Flix & Chill 2: Millennials is described as a ‘dating sim’ and is the sequel to last February’s cult hit Flix and Chill: The Game. More than a ‘sim’ it is a series of interactive short stories played out over four episodes with your choices affecting the romantic outcomes of the 20-something cast of characters. Normally, I would not pay a game like this much attention but having heard good things about the original, I decided to check it out with an open mind.
The four episodes each centre on a different character in a different setting. We start with Melanie out at her first rave before moving on to Frank, an over-worked and underpaid programmer. We then follow the story of Rose and Jackie at an open mic event before guiding José and Elena through an art exhibition.
As the title suggests, there are many references to modern life and the ‘millennial’ generation: People stuck in low paid tech & marketing jobs? Check. 1st World Problems? Check. Slam poetry? Check. Jokes about cat jokes? Check. Shia LaBoeuf reference? Check. Hipster coffee shop-bookstores? Check. Existential philosophy. Check (Surprisingly though, no ‘Flix and Chill’ moments beyond a kiss and a fade to black….)
Jokes and references aside, the main focus of the game is on the stories and the characters. These are well-written, engaging, and at times bring laugh out loud moments. You get a sense of how each character is struggling with something, whether that’s their job, their relationships, or the general direction of their life and it is up to you to help them.
As a player, you don’t have a lot to do. You simply explore each scene, talk to the characters, and make your dialogue choices. If you are into interactive fiction and visual novel style games, you will enjoy the gameplay as it is a short and sweet example of those genres done well.
The visual side of the game is very much appealing with a simplistic but distinct cartoon style. One cosmetic change from the first game is the addition of faces to the characters (though the ‘faceless’ style of the original is referenced in one episode). The background music is very catchy and adds to the atmosphere of each setting – you may well find yourself humming it when away from the game if you’re not careful!
One issue that effects the game is balance. Episode 1 (Melanie) has five different endings, each of which changes the feel of the story considerably (ranging from good friend Melanie to bitchy Melanie and some shades in between). I played through this episode a few times and enjoyed each playthrough as a different experience. The other episodes, by contrast, only have a couple of possible outcomes and the story that gets you there is largely the same (in a nutshell, you hook up with a specific character or you don’t). The only motivation for replaying the episodes is to get all the achievements, roughly doubling the playtime (I finished the game in just under two hours and then spend two more exploring the different endings). There are some nice touches of continuity between the episodes, however, as some of the same characters pop up to connect the various settings.
Is this a ground-breaking moment in PC gaming? No. Is this a game for everyone? Probably not. Is this a fun story to entertain yourself with for a couple of hours? Is it worth less than the price of a unicorn frappalapacino? Yes, and yes! These are relatable stories that, as José puts it, shows millennials “just living their lives like the previous generation did.” Deep reflections for a dollar!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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