With modern-day gamers being just as engrossed in watching Twitch Streamers as they are playing games themselves, Developer Cheesecake Inc. has attempted to put the player inside the life of a streamer with their creation – Streamer Life Simulator.
The game looks to not only focus on the streaming side of the game but instead to allow the player to really make their character an extension of themselves. This is done through the game’s usage of open-world mechanics.
We have been sinking our teeth into the game for the last week in order to establish if this game is worth the hefty price tag (At Point of review) of $19.99/£15.49/R130.00.
You start the game waking up to the sound of gunshots and a dog barking. upon coming to your senses you go downstairs to find some unexplained guy effectively telling you to leave. He points you towards your PC part delivery by the door and sends you on your merry way.
The tutorial is very minimalistic, that is set out in the form of a small quest arc that really does take about 10 minutes to complete. For this reason, there isn’t really much to discuss here.
The streams are pretty much what everything in the game revolves around. After all, it is ‘Streamer Life Simulator’. However, the game aims to make you work for your success, a very good indicator of the struggles of a real-life streamer.
In order to pay for bills, food and other survival costs, the player is encouraged to get a job and use streaming as a bit on the side. With a shoddy internet and poor PC specs, you are stuck streaming at 144p and 30ps on a low bit rate.
This gradual progression at first feels fantastic, upgrading the RAM on my PC and moving to a new property with improved internet capabilities does feel very rewarding. And watching the subscriber count eventually surpass the point where I can stop going to work each day and focus my time on streaming is a compressed version of the joy that a real-life streamer must feel in the same situation.
The overall mechanics of the stream, the interactivity of it all and the minigames are all very enjoyable – Though at the same time stressful.
There are a small handful of minigames that are on Streamer Life Simulator that effectively make up a huge portion of the game, as these minigames are the games which you stream to the world. The games Include a fall guys spoof, a CS:GO Spoof as well as a The Witcher Spoof, with more to come.
The games are fairly enjoyable, counter strike being the main one with its own ranking system. the AI is hugely questionable, which in one hand is rather funny and entertaining to watch, but on the other hand, it does act as a constant reminder that this is just a game. Something simulators often serve to avoid.
The minigames are definitely made to a satisfactory standard though, and they don’t get boring particularly quickly. Besides, if you do find yourself getting bored with them, you can always toggle on ‘Just Chatting’ and become a Just Chatting streamer instead.
Open World mess
I’ve already touched on the AI issue within the minigames, and this extends beyond the “Virtual-Virtual world” and also engrains itself into the awful AI within the open world. Cars go crashing into walls and each other constantly.
People in their masses stroll around aimlessly, with the only boundaries set is the entrance to your houses. They will stroll around your garden like mindless zombies, before getting crashed into by a reversing delivery van.
This again is hilarious at first, but it soon becomes a burden. And I appreciate that Cheesecake Inc. has attempted to make this game open world in the efforts of placing the player into the shoes of the character, but unfortunately, the open-world just isn’t a fun place to be. And with the focus point of the game being on the streaming, the outdoor travelling and activities could have easily been replaced with a system similar to early sims games.
Upgrading The Streamer Set Up on Streamer Life Simulator
My most enjoyable moments on the game came with upgrading my streamer set up, The game has a magnificent number of product variations. Even taking into account that certain motherboards are incompatible with certain processors.
Within the PC case, you can upgrade the motherboard, processor, GPU, HDD and even 4 slots for RAM sticks. Getting a new part to fit into the build feels just as good as it does in real life.
In addition to this, the streamer set up is extremely customisable. Better monitors, camera’s, microphones, chairs, tables. You can even purchase greenscreens, lights and shelves that you can use to create your dream set up.
The Virtual Machine
A big part of Streamer Life Simulator is obviously the computing side of it. And the virtual machine within the game is incredibly well made. With the browser offering a vast number of websites you can visit, including key services like real estate, banking, food shopping and an amazon spoof where you can buy all of your furniture and PC parts.
In addition to all of these key websites, there are also a number of novelty sites that are there to just time waste and parody real-world websites. I will touch over this subject as the game is filled with punny products and website which doubles as a way of not treading on the toes of real companies and also adds a bit of humour to the game. And some of the puns are just worth being left for you to enjoy and discover yourselves.
Subscriber Increase Rate
This was my first proper gripe with the game, and unfortunately, it was one I only discovered upon reaching the end game. Where I had a maxed-out PC, House, Internet and I had money to burn.
The problem in question was the increase rate of subscribers. I am certain it is set to have a linear progression. Which the user has no way to influence beyond just streaming.
What I mean by this, is early in the game I had a poor internet, no money for advertising, really bad PC specs, low rank on the counter strike game. And I would make 100 subscribers in about half an hour.
Late game I had a Super Computer, I lived in the nicest house in-game with an internet-capable of streaming in 8k, I paid about $30k to advertise my stream on billboards around town as well as advertise online. I would grab a load of food so that I can keep the stream on for longer and I attempted to capitalise on this advertising… at a guess I would say I made about 100 subscribers in about half an hour.
I feel that Streamer Life Simulator has so much customization in the game that they need to make decisions and investments have an impact on the player efficiency and progression. As a simulator game, this should be the games number 1 priority. And this is something that could have been more finetuned had the game left out the irritating open-world ambitions.
