Square Enix has brought over their previously Apple Arcade exclusive title Various Daylife over to the Nintendo Switch with the team behind Octopath Traveller taking the helm, as is evident by the art design. Set yourself up in your new life as you help a settlement explore an uncharted continent by taking on various jobs around town to build up your stats that allow you to then go out to the wilderness and perform some quest which is where the more traditional RPG game elements come into play. Take a chance on Various Daylife with their experimental Cha-Cha-Cha combat system, allowing you to combo effects for big damage numbers.
The story of Various Daylife is one of exploring an uncharted continent and trying to claim a stake for the settlement that has set up a foothold that you now call home. This has left for quite a fun world to explore as you discover a fast travel system purely by chance on your first quest. So now you have to discover more of this continent and the leftover remains of the previous inhabitants and their technology.
Various Daylife incorporates an experimental combat system which goes by Cha-Cha-Cha, and is implemented by changing the opponents status, chaining status changes and taking the chance by attacking them for higher damage. At lower levels, it can be difficult to make use of the system due to it being so heavily reliant on MP to make the chains, however it becomes highly required to face the mini bosses and bosses due to the battles being designed around it; so be sure to grind up that MP stat.
There is not much of an interesting overarching story here, especially in regards to RPGs which tend to dive into save the world, defeat a divine being, or other over the top plots. But the more grounded approach to the storytelling allows for more personalised characters that slowly tell more of their story as you spend time doing activities with the potential party members.
- Interesting world
- Cha-Cha-Cha combat system is unique
- Fun character stories
The truly disappointing aspect of Various Daylife is that it was designed for mobile phones, and this can be seen throughout the entire game. There is very minimal input that a player has outside of combat and choosing jobs to go on, and even then, going on jobs is a fully automated sequence, not even including a cutscene of the job itself. Even when going out on quests, going to the end point of the quest is completely automated as you watch the party stroll along with no input.
The key feature of Various Daylife is the job system which is used to increase your stats, however you have to micromanage stat increases with decreases, stat multipliers that change daily, morale and exhaustion. If you burn exhaustion out, you end up with a massive penalty to your stat exp, to the point that you lose several in-game days of progress, in addition to actually losing several days to sleep. This is exacerbated as an issue due to the lack of any real input from the player aside from accepting the job and seeing the results.
- Mobile game port
- Punishing stat system
Final Score: 6/10
Various Daylife is a smaller RPG experience that provides an experimental combat system with the Cha-Cha-Cha system, although it is MP heavy on usage unfortunately, which doesn’t make for a fun early game. I feel like there would be more to explore in this franchise if the game wasn’t a port of a mobile release and was rebuilt for consoles with the basic functions like controlling your character in exploration or action input for the jobs, but alas, that is not an option. There is an interesting world to explore here but when you’re fighting through the micromanaging stat system, the lack of player input and the repetitive gameplay loop is enough to push most players away.
Thank you for checking out our Various Daylife Switch review, thank you to Square Enix (via Bandai Namco AU) for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: