively straightforward experience, which sits well in its favor to begin with. I say that because later in, the cracks of repetition begin to surface – more on that later. Moving back to my comparison to The Sims, that’s exactly how Youtubers Life plays out. Players wont directly control their character, but guide them through the use of a cursor.
You’re free to position the camera however you see fit via movement, zoom-in/zoom-out and rotation. To the game’s credit, the camera behaves exactly how it should, and although it can indeed be a bit fiddly at times, it gets the job done regardless. The cursor is what you will use to interact with the items situated within your immediate surroundings, whereas menu surfing is achieved through the use of direct control input. That simplicity, together with the game’s clean UI, makes for both very fluid handling and management throughout.
There’s a running list of objectives that you’ll need to be mindful of during your time with the game. The majority of these are optional, with a few mandatory objectives sprinkled in to set a target and keep pace. Typically, completing the mandatory objectives will see you moving to new homes, offering more benefits and possibilities as a result. Starting out in your bedroom at your mother’s house, you’ll gradually work up through a student home, a luxury apartment, and eventually, to a mansion, giving players a steady goal-arch to follow.
It takes an awfully long time to make progress, mind, and it’s entirely possible to get game-over and be forced to startup your last save, but there’s nothing here that’s particularly difficult to overcome. The game starts out quite simple, tasking you with little more than studying, keeping in touch with your friends, and creating new videos at a fairly swift rate. That said, although it gets a bit more complex later in through a mixture of management and careful expenditure, I cant say there’s that much of a challenge to lean on in this game.
The UI does a stellar job at presenting you with your necessities. The top of the screen is where you’ll track your tiredness and your hunger. This is easy to keep on top of and consists of clicking on your bed to rest, or clicking on your fridge to select food and drink – which later costs you to resupply. You’ll also be able to track your social media engagement, your upload rate, and your event activity here. This all amounts to how often you tweet, how often you upload new videos and how often you attend new events, respectively.
The lower of the screen is where you’ll find how many followers you have, how much money you currently own and how many lifetime views you have received. You can also find the date and time here, as well as the option to up the speed of the game, browse important menu options, and perform actions. It’s important to keep an eye on these statistics regularly to ensure that you remain balanced and on top of your necessities. In fact, it’s here that’s really the only portion of the game that’s tough to keep inline with.
Your viewers will constantly belittle you for having poor equipment, and the only way to alleviate this is to buy newer, more expensive equipment from one of the game’s few stores. However, if you spend too much and you don’t have enough to cover your rent, you’ll get evicted and find yourselves staring at the game-over screen. On the flip-side, if you don’t continuously invest in new equipment and better skills and traits, your following wont grow at a decent rate, and can even decline before too long. There’s a lot to juggle, I’ll give it that.
Thankfully, everything is well laid out and accessible. The game’s stores will vary depending on what passion you are pursuing. If you’re a wannabe chef, you can use your computer to purchase a wide range of wares; food for cooking, utensils, gadgets and so forth. If, on the other hand, you’re an aspiring gamer, you’ll be able to purchase new games using that same concept. You can also use the game’s stores to purchase new clothing and computer equipment, each of which will give you an edge and added benefits in one form or another.
You can usually gauge what you need based off the feedback that you receive from your uploads. Should you find that your followers are criticizing the quality of your camera, buying a new one (all technical goods come with a star system that climbs in price) will usually fix that until expectations begin to rise further. The same can be said about the editing process of your uploads. This is more hands-on for your character, being that you can take on new courses to improve your editing skills, or, get access to new skills entirely.
These courses cost money and take time, with a rise to both if you’re investing in the more intermediate versions of a course you’ve already undertaken. That leads us to the level-up system. Whenever you successfully accomplish a task or upload a good video, you’ll earn a lump-sum of EXP. This goes towards your overall level. Whenever you level up, you’ll be granted access to new skills and traits, which collectively feeds into your video creating process; again, these vary based on which passion you choose to follow from the get-go.
I can say the same about how you create a video. When playing as an aspiring gamer, I was tasked with buying new games, playing them, and uploading them. I have to say, the gamer elements of YouTubers Life is quite boring. I much preferred taking on the role of a chef. Here, you’re free to buy your ingredients and make your very own custom dishes. You’ll be ranked on the basis of each dish, forcing you to carefully weigh up what ingredients you use to ensure that it’s something that will appeal to your online audience. Rinse, and repeat.