Whilst streaming you often have these decisions pop up, You have to either tilt it left or tilt it right and select how you respond to the question. This will adjust the scores of the 4 categories listed above the screen. Though to this day, I still don’t know what they each mean or what this actually does to affect the viewer count.
The irritating thing is that whilst you are in the minigames these still pop up an awful lot. And they will get you killed one hell of a lot. You also sometimes have to defend yourselves from hackers and this task completely takes over the screen until you either successfully defended or fail the task. Though this one is more understandable that it can get you killed.
The game could definitely use a better system for these decisions, as losing a match due to a decision pop up is very frustrating.
The donation messages and subscriber notifications were handled a lot better than the Decisions. Where there was a “streamer lab” window with all of the dono notifactions on, so when you were did. You could load up the window and begin reading out the donations to the “Viewers”.
Stats and Their Influences(or Lack of)
In-game you need to keep track of certain needs. These needs are Food, Energy, Hygiene and bladder. Food and energy are important. as without energy, you can’t stream, and without food you deplete health.
However, with hygiene and bladder. I eventually found myself just ignoring them. As to use a bath it costs energy and it didn’t appear like there were any consequences for having zero bladder or hygiene anyway.
There are a hell of a lot of bugs on Streamer Life Simulator, some are funny to watch, others are incredibly frustrating. I was rather amused by watching a car getting launched across the stream. But then an hour later I found myself cursing the game as my bed became some unrecognised model on the screen that I couldn’t interact with.
Shortly after this, my computer ended up sharing the same fate. Before loading save and watching it happen again half an hour later.
I would note, Most of my bugs came when I was off of the ground floor. So the first time I discovered a game-breaking glitch was when I was in my apartment on the 3rd floor. And the next was when I set up my PC on the 2nd floor of my house. Moving it downstairs fixed it indefinitely.
These bugs are extremely regular, and again, if you are a player that likes to get immersed. This can really ruin that experience for you.
For the most part, the graphics on Streamer Life Simulator are satisfactory, though at times they aren’t. The word I’d use to describe the in-game graphics are ‘confused’ or ‘inconsistent’. What I mean by this is some graphics are perfectly fine. The houses look great, the characters look decent enough. But the map outside of your front doors is incredibly random. before I explain I will show you a few pictures to give you an idea –
So those 3 pictures are all taken in and around my in-game property, which is the most expensive one in the game. The place as a whole is meant to represent some rich suburban area. But the drug store is still there and looking as trashy as it does in the more densely populated areas. (The drug store is the Shed in the first image)
Then you have the street that my house is on… Or should I say lack of one. It appears that there should be a cul-de-sac peeling off that stretch of road where our luxurious manors should be. But no, there is just grass. One is a view from the road onto where my house is, and the other is the view from the upstairs of my house. Both look equally as bad.
On Streamer Life Simulator, The house customization is awesome. The furniture you can get for your house looks great, is incredibly well made. And although the majority of it is solely there for the aesthetics. I found myself gladly spending a lot of money customizing my houses kitchen and living room when they served no purpose.
Streamer Half Naked Whilst Streaming
When you stream with your camera on, whether it is a small window on the screen or full screen. the game appears to be bugged and your guy, even when wearing a shirt in-game. Appears on stream shirtless.
You could put this as a minor bug that will be ironed out soon but I do feel this is something that should have been noticed already. Little discrepancies and bugs in-game are excusable, But something with such a large presence in-game is not.
There isn’t really a story as such on Streamer Life Simulator, as a simulator game it is essentially there as a platform to create your own story.
One big problem within the game is the standard of English. And it is something the developers have informed me they are working on improving. Some of it is just poor English and other parts literally don’t make any sense.
The poor standard of English in the game isn’t a reason to drive people away though. As an indie developer who’s language evidently isn’t English they have done an okay job of getting it to a playable standard. and now with the help of the community, they are taking steps to improve it. Kudos to them.
The sound in the game is okay. That’s all that there is to really be said about it. I hadn’t any noticeable problems, slightly repetitive yes. But I never found myself getting irritated with any of the games audio.
So to conclude, I had a lot of fun playing Streamer Life Simulator. But it is worth noting the open world was unnecessary and somewhat dragged the game down slightly but I can appreciate why it’s there. The endless amounts of bugs are something that will need improving on but Cheesecake Inc. has acknowledged this themselves.
Is it the best game I’ve ever played, no? But I’ve chucked at least 20 hours into the game in order to get to the endgame. And I don’t look back and think it was a waste of time. Instead, I find myself waiting for a more complete game that will allow me to play it through again, and enjoy the finished product.
When reviewing a game I enjoy monitoring the companies userbase interaction. And what I see from My time on the Cheesecake Dev. discord is that since release they have worked tirelessly to improve the game. This includes listening to what people have to say, releasing an update once a day and really allowing the players to have a say on the future of the development. And that has my respect.
For the time being, I don’t think the game is worth the $19.99/£15.49/R 130.00, but if it either drops a little or the game makes the changes that it promises then you will have a game most certainly worthy of the ambitious price tag. Also, if you are someone who likes to find themselves assisting in a games development then Cheesecake Dev. is great at listening to the community and I would certainly recommend it for you.
**Note – I received a review copy from Cheesecake Inc. so that I could review the game, this has in no way influenced my views on Streamer Life Simulator, as per our Review Policy.
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