After covering last week, here’s a review of Wait! Life Is Beautiful! Prologue is available on Steam from the 6th August.
Finding a purpose in life is a challenge for most, but what if that role was the protection of life itself? In an effort to find meaning, the protagonist in the game waits patiently on the affectionately titled ‘Suicide Bridge’, in the hope of stopping the victims throwing their lives away by jumping off.
Despite his best intentions, things don’t go how he hopes as the number of people dying and his presence on the bridge is raising suspicions. On top of that, the people he encounters aren’t the most active of listeners. Trying to convince them to stop is no easy feat.
When I first wrote the news piece – only last week, the cinematic trailer was stunning. Ok, so the nature of these trailers usually gives away key moments or doesn’t accurately reflect the same aesthetic choice for the gameplay. While there aren’t any spoilers in the trailer, the art style couldn’t be further from the gameplay. It’s a simple pixel art approach that has its charms, but the characters bounce while on the spot. I wasn’t too sure what to make of it. Was it adding urgency to the situation, or was it a distraction from the seriousness of the themes?
Starting the game begins with a disclaimer about suicide. It’s the responsible thing to do as a sombre subject, but as Dramatic Music Plays mentioned in the promo piece, it’s a taboo topic. Wait! Life Is Beautiful! Prologue doesn’t, for one moment, make light of the theme, and you can feel the desperation in the protagonist’s words when one person after the next jumps from the bridge. Considering the only thing that happens in the game is your role as a negotiator for life, starting every line with the title of the game “Wait! Life Is Beautiful!” this brief experience is a challenging one.
One after another, random people will hop over the fence to jump to their death. You greet them and respond to their opening line, and attempt to flesh out their motive and somehow counter it. The thing is, they’re so quick to jump that you’re only delaying the inevitable, and it took me a good three playthroughs to save just one person. They thanked me and went on their way. It’s just a small consolation for the many deaths that make you feel somewhat responsible for, even though that’s not the case.
The Wait! Life Is Beautiful! Prologue is a snippet of the full game, so you only get to play one day in the life of the bridge samaritan. You can play as often as you like, but the game does keep a tally of how many die. Even if it’s the same people jumping to their doom, it all adds up, so if six die the first time, and five die on the second playthrough too, the tally will show 11. It’s quite depressing really, and even on the repeat attempts, it feels almost hopeless – no doubt a design choice for both those feeling the need to end their lives and the man trying to help them.
You can try once Wait! Life Is Beautiful! Prologue is released on its respective Steam page on the 6th August. In the meantime, feel free to wishlist it and experience for yourself.