There’s no shortage of dishes that you can create, and with new ingredients and food-types unlocked on a frequent basis, you can literally lose yourselves for hours just toying around with this component. New video categories will also unlock throughout; how to cook, tips, and so on. It pays off to keep your channel varied and engaging, especially if you want to make the most of your following. Uploading new content that’s too similar to something you’ve already uploaded will only result in the loss of followers and unneeded criticism.
That said, you’re always informed as to the popularity of whatever it is that you’re focusing your video on, giving you plenty of insight before your video even starts recording. Safe to say, YouTubers Life keeps you in the loop every step of the way and across most of its mechanics. Leaving you with heaps of guidelines to lean on to ensure that you know what’s hot, and what’s not. Creating the video itself is relatively straightforward, consisting of little more than some reaction choices, with more unlocked as you get deeper into the game.
It’s the same when it comes to editing your video on your PC, being that you can add filters and arrange the order of the video however you see fit. When you’re happy with your video, you can render it and upload it, and then promote it and moderate its comments. Like I said, there’s nothing particularly hard about YouTubers Life. Most of it falls to paying close attention to your stats, your followers’ reactions and keeping on top of your equipment and skills. If that’s a formula you like the sound of, you’ll find a lot of enjoyment within.
With that in mind, I cant really say that there’s much depth to the game’s core variation overall. I found myself playing on a cycle once I was a few hours in; create a video, eat, sleep, work for money, buy equipment, and repeat the process again. Sure, the added objectives do well at keeping you on your toes, but most of these usually require something that you’ll only be doing anyway. Still, there’s something surprisingly alluring about the game that had me fixed in its world for several hours at a time, working hard to come out famous.
It’s just a shame that some technical issues hold it back. Several times did I have to close the game due to either freezing, or due to being unable to interact with anything on-screen. The latter of which occurs far more frequently than the former. I wish I could say that it was easy to overlook, but needing to reboot the game at least once an hour is not my idea of fun. Nevertheless, a post-launch patch will remedy this before long, though until then, you’ll have to endure the torments of its bugs. I do have another gripe, with its social elements.
When the game wants you to be social, you’re to send your character to an event in the hopes of meeting new friends and maintaining your relationships. The game has a habit of forcing this down your throat, with “friends” constantly pestering you to go out with them. The trouble is, it’s not at all interesting, in fact, it’s pretty damn boring. These events typically consist of mingling and chatting, with little else to show for it outside of additional friends that will only further pester you as you work to maintain their friendship stats.
On the other hand, there are some events that are actually fun. Once again (I tire of saying this) depending on what passion you follow, you’ll be invited to unique events throughout your time with the game. Myself, playing as the chef, I got invited to a nearby restaurant to cook food in a very Overcooked-esque way. It’s hardly a game changer, but moments like this do indeed break up the pace of having you constantly glued to your room. Overall, as far as the gameplay goes, Youtubers Life does well with the concepts that it utilizes.
The game’s many systems tend to feed into one another in some way, and then cleverly has you balancing these systems out to capitalize your channel. There’s more depth later in, such as the ability to sign with exclusive networks and find opportunities through dynamic means. The point I’m getting at is that for a management game, with it’s faults to the side, you’re unlikely to find anything else that’s quite as endearing on console. More variation to the gameplay would have been a welcoming sight, but as it stands, it gets a pass from me.
There’s always something you’ll be doing, and although it can be quite a grind early on, when you do find your footing, it’s quite a solid experience that keeps you on your toes. Moving onto the game’s visual and audio design, I can only report good things here. The visuals take a very My Sims-like route, with no shortage of vibrant and cutesy details throughout. The same can be said about the game’s audio, which sits nicely inline with the overall theme. Sadly, some framerate issues persist, but nothing that’s too intrusive.
Youtubers Life is quite an endearing management experience that, surprisingly, doesn’t come across too taxing nor too demanding. There’s a decent amount of depth to be found here, but its lack of gameplay variation is what holds it back the most. Nevertheless, if you can overlook that and forgive the game for its repetition, Youtubers Life will keep you gleefully busy for hours on end.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.