Living Alone 2 – Nihilism in South Korea

Aug 22, 2017
Casual

Living Alone 2 is a stat building game in the style of many flash games of the genre wherein you manage the university career of a Korean student.

A particularly perplexing introduction that may be, but Living Alone 2 indeed allows the player to live the life of an average South Korean university student, attempting to balance studies, rent and a social life, all focused around your primary needs such as eating, “toilet”, sleep and fun.

Living Alone 2 Review | Appolicious

Living Alone 2 is a stat building game in the style of many flash games of the genre wherein you manage the university career of a Korean student.: https://appolicious.com/living-alone-2-nihilism-in-south-korea

Each stat has a maximum value that is depleted from activities and jobs throughout the day. That maximum can be upgraded throughout the game, requiring even further balancing of your needs to ensure you have time to upgrade said needs. This balancing act does make sense in the context of the game, but doesn’t leave a lot of room for fun.

The entire game is constantly balancing your little guy’s needs and desires, all the while ensuring you work enough side jobs to pay rent. While it makes sense with regards to actual game balance to have to measure and plan all of your character’s stats, it becomes very confusing as to why you’re even playing in the first place. Generally speaking, one plays a game to achieve a particular purpose, whether that be achieving the end of the story, some high score or to fulfil a sense of purpose.

Certain games, like the fabled cookie clicker, inspire replayability based on the addiction in getting higher numbers. It is clear Living Alone 2 is trying to emulate this with a continuous cycle of minuscule rewards for obscure goals. When playing, it is almost as if you’re constantly tripping over tiny awards and honours that mean nothing and have little effect or relation to what you’re doing. Without any kind of relationship between the events of the game and the rewards you’re given, the player will obviously struggle to care about anything at all.

Without any kind of relationship between the events of the game and the rewards you’re given, the player will obviously struggle to care about anything at all.

This lack of connectivity between the player and their progress hinders the enjoyment of the game, ultimately making it feel disengaged from the main purpose. Namely, getting through university.

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The university aspect seems to be mostly unnecessary; the weird dynamics of Korean schools means that there are only two semesters, thus only two tests that have any effect on the gameplay. Because of this, most of the game is focused on the side jobs in a desperate bid to earn enough money for rent.

Alongside this, as you get more money, you can rent better places that restore more of your necessary statistics, meaning it’s always prudential to upgrade. But then, you discover the rent only gets higher and higher, meaning you need to work more and more jobs. The entire experience leaves the player wondering why they’re even playing at all; you progress just to progress more, but without any kind of fulfilling satisfaction at the end.

At the end of the day, Living Alone 2 feels more like a stark, nihilistic caricature of modern life, rather than a university student’s experience.

At the end of the day, Living Alone 2 feels more like a stark, nihilistic caricature of modern life, rather than a university student’s experience.

As a mockery of contemporary life, Living Alone 2 is depressingly accurate, but as a game it is confusingly irritating and short-lived.

LivingAlone2
Developer: 608Factory
Price: Free+
LivingAlone2
Developer: Sora Ryoo
Price: Free+

 

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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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