UNTIL DAWN (PS4)
This Sony exclusive stayed under the radar until a bit after it actually came out back in 2015. After people started to see how fantastic it was, the game then proved to be one of the best horror games in recent years. Similar to Life is Strange, Until Dawn has you making very difficult choices which makes up for the base of the game. Every decision you make is very important if you want to keep all of the characters alive by the end of the game. There are dozens of endings that entice players to start the game over upon completion just to see what would have happened if you took that other route or if you had not said that one mean thing about that one character.
The choices are crucial in Until Dawn, but unlike Life is Strange, you can’t rewind time if you don’t like the outcome; these young adults do not harness the power of time travel, unfortunately.
REMEMBER ME (PC, PS3, XBOX 360)
After playing Life is Strange, you will definitely notice how Dontnod’s previous title, Remember Me, influenced the rewind and fast forwarding mechanics in Life is Strange. Not only does the main character of Remember Me, Nilin, look just like Max (well, kinda), but both games share similar aspects in regards to Nilin’s Memory Remix ability.
Remember Me is an action game – first and foremost- that has a unique combo system. There are moments where you must remix a person’s memory to solve conflicts in the plot. You essentially can make people feel a certain way or even stop things from happening completely by rearranging a room for example, and making sure that a certain character can’t die. Being a totally different genre of a game, Remember Me is something that Life is Strange fans can definitely appreciate and hopefully see how it influenced the latter.
FIREWATCH (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE)
In Firewatch, you play as a man who volunteers as a fire lookout in a national park set in Wyoming. He found out that his wife has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia which causes him to take the job during the summer – as a means of escape. Firewatch is a first-person mystery game that one would call a “walking simulator” of sorts. There are no enemies to fight or complicated puzzles to bash your brain on, but what Firewatch does is give you an interesting relationship between the main character and his superior, Delilah.
You talk through a walkie-talkie and take orders from her. As the story progresses, you can choose what you say to her and her responses and overall attitude towards you will alter. Do you flirt back with your superior? Or do you stray from acting fresh with her, constantly thinking about your sick wife back home? Like Life is Strange, Firewatch challenges you to create your own Henry and to put yourself into his shoes and to make decisions that will ultimately change the path of the game.
TELLTALE’S THE WALKING DEAD (PS3, PS4, XBOX 360 XBOX ONE, PS VITA, PC, MOBILE)
Telltale Games continue to put out content based off of other properties; one of their most successful title is the first season of The Walking Dead, which puts players in the role of Lee, who runs into a girl named Clementine. The pair must then help each other to survive the crawler-filled world. All of Telltale’s games are point and click/choose your own adventure titles that use choices to form the story. Like Life is Strange, the first season of The Walking Dead forces players to think hard and long before they make decisions. Especially towards the end of the game when one choice can shape Clementine into a completely different person down the road in the other seasons.
BEYOND: TWO SOULS ( PS3, PS4)
Quantic Dream is no stranger to putting their main characters through some pretty harsh situations, from having a man’s son killed to Jodie being shun by all of her peers at a young age in Beyond: Two Souls. You play as Jodie from childhood to adulthood, learning about her powers that seem to be tied to an entity that has been following her for her entire life. It’s almost a coming-of-age story that shows you how hard it was for Jodie growing up and the tough choices that she has to make – mostly because of her “problem.”
Beyond: Two Souls’ action-driven narrative strays a bit from the past Quantic Dream title Heavy Rain but they both share similar aspects to Life Is Strange simply because of the main character alone. Jodie and Max both possess some pretty interesting – shall I say – superpowers that prove to be a gift and a curse for the protagonists, helping yet hurting them when it most inconveniences them. The paths that they both follow are hard ones, ones that nobody but them has to go through and experience.
NIGHT IN THE WOODS (PS4, PC)
After dropping out of college at the age of 20, Mae returns to her small hometown looking to reconnect with her old friends when she discovers a terrible secret hidden away in the forest. Some pretty intense themes are covered during the duration of the story like depression and mental issues. Night in the Woods follows a pretty linear story that is played in the vain of an adventure game but there are certain choices you can make that might let you discover a backstory to some of the townspeople. It’s your decision whether or not to hang out with said person but there can be rewards to having certain conversations with a set number of critters.
THE LONGEST JOURNEY ( WINDOWS, PC)
The 1999 point-and-click adventure game that is The Longest Journey may have come 15 years or so before Life is Strange, but both games have glaring similarities that need to be brought to light, one being that they both take place in a location with Arcadia in the name. But that’s not the only interesting part.
The main character of The Longest Journey, April Ryan, is an 18 year old introverted female who gains the ability to travel between two different dimensions. One day, April is tasked with saving the world by bringing balance between two parallel universes. The art student finds out that she is capable of shifting, which then prompts the start of the puzzle-solving point-and-click adventure game. If you’re a fan of Life is Strange, at all, then The Longest Journey might be the next best choice as an “introverted art student saving the world” type of game; the game is available on iOS devices if that is something that sounds like it’s up your alley.
GONE HOME ( PS4, XBOX ONE, PC)
Gone Home tells a two or so hour story of a girl who comes home from overseas to find that the house has been deserted. The family home in Portland, Oregon is filled to the brim with clues and notes, explaining what really had happened in the huge yet empty house. What’s really unique about Gone Home is that there are no other characters or people in the game, only you (the player) and the home, which is a character in itself. The narration, art style, and just the whole vibe of the events that happened are definitely reminiscent of Life is Strange. There’s a set story here in Gone Home and clues to find that push the overarching story along, but taking place in Oregon gives the game a sort of eclectic feel that shares aspects with Life is Strange’s Arcadia Bay.
DREAMFALL CHAPTERS (PS4, XBOX ONE, PC)
Dreamfall Chapters is actually a sequel to The Longest Journey. Coming out for PC and then PS4 and Xbox One, Dreamfall Chapters is a 5-part episodic adventure game that continues the story of The Longest Journey and the two parallel universes of Arcadia and Stark. Just like Life is Strange, Chapters features a linear plot, but the difference is that in Life is Strange, there are two endings that you can choose to happen, and only one set outcome in Chapters.
There are still tons of choices to make throughout the story but they only impact later plot points and do not influence the ending at all. One cool feature was that while you’re making a decision, you can see the percentage of the choices to see what the majority of other players chose – but only if you linked the game to the internet. Adventure games usually show the percentage after the choices are made but Dreamfall Chapters chose to reveal the stats to players while they are making that big decision.
BROKEN AGE ( PS4, XBOX ONE, PC, VITA, MOBILE)
Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions, or otherwise known as the king of adventure games, gave us another hit back in 2015 with Broken Age. Broken Age told the tale of two teenagers, Vella and Shay, who both wanted to break conventions and do something different with their lives that didn’t involve following in everyone else’s footsteps. While Life is Strange takes a more modern approach to the adventure game genre, Broken Age is exactly what you would expect from an adventure title made by Tim Schafer.
Shay and Vella both live in separate worlds and you can switch between them at will but they never interact with each other in any direct way. These two characters share the same ideas and thoughts even though one lives in space and the other is tribal girl. The otherworldly and parallel universes theme fits well with Life is Strange’s overarching plot, which is why we can put both games together under the same category.