D-Life (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 15.06.2023

Review for D-Life on PC

Mindware has a solid track record of niche arcade style titles for PC over the years. Cubed3 has already reviewed Alice and You: In the World of Numbers and has a fondness for the retro stylings of Mindware's library. Their newest game is promising something a little different: a whole new genre! Enter D-Life, a game about electric beings and photographing them. With its Steam release fast approaching, let's see what unique and quirky gameplay awaits!

D-Life's story is presented when players leave the game idle on the menu for a couple of minutes, or on the game's store page for an inquisitive reader. With the expansion of technology, scientists have discovered a new form of electron-based life. The player's task is to take photos of these life forms while fulfilling certain criteria defined by the game.

Presentation is very unique, with the game looking like a mini arcade game, something Mindware is very good at. Players can manipulate a few small visual options such as the price displayed per play and the colour/style of the price badge. Obviously, this is just visual, there is no pay per play in the game. The story is presented as a pixel art set of slides on top of the game screen with some text below, it's easy to understand and has a really good translation. Gameplay itself is supported by very unique visual stylings. The gameplay area is a tall rectangle in the middle of the screen in which there are a variety of coloured pixel lifeforms swishing around, the UI for this is also in a nice thematic font and is nice and easy to understand.

Screenshot for D-Life on PC

When it comes to playing D-Life, there are a handful of interesting things that at first playthrough will probably result in a game over. Taking the photos is an easy process, simply click and hold the left mouse button until it highlights the area players wish to capture, then let go of the button to snap it. The game will then tally up how many life forms of each colour were caught. If it's less than required it's game over, if it's more then it's game over, unless the extra colour is below 10. Add in bonuses for achieving over a certain number of life forms and it's a surprisingly challenging and fun gameplay loop that will keep players engaged for an awfully long time!

There are two modes in the game too. One which has 6 set levels to complete with no time limit, this has its own high score table. The other is a rogue-like mode in which players can choose a challenge to complete and receive bonuses based on the challenge and time limit per task. It's super compelling and also features its own high score table. The network aspect for the high scores ensures that players who find the game addictive and fun have something to achieve!

There is also a significant focus on the sound design. All sort of aspects of the game feed into the sounds the player will be hearing. The soundtrack by Yuriko Keino, also known for Dig Dug, Xevious, and Pac-Land, is wonderful to behold and weaves seamlessly into the movement of the life forms. Players have the ability to mutate each colour of life form which changes their attributes, so they move fast or slow, attract, group or push away other life forms and each of these mutations has an effect on the sound. This is also where a strategic element is weaved in for the main gameplay.

If players are lucky enough to own a Nano KONTROL2, an electronic musical instrument manufactured by KORG, they can make use of the knobs and sliders to get a much more unique and fine-tuned control over the electrons allowing for a very different gameplay feel!

Screenshot for D-Life on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

D-Life accomplishes something totally unique. Hidden behind its simplicity is a system of complexities, just enough to make for a strangely compelling time. The sound and visuals combine to make something otherworldly and entertaining. It would be a travesty to not recommend this cool and relaxing experience and so this comes highly recommended to all who have a Steam account and even more so to those who own the Nano KONTROL2!

Developer

Mindware

Publisher

Mindware

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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