Anyone who has dabbled in creating a YouTube channel knows just how hard it can be. Whether you’re chasing the current trends, hoping to make a splash with your personality, or want to forge a new path, nothing else feels like more of a grind. This is the essence that Youtubers Life 2 manages to replicate, and I can’t say that it feels much better when gamified.
You get to create your character before anything else, and I want to point out how refreshingly open it is. You can choose your gender, but clothes and all body customisation options are open for you to use regardless of your choice. I was surprised to see this level of freedom in character creation, but it makes sense because you can truly create your own unique persona to share with the world through videos.
You begin your journey in Youtubers Life 2 as somewhat of a nobody. Once you arrive, you’re directed to your home and taken through a fairly lengthy but necessary tutorial that demonstrates how to make videos or take photos to build your following. Cross-promotion between social media and video is key, adding a layer of strategy that replicates what a career on YouTube requires. After the initial burst of action, you’re left to your own devices, to a degree. There’s a story to follow, but it really doesn’t add much to the game. The core focus is building your subscriber count by making as many of the best quality videos as you can.
The meat of Youtubers Life 2 is building your subscriber count by producing videos. You’re able to do this from a few set points around the world or in your home through various stations. There’s no pressure to put yourself in a box and create one specific type of video unless you want to.
To capture a video, you position your character and start recording. You need to choose from a set of cards across a few interactions to create video clips. Initially, you don’t have much to work with, but you can acquire new ones over time with cash and experience. The interactions you choose produce video clips that you then need to edit together, which is where things get tricky.
Each video clip has transition links that should hook up to corresponding links on other clips. You need to arrange your clips in the right order to create the best, most coherent video possible. This is more complex than it sounds, especially at the start because you can run into a situation where you have some clips that simply don’t link with any others. Once a video is uploaded, it earns you subscribers and money. As in real life, you need a significant number of subscribers to generate a decent amount of cash from your content. You can purchase upgrades to make the editing process easier and improve your videos, but ultimately, it’s time that will see you grow.
Adhering to current trends is essential. If you can get a video up on the current hot game or event, then you’ll likely see a big boost to subscribers. Snapping a picture with a celebrity like PewDiePie also doesn’t hurt. This is where the game slows down significantly, and it’s not helped by your energy gauge. Recording, editing, and other actions use up energy, which you can only replenish by eating or sleeping. It costs precious cash to eat, so sleeping is the best alternative. It feels as though this mechanic was made to favour sleeping, deliberately, to stretch out your overall play time.
The daily grind is briefly forgotten when you head out into the new open world setting to explore for fresh new shots. If the game didn’t have this setting, nothing would distract you from the grind. Thankfully, there are tasks you can take on to earn cash outside of your budding content creation career, and even relationships to pursue with certain characters.
There are several life simulation elements to the game that should appeal to you if you love Animal Crossing: New Horizons and want something a bit closer to reality. However, you can’t fully customise the city, leaving you feeling as though the game is in-between genres, without quite hitting the mark on either. A real low point for the game is its loading times. Every area you move into has a loading screen, and it takes upwards of ten seconds for that new area to load in. This kills your buzz while playing and can harm that feeling of progression that is otherwise present at all times.
In a way, Youtubers Life 2 perfectly embodies the hopes and dreams of everyone who has ever tried to create a Youtube channel and failed. The grind takes up so much time that, as you get to experience in the game, the only way to truly make content creation a success is by focusing all of your efforts on it. There is, however, a drive to continue and see your channel grow. It quickly becomes addictive and could see you through a good twenty hours before you’ve seen everything it has to offer. It packs a lot into a single game, and that variety prevents it from getting too monotonous.
Youtubers Life 2 £34.99
Youtubers Life 2 perfectly encapsulates the grind of growing a channel on Youtube without the stress that comes with it in real life. Side activities and subscriber growth keep you coming back, but the game feels like more effort than it should at times.