Sawbuck Gamer

Relive Your Life

A Life Oddly Lived

Relive Your Life is at least as predictable as an actual lifetime.

By Anthony John Agnello • June 19, 2012

Matt Ackerman is no Dr. Seuss, but while the couplets in his rhyming narrative may not be the most polished turns of phrase, the developer does at least have a feel for Seuss’ slippery storytelling logic. Relive Your Life is a brief, subtly strange Choose Your Own Adventure. Kicking off with your conception, the game follows you through three or four pivotal choices in your life and concludes most often with the establishment of your adult identity. Mashing a button quickly to decide if you want to be a boy or a girl isn’t the strangest game activity in the world, but it’s pretty damn weird that deciding to skip school on your first day will result in you turning into Doctor Who.

Many of the game’s 29 lives are that surreal. A childhood fight results in your turning into a teenage goth girl. Not an unreasonable scenario. Before you get to make another choice, though, you’re making voodoo dolls to torture unidentified businessmen. Seuss never felt the need to tell you why Sneeches exist, but at least their actions are coherent.

So Life is difficult to predict at first. Whenever it throws a choice at you, it’s unknown if you’ll have to quickly tap a single button, enter a series of key strokes, or make a snap either/or decision. As you play through, though, you become a bit more accustomed to Ackerman’s curveballs. In this way, at least, his game captures something essential about living.

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820 Responses to “A Life Oddly Lived”

  1. Merve says:

    So far, I have become a drag queen, a supermodel, and a woman responsible for the end of civilization.

    • HobbesMkii says:

       I died in a car crash with two hot girls fighting over me.

    • Girard says:

       Ehhhhh… So far I’ve gotten the ‘winning’ ending (being a macho wrestling man), and a variety of female endings that include: supermodel, gold-digger, a woman who gets tied up by a terrorist (with a groan-inducing ‘Arabic’ accent) and passively leads to the world being blown up.

      I’ve got kind of a bad feeling about this game so far…

  2. Binsbein says:

    Didn’t know Newgrounds was still a thing since the Flash devs started monetizing their product as indie games.

    • HobbesMkii says:

       Yeah, I definitely have been shocked to see that the last two Sawbuck Gamer games were from Newgrounds. I wasn’t surprised to see that they’re little more than interactive animated shorts, though.

  3. Colonel Mustard says:

    If you’d like a much deeper live-your-life-over-again browser game, check out Alter Ego.  Just don’t eat the stuff under the sink when you’re a kid.

    • Merve says:

      This game is weirdly addictive.

    • jellybeanpill says:

      Oh god. I am mentally scarred for life from the time I was kidnapped, tortured and killed.

      The first time I played, I ran away, and became a small-time hero after remembering the license plate number. I guess when I tried it the second time, I was too unfit. Torture it was then.

      I loved that game, and it was what I thought of when I read this. But I can no longer play it, in case I get kidnapped again and have a (real-life) nervous breakdown.

  4. Haughty Todd says:

     I was born with a sister conjoined at my waist (two top halves, like Catdog) and we died when the Kardashian sisters stabbed us to death.  wat.