Developed by Rolling Glory Jam and published by Freedom Games, Hello Goodboy is a beautiful game about a little boy named Iko and a cute, yellow dog called Coco. Very few games today offer a perspective look at life and how different choices that we make affect our ability to perform in our lives. Our attitude about life and different things in it matters a lot in life and Hello Goodboy shows exactly just that. This unique and wholesome game is all about kindness and how you can make yourself feel good by simply making other people smile and fixing stuff. This is our review of Hello Goodboy on PC via Steam in which we mend some broken things with a magical toolbox and try to be as happy as possible.
Hello Goodboy is set in the afterlife world called Kuturo and you step into the shoes of a little boy called Iko. Iko has just entered the afterlife and has no memory left from his past and is confused and does not know what to do next. At this point, a cute little dog called Coco appears and starts to explain different things to Iko and also gives him different magical things including a magical toolbox and a magical hourglass before the two of them set out on a final adventure. However, time is pretty limited and Iko only has a few tries to make major decisions in the game including choosing which area to explore before his time is up and he must face his final challenge before he unravels the whole mystery of the afterlife.
The hourglass Iko receives is actually a counter and it allows you to make four main decisions in each playthrough. Two of them are for choosing which world you want to explore and two of them are utilized inside these worlds when you are exploring them. In Kuruto, you can explore four seasons Spring, Summer, Winter, and Autumn, and forge your very own story in each of these seasons. Each season presents you with a unique cast of characters that you can meet and help out with different tasks. Each character has its own perspective on life, and you will help them out or not depending on your mood and earn Joypieces while you are at it. Good deeds in Hello Goodboy will let you earn Joypieces which are a sign that you are filled with joy as you perform good deeds by helping out other people in trouble.
Each Season has its own unique world and is themed around it. You will find beautifully crafted levels in each season which are filled with different NPCs that you can interact with and perform different tasks for people to help them out. This is of course optional, and the game will give you an option to help out the NPC or ignore them. These choices will have an impact on your story and mood since helping out other people will give you Joypieces which make you happy and your bond with Coco will also grow strong. Deciding to help the NPCs in their tasks will allow you to take part in different, fun little mini-games about repairing. These QTE-inspired mini-games will see you screwing nails, hammering, and even sawing through different things. Each tool has its own unique mini-game and perfect inputs will allow you to complete the repair project even more quickly.
There are different cues in the game where you can initiate these mini-games. One of the most common ones is different broken items here and there will have a dark liquid in them called Blacquid which is the evil form in this game, and you will need to repair the item or object to make it go away. This Blacquid will also make you sad as it is depicted by all of the colors fading around you and the game’s visual aesthetics becoming dark and gloomy. Restoring the items to their formal glory will allow you to return everything back to life and filled with colors. Depending on the choices that you make through a single playthrough, you will either come out really happy or in the same gloomy mood that you went inside with. Helping others plays a vital role in Hello Goodboy and this is the overall theme of the game, and it is also the right way to play this game. While there are different endings for every season, if you truly play like a sadistic and refuse to help anyone in the game, there is one badge to unlock for this type of gameplay as well although I will recommend that you play it properly and be as good as possible in the game. As you progress in the game, you can clearly see the relationship between Coco and Iko grow stronger and stronger.
Throughout the journey, Coco will remain on your side and will be your guide in various aspects. All the way from the very beginning of the story where he gives you a sense of direction along with different useful items, Coco will be with you until the final battle where you will be helping it out instead. Coco can be interacted with at any time in the game. You can talk with Coco who will be more than happy to explain everything about the game’s world to you and will also fill you in with details about different elements of gameplay. After every interaction in the game or mini-game, Coco will have new insights for you so talking with Coco is always a good way to learn more about the game and its world. In return, you can pet Coco, rest with it, give it belly rubs, or scratch behind its ears to reward it and keep it in the good boy mood.
During a single playthrough, you will ultimately run out of time before you can experience everything that the game has to offer and a single playthrough is not enough to experience the whole game. Thankfully, it comes with a New Game+ option which will allow you to carry the stats from your first playthrough to the next one and so on if you want to play the game again after finishing it for the second time. There are different badges to unlock in the game and each season offers multiple endings so you can re-visit the beautiful worlds again to unlock additional entries for your journal as well. The true ending of the game is tied to a two-playthrough run of the game as well so you a lot of replayability elements in the game.
The visual art style of Hello Goodboy feels like a combination of a visual novel and a 3D game. In certain instances, it also feels like a hand-painted video game, and it just looks amazing. Each season is beautifully designed and really brings out the best of them. You will love the snowy pathways of the Winter season and the tons of leaves scattered all over the place in the Autumn season. Each season has its own charm, and you will easily recognize it as you are exploring the areas. The warm and beautiful visual style of Hello Goodboy is easily one of its most prominent features that I love. The same can be said about its light-hearted soundtrack as well which sticks to the background and perfectly complements the overall theme of the game. The character design is pretty cute as well.
Hello Goodboy is a beautiful, little game that will definitely lift your mood up and inspire you to do things that you might have been afraid of tackling before. This is the whole purpose of this game. It is in fact a message portrayed in the form of a video game and what an addictive and cute little video game it is. The gameplay mechanics are solid, and I loved the little, different mini-games that it offers while you are exploring Kuruto and its various seasons alongside Coco. The visual art style is really beautiful as well and it keeps you engrossed in the game pretty well. The narrative is pretty emotional, and the choices keep reminding you that with real-life choices, you face similar options as well and the end result of every scenario depends on your attitude and actions. As you spread happiness around in Hello Goodboy, you will feel it spreading inside you as well.
Hello Goodboy is the definition of warm and wholesome video games. Right from the start of the game, you start to feel a sense of warmth inside you as Coco leads you through the afterlife and makes you experience all four seasons and then finally face your worst thoughts face-to-face. The beautiful art style, the soothing soundtrack, and solid gameplay mechanics really make Hello Goodboy a worthy title to play if you love cute and cuddly titles. Coco is a brilliant partner for the journey, and you instantly fall in love with it. Hello Goodboy is not just a video game, it is a message for everyone about self-confidence and the fact that anything is possible if you have the heart for it. It is a game that everyone should play at least once because it opens your eyes to a lot of things around your life. A must-play game for everyone regardless of their preferences.
Final Score: 8.5/10