If you’re looking for a story-driven narrative RPG that doesn’t rely on the trope of medieval fantasy, you’re in luck.
Created by the Warsaw Film School Video Game & Film Production Studio and Polish indie publishing house Klabater, indie game Best Month Ever! integrates choices-matter dialogue, cinematic artistic graphics, and heart-wrenching stories in the new demo available through Steam as part of The Big Adventure Event.
With a launch date of May 5th 2022 announced, we were intrigued enough to take a deep dive into the new Best Month Ever! demo.
What’s The Story?
You play as Louise, a down-on-her-luck single mother working hard as a waitress to provide for her son Mitch. When Louise is diagnosed with a terminal illness leaving her with just one month to live, she sets out on a roadtrip with Mitch across the United States in an ever-changing world to raise him against the clock.
The demo places us at the very beginning of Louise and Mitch’s journey, with Louise quitting her job at the diner and coming to claim her last paycheck.
Putting Players In The Driver’s Seat
Each decision you make through actions and dialogue impacts Mitch’s adult personality through Righteousness, Confidence, and Relations – whether it’s determining his bravery, attitude towards interpersonal relationships, or respect towards authority figures later in life. This puts players firmly in the driver’s seat, positively or negatively shaping a life from childhood to adulthood, which will appeal to RPG fans and life simulation players alike.
The gameplay elements themselves are fairly straightforward – both Louise and Mitch can be controlled through point-and-click movement in their own parts of the demo’s story. Dialogue or action options are shown along with the future impact they’ll have on Mitch’s personality (for instance, pocketing the $5 bill on the ground instead of giving it back to the Vietnam war veteran will cause Mitch’s attitude towards authority to drop).
Typically speaking, demos are created not only to get future players interested in the full game and give them a small experience of what’s to come, but also to showcase the developers’ hard work and talents they’ll put into use for their new launch.
This is why it’s such a pity there wasn’t more of a demonstration of the choices-matter element of the gameplay in the Best Month Ever! demo (particularly for such a short chapter). While there are many choices players can make in the demo’s dialogue, we only ever see Mitch’s childhood storyline, so no matter what options we choose, we never actually see the end result that may happen later in Mitch’s adult life.
It’s a shame, as the demo has plenty of replayability. I completed it three times – once with the seemingly ‘good’ dialogue options, again with ‘bad’ options, and finally the most ‘neutral’ choices – and none of the playthrough strategies changed the final outcome. There’s even an ‘Unlocked Endings’ option in the demo menu, but nothing ever unlocks. So, it seems like a missed opportunity to show off more choices-matter elements later in the game by choosing to feature such an early episode.
(But then, maybe it’s a clever move by the developers to purposefully hold back on more content in the demo, because it’s definitely left me wanting more!)
The Best Month Ever! demo is a refreshing take on the choices-matter RPG genre, with harrowing storylines and characters that you genuinely care about, that has us excited for the full release in May 2022 and the various future outcomes for Mitch.