Game Review #067: Youtubers Life OMG Edition (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Allan J.
Developer: U-Play Online
Publisher: U-Play Online
Category: Simulation, Strategy, Lifestyle
Release Date: 11.202018
I’m A Famous YouTuber? OMG!
I remember back in high school newspaper class, we had an iMac in the editing room, and somehow, we ended up with The Sims on that computer. Since the workload was usually pretty light—we only published one newspaper every 6-8 weeks—we generally spent a lot of time playing around with the game. This was my first experience with a real-life simulation game, and I was pretty much hooked after that. So, when I saw that there was a new Sims-type game out that allows you to assume the role of a famous YouTube personality, Youtubers Life OMG Edition, I was excited to give it a shot.
Bait & Switch?
The description of the game was a good sell: play as one of three different types of YouTube personalities, either a musician, a gamer, or a chef. It said you can create your own original songs, dishes, and games, among many other intriguing activities. In reality, however, it was mostly just a struggle to upload the same videos again and again, while grinding through to make sure you went to school or work enough to keep your mom or landlord off your back. I was usually also missing video request deadlines in order to make sure my sim was eating and sleeping enough. By the time I got him fed and rested, and I was ready to really dig in to the YouTube part of it all, I never had enough time or money left to do anything interesting.
Started From The Bottom…
You start out living in your room at your mom’s house, with a bare-bones setup for your budding YouTube channel. The tutorial is just helpful enough to not really be helpful at all. It makes sure you know how to move the character and change the camera angle—which is actually a very clunky control that gets rather annoying at times—but when it comes to the important stuff, like how to use the reaction cards during a recording, or how to properly edit a video, it gives you just enough info to leave you throwing random actions into the mix and hoping you did it somewhat correctly.
I would like to say that it became a trial-and-error situation, but that would require that I have a clue as to what it was that I did to elicit any particular responses from the viewers. Just when I thought I had the formula figured out, I would upload another video, choose all the correct response cards and video editing arrangements, only to get a seemingly random outcome that had no discernible relation to anything I had just done. Sometimes, you could do essentially the exact same thing you did the last time, and get a completely different outcome.
Some of the “make the magic happen” things I was able to figure out are pretty much tied to the grind. You can purchase new songs, instruments, and recording equipment, or recipes, cooking equipment, games, consoles, etc., that will improve the overall quality of the videos you are uploading, but the problem is that it is annoyingly difficult to start earning enough money to actually buy these things. Most times, once you have earned enough money with side jobs to finally buy these upgrades, you have to spend the money on something else, like food, rent, or my favorite, copyright fines for your videos getting more views than their licenses allow.
Glitches & Typos & Lag, Oh My!
A couple of things in particular that I thought were really a downside to this game were the amount of glitches in the gameplay, and typos in the dialogue. Nobody’s perfect, I know, and I’m sure I’ve missed my share of grammatical errors and typos. It happens. We’re all human, after all! I may die a little inside whenever I see a published error in something I have written, but nevertheless, it happens from time to time to everybody. The typos in the script aren’t a bad translation, they are just bad editing. To quote the tutorial, “Every time you increase a odd level, you win a point which you can invest in improve and discover new types of video.”–Ok maybe that’s a bad translation… but still!
As far as glitches go, there were a few. The game is laggy from the start. When you press the command button to select a task or menu item, the game freezes for a solid 5 seconds before anything happens. No click or graphical change to indicate that your command was received, just 5 seconds of wondering if you should push the button again. I’m not sure if this is a glitch, but it certainly adds up to a lot of wasted gameplay time after a while.
At a certain point in the game, your friends may invite you out to an event, such as a movie premier, where you have a chance to mingle with some other fellow YouTubers and expand your network. This one got me for a while. I thought it was actually a glitch at first, because I could not figure out how to leave the event. Time stopped moving forward, none of the menu buttons worked, and when I clicked on the exit door, nothing happened—not even after 5 seconds. The only way I could seem to get the premier to end was to save and quit, then reload the game, at which point I would reappear back in my room. Three premiers in, I finally managed to get the camera angle to focus in on a door on the other side of the room, where you can actually go in and watch the movie.
Once you are watching the movie, a timer starts counting down, and when it reaches 0:00, you leave and go home. So it was not actually a glitch, just another instance of the game not really giving any guidance when needed. There was one instance, however, where my sim left his room to go to the event, and instead of going to the load screen like it normally does, it just stayed in my room as if I had gone to work, but my sim never came back. After a day or so of game time had passed, I finally saved and quit to the menu again, and when I reloaded, he was back in his room. It was odd.
What Did I Like?
So far, I have really just talked a lot about my dislikes of this game, and I sort of feel bad that I haven’t discussed anything good yet. One thing Youtubers Life has going for it is… I’m not gonna lie, I sat here for at least 5 minutes trying to think of nice things to say about the game, and all I can think of is that it does become sort of addictive as you get into the grind of things, at least for a little while. Ultimately, though, the more you progress through the game, the more tedium is added to your routine. In addition to having to balance work, school, sleep, eating, and your YouTube channel, you eventually have to also start keeping up with a never-ending stream of social media notifications.
Honestly, this may be how some people want to spend their free time as far as gaming is concerned, but it is just too tedious for me. As I mentioned earlier, by the time you earn enough money to buy that guitar or gaming console you’ve had your eye on, you have to spend it on rent or a licensing fine. If I wanted to experience living paycheck-to-paycheck, I certainly wouldn’t need a video game to accomplish that.
Oh, and one other thing… While you can play as either a musician, a gamer, or a chef, there’s really not much of a difference in the basic mechanics of the gameplay… just swap out a guitar or ukulele for a “NicoSoft zBox” or a “Honey PeeEsPee”. So it really doesn’t even have that much replay value if you wanted to try out the different modes.
So, in case you hadn’t noticed, I did not like Youtubers Life OMG Edition very much. I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of people who would love the daily grind of this game, but I am just not that guy. With a few patches to fix the glitches and lag, and some edits to the basic script of the game, this could be a sort of decent game, but as it is now, I could not recommend this game to you—unless you are a Switch completionist who needs to have all physical releases in the library, as I hear that this will be getting a physical release soon. If you don’t need to have every game ever released for the console, then you could probably get away without this one. I was going to go with a 3/10, but I added a point for an original—if poorly executed—idea in the simulation genre of gaming.
Final Score: 4/10
Download Youtubers Life OMG Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided By MMPR