Twas the day after Christmas and all through the land, little children’s toys were beeping and driving their parents mad. So what will these modern-age parents do to drown those noises out?
In the past, parents would drink, take prescription drugs, or lock themselves in a room away from their kids. Now many will resort to drinking or getting high to make time fly. In a way, you can say they are getting High on Life to avoid life.
Earlier this year, we met with Squanch Games to preview their upcoming game High on Life at PAX West. During that meeting, we had the opportunity to sit down with Justin Roiland and talk about High on Life, Solar Opposites, Rick and Morty, and how he gets his inspiration. This was our first experience with High on Life, now we took a deeper look at Squanch Games’ High on Life. Here’s our High on Life review:
High on Life
Developer: Squanch Games, Inc
Publisher: Squanch Games, Inc
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X (reviewed)
Release Date: December 13th, 2022
Price: $59.99 USD
Welcome to your normal everyday life as an American teenager. With the parents heading out of town, the kids are free to have fun. Everyone dreams of being the hero in their own story but what happens when you are forced into that role? Earth is the G3’s newest playground and aliens are looking to get high on human life. Escaping from the mass alien invasion, our hero escapes with Kenny (The Gun) and his sister to an alien planet.
New to the Planet, the group looks for a renowned local bounty hunter. Sadly, the universally known bounty hunter has lost both life and limb since his famous expeditions. Despite being able to do the job himself, he is able to instruct our character on how to do the job one step at a time.
The game and story are built on milestones. If you complete one mission before another, the dialog for the other mission can change drastically if you take the right steps. Depending on which gun you use, the dialog for the mission can change; the outcome will remain the same but just the path you take might alter.
By the end of the game, you learn the dark history behind the Gatlins, learn what it takes to be a bounty hunter, and save the human race. What’s more fun than killing aliens? Having a drug trip and shoving something up their alien ass this time. Looking at the High on Life’s story, each subsection of it is comedic, you never know quite what to expect. Will you see carebears have sex? Will you get a nostalgic throwback?
Our only complaint with the story and the overall gameplay is that upgrading the weapons does not feel significant enough. Weapons within the game work properly, but even with upgrades, it feels like they stay the same, just with new abilities.
The Gatlins feel more like narrative tools rather than weapons at times; yes, they have voice lines with their own stories, but almost all of them seem interchangeable outside of Kenny. Additionally, the gun upgrades are costly, more costly than the player can afford by completing the standard bounties.
High on Life gives players a navigation tool but that tool can be more of a headache at times. If you go the wrong way, it will easily point you in the wrong direction. In fact, that tool led us to get lost on a few occasions.
Despite being two weeks post-launch, we faced a few game-breaking bugs in later levels. These breaks typically came during transitional scenes and thankfully we did not lose any progress; however, rebooting the game took us out of the experience changing a memorable moment.
At the end of the day, High on Life seems like too short of an experience rushed through using minimal enemy types and linear story progression. The game could be so much more but feels like it was more of a movie rather than its own universe.
Maybe a future DLC will make the game feel like its own living thing but at the moment, it’s just another Justin Roiland project. Yes, it is a fun game with colorful and vivid graphics, and comedy that will make you laugh unexpectedly, and even provide nostalgia trips.
High on Life is a game that is fun to play if you enjoy Roiland’s type of comedy mixed with Doom-style platforming. There are some things that seem like they are out of nowhere but play into the grand picture. If you like Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites, and other Roiland projects you will have a good time with High On Life.
High on Life was reviewed on an Xbox Series X using a code from Squanch Game. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. High on Life is available on the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.