Adventure of a Lifetime is a short, yet satisfying visual novel that takes place on the remote Ogasawara Islands. It does have a rather average story and some blurry art, but the game’s setting and short length pretty much make up for it.
Short length. Adventure of a Lifetime is a rather short visual novel, but it actually works in favor of the game. Considering the type of story it contains (that of an ordinary slice of life), the short length prevents it from dragging on and losing its appeal. There is not a whole lot of that deep, “fluff” content (like the protagonist contemplating human existence for several lines) that fills many VNs released today. This VN forgoes most of that and instead gets right to the point. Yet somehow, the character routes still do not feel rushed. It was a nice balance, enough so to hold my interest throughout.
Great setting. The game’s setting is by far my favorite thing about it and is really what carries it to its above average status. It takes the tried and true generic high school love story, with a generic main character, and completely rehashes it to fit the setting of this remote island chain 1000 kilometers south of Tokyo. The story molds itself around this setting, including what one would expect from a remote tropical island. This includes diving, wrecking, typhoons, and even a dolphin companion. It was really quite interesting to see such a story develop in a setting like this.
Average story. Despite the short length and great setting, Adventure of a Lifetime is not saved from having a rather average story. It is the type of story that is fine when reading through, but will be forgotten in a month or so. As mentioned previously, the setting is what sets it apart from other generic high school romance stories. Take away that and what is left is just a normal high school romance, with a generic main character and all. Even given the setting, the main character is not really that well developed outside of his aspirations for the future. Given the game’s short length, this is expected, as most of the development is focused on the two heroines.
Blurry art. For a visual novel released in 2018 (both the Japanese original and English localization), I was a bit disappointed with the game’s art, specifically the resolution. The art itself is fine, nothing too special, but not bad either. However, the resolution it is displayed at is a bit questionable. The game zooms in on a lot of the different CGs and characters, so the blurriness of these assets is quite noticeable. This even happens at the game’s default resolution of 1280×720, so it is not entirely the fault of the upscaling. Additionally, the on-screen effects that come up during play seem to be at a higher resolution than the game’s backgrounds, characters, and other CGs. This creates a rather bizarre contrast between the two.
The story may be average and the game may have some blurry art, but the setting and game length make up for these faults. It is a nice little love story that is great to experience in the moment, even if it may be forgotten in the long run. It can easily serve as a nice break from other, more serious VNs, so I would recommend it as such.
You can buy Adventure of a Lifetime on Steam here.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.