High on Life is a perfect match for Game Pass

high in life, the latest project from Squanch Games, is hard to recommend. This has nothing to do with the quality of the game, but is a result of the game’s hyper-specific humor. Unlike other comedy games such as portal 2 – which is filled with a variety of characters, each with their own sense of humor – high in life draws heavily from the comedy style of the studio’s co-founder and CEO, Justin Roiland Rick and Morty Fame.

But the game is not that specific Rick and Morty for which you can reduce a recommendation to a “yes”. Rick and Morty fans and a “no” for people who haven’t seen it. Even people who are mostly ambivalent about it Rick and Morty – like me – might find something to love (or hate) about high in life‘s jokes.

So how do you know if high in life will work for you before you spend $60 on it? How do you know your friend will like it if you decide to give it to him? You don’t and you can’t. But this is where Xbox’s Game Pass service can really work its magic.

Game Pass has earned a reputation for being a place to discover favorites and gems you may have missed. (This column is designed in part to highlight them). Small, popular games like The Door of Death can thrive there, and like niche titles signalis can become breakout hits. And it’s obviously the best place to find Xbox-owned games like the latest Gears of War or Halo infinity. But Game Pass is also the perfect destination for games like high in life.

high in life is a game that will either have you flinching enough to knock it out in the first 10 minutes or laugh your ass off until the game’s first boss. The beauty is that with Game Pass, any of these results are perfectly acceptable. You either find a new game that you look forward to playing through to the end, or you erase it from your hard drive forever and never think about it again – no harm, no foul.

The hero in High on Life wields a knife while firing a smiling eyed weapon

Image: Squanch Games

If you decide to stick with it high in lifefind a comedic mix in between Metroid Prime and demise (2016). Shooting is a bit slack and longer fights aren’t my favorite part of the game (although it gets better the more upgrades you get), but it works well enough that it doesn’t actively detract from the experience. The real fun in high in lifeThe gameplay of is exploration. Roaming around planets and searching for the bounty you’ve been assigned offers some cute environmental puzzles that you can help use one of your talking weapons to reach a new area and likely open a chest.

Ultimately, the game lives and dies on its bugs and characters, both of which are pretty funny. Kenny, your first weapon, is voiced by Roiland and sounds the same as Morty Rick and Morty. He babbles constantly and cracks clumsy jokes that vacillate wildly between charming and slightly offensive. The second weapon I found is Gus, voiced by comedian JB Smoove. Gus is delightfully laid-back compared to the hectic Kenny – although he still fits into the game’s irreverent, random, and often dirty sense of humor.

The game is also quite meta, and your guns will comment if you pause the game at certain points or try to shoot an innocent bystander. It even pokes fun at “rotten game design” and specifically mentions Polygon. high in life also quite often surprises with bizarre and unexpected interactions. At the beginning of the game I shot a non-violent NPC and he suddenly got a big health bar. When I killed it, Kenny congratulated me on killing a secret boss. Didn’t get any tangible in-game reward – I just got the joke. And that’s okay, because I’m here for the jokes.

Smaller games stand out on Game Pass because they’re relatively unknown until players find them and love them – like people scrolling through Netflix only to discover a hidden gem. high in life is a different kind of Game Pass game: a familiar commodity that looks like a simple jump, but becomes a surprise hit in your home because you have no reason Not to try it.

Gamers are often willing to shell out big bucks to enjoy something they love – just look at how expensive some MMO subscriptions are – but when a game you’ve paid for turns you down, it leaves you with a bad one taste in your mouth. If you eliminate that financial risk, and the only thing you can lose is a meager amount of time and disk space, you can take risks on games that might really surprise you. And for this holiday season, no game is surprisingly more entertaining than high in life.

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