Critical Play: Mysteries


I played Life is Strange after acquiring the game through Steam. Life is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure game. Based on the M rating of the game, I would guess that it was created for an older audience. The developer of Life is Strange explained that during development, the team wanted to “bring something new to the market.”

Formal Elements


In the game, you play as Max Caufield, who is a young photography student at a new school, Blackwell Academy. This is a single player game, but you do interact with other NPCs while playing.



As far as I can tell, the objective of the game is to explore the world and the changes made by changing Max’s decisions over and over again. The main objective is to find out the best course of action to make the world a better place.


As the user, you can interact with your environment. For example, you can talk to other schoolmates. Additionally, you can interact with objects, like Max’s journal or her locker. These items give you clues about the story.


Early in the game, Max witnesses a murder. As you rewind time and play parts of the game over, Max tries to figure out the best way to evade the murder.


I need to continue playing the game to get a better sense of the outcome. The player decisions seem to shape the world. I would venture to guess that there is no definite answer about how to play the game. Given that you can rewind time, I believe that there is likely some tradeoff at the end, composed of the decisions you make as the player.

Type of Fun

Life is Strange is similar to a visual choose-your-own adventure. The fun of the game is getting engrossed in the story.

Moments of Failure and Success


  • I was really surprised when the Nathan character pulled out a gun and killed the other student!
  • The time travel quirk also really caught me off guard, and I thought it was cool.


  • Some of the dialogue was a little weird. A character said “frowny face.”
  • Occasionally the voice acting did not synchronize well with the visuals.

Potential Improvements

The movement in the game is slow. I know it does not really fit the vibe of the game, but I would have appreciated the ability to move faster. Especially with the time rewind quirk, I found myself slowly walking the same path multiple times over.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.