Hello Goodboy is a heartwarming and wholesome adventure game from Rolling Glory Jam and Freedom Games where you play as Iko, a good kid who, with a dog named Coco, tries to uncover the mysteries of your new existence in a mystical new realm.
A copy of this game was provided for the purposes of this review.
In Hello Goodboy, you play as soul referred to as Iko who wakes in a mysterious new world that we later infer is the afterlife, named Kuruto. You meet a golden retriever named Coco who acts as your guide in this new world. With your companion, you travel to different, seasonal realms in order to help those that reside there with differing needs and goals. However, you have a limited number of significant choices that you can make, so how you help the residents can make a bigger impact on both them and your own journey.
You are gifted an hourglass with four sand colors to represent the four major decisions you can make. Entering a particular realm counts as one of these decisions, and you may come across another while within one of these areas while helping the other souls. You are given other tools that can aid you on your journey if used appropriately.
The gameplay is very simple and straightforward, mostly just choice-making via dialogue and some minigames like puzzling wires in the right places or quick time events to hammer in nails. Most of the dialogue choices seem superficial, and, unless it is one of the significant decisions, I’m not sure those choices have as much impact on the overall game. They do add personality to your character and the other residents of Kuruto, giving each character a unique personality.
The story is certainly the main focus of the game, with the gameplay supporting it. Our journey with Iko manages to remain lighthearted despite death and regret being the primary themes. While I enjoy having an approachable take on these topics, this game is a bit too lighthanded in my opinion. These themes are so loosely represented that they could be easily missed or ignored. While wanting to stay uplifting and heartwarming, Hello Goodboy misses a truly impactful experience.
The art is a highlight for me with its charming style that is fitting for the heartwarming and wholesome experience. It is very much like we have stepped into a children’s storybook, which supports the overall feel-good and family-friendly vibe.
Hello Gooboy is a short game, only taking a couple of hours to complete, so it is perfect when you need a relaxed game to play in one sitting. With the sweet story, the light gameplay, and an overall comforting feeling, it is an enjoyable way to pass the time. I wouldn’t say this game is a must-play, but a nice choice for a quick and casual single-player game.
Hello Goodboy is available on PC via Steam and Epic, as well as on the Switch.