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A recap: Life is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure released by Square Enix back in 2015 for consoles and PC, though my experience with the series actually began with its prequel series, Before the Storm. Of course, I’d heard about Life is Strange around the time, but never got around to playing it. So many people talked about this quirky adventure that I almost felt like I had.
By the time it attracted my interest the ending had already been spoiled for me and I didn’t want to get invested with the story or its characters. When I stepped out of my bubble and gave it a chance though, I found myself getting lost in the story of Max and Chloe. Still, its arrival on iOS (and Android soon) coincided with my recent acquisition of a shiny new iPad, which made this the perfect time for me to finally step back and see where it all began.
Max is an eighteen-year-old photography student with the ability to rewind time at will. But… doing so has a butterfly effect that can have massive implications across the entire timeline. Most of her choices are focused around helping her friend Chloe who in the first episode is shot in the bathroom while Max is trying to calm herself down. A storm is brewing because of her changing time and events, but the outcome depends ultimately on the choices she makes.
The story can change depending on the choices you make, but Max and Chloe end up biting off more then they can chew. From figuring out why David, Chloe’s step-dad, is acting hyper aggressive to following the line of reasoning behind other people’s actions it can get hairy pretty quickly. In the midst of everything going on Chloe must also deal with school like supporting one of her friends when she’s the victim of bullying and discovering evidence following a fairly disturbing incident.
I love making choices and watching the story evolve organically around them. Besides being on able to play from the comfort of my bed, not much has changed with this mobile Life is Strange. Max and Chloe are still thrown into one situation after another with both girls struggling to find a balance in each other’s lives.
The only main difference were the technical issues between the iOS version and others that impacted my gameplay from time to time. My iPad is fairly new (2017 edition), but I still experienced some jarring technical issues. Whenever Max explores her environment, rewinding time, etc., there was odd stuttering when transitioning from talking to characters or the world adjusting to a rewind. Frame rates would start to drop for no apparent reason and the screen would freeze up for a second before returning to normal.
At first, I thought my iPad was overheating, but even after letting it cool down a few hours I still had the same issues. I’ll chalk this up to a fairly recent-generation game being squeezed onto a platform it wasn’t meant for.
Technical issues with this mobile Life is Strange edition, it’s fun to step in with Max and to explore her world from behind a touchscreen instead of a console or computer. It’s incredibly convenient and the nature of the material translates well to the platform that I wasn’t expecting. If anyone misses Max and Chloe, or like me never got around to playing the series, now’s the chance to experience it – then you’ll be ready for the prequel series!