[Nintendo Switch] A Perfect Day Review
A Perfect Day from Coconut Island Games and Perfect Day Studio is an interactive story that will have you on an endless loop of the last day of the year. Check our A Perfect Day review!
A Perfect Day from Coconut Island Games and Perfect Day Studio is an interactive story that will have you on an endless loop of the last day of the year. Your task, should you accept it, is to help a schoolboy give a card to his favorite classmate. You’ll be reliving that day over and over again as you make different choices along the way that can lead to different outcomes. Think of it as the movie Groundhog Day, except that your character does not get to keep any memories from the day that has just ended. Oh, and you’ll also be working on making everyone around you have their own perfect day. It’s a game that has been inspired in part by the storytelling of Jorge Luis Borges.
Your journey as Chen Liang, the Leader of Pioneer Squad, after falling asleep during morning reading. The teacher scolds you and demands that you tell him what date it is. Since the actual day on which you’re playing the game is one of the options, that’s probably what you’ll end up choosing… but you’d be wrong. As the teacher says in the game, if it was 2023, why would you be in elementary school? That would mean you’d fallen asleep and just woken up from a 24-year-long nap! It’s actually the last day of 1999, and you’re a kid in elementary school in China.
This one is a visual novel, which means that you’ll be spending a lot of time reading a story that twists and turns with each new day, depending on the choices you make along the way. Since you’ll be repeating the same day over and over again, you’ll have to pay attention to everything that is going on so that you can see what can be done to not only get your own perfect day but also give everyone else a chance to have a perfect day as well. Some choices will be locked out if, for example, your character is too nervous. Be sure to check how nervous you are by pressing the R button!
It’s hard to talk about games like this one without spoiling too much of the story, especially if you’ll be going over the same day several times, but I’ll do my best by only mentioning a couple of elements you’ll experience during your time with A Perfect Day. You learn that Yang Fan, the Leader of the Pioneer Battalion, let others copy his homework. Guo Yi says it was all a lie made up by another student. Unfortunately, the teacher is not amused about them talking back, so they’re ordered to see him after class, which means they’re now doomed.
Oh, and Ke Yun, the study rep, is not in the classroom. It’s then that a loud knock is heard on the door. After the teacher allows the person to come in, it turns out to be none other than Ken Yu, the classmate to whom Chen Liang wants to deliver the aforementioned card. She says she overslept, but something feels… off. She was crying when she walked into the classroom. To make things even more bizarre, the principal’s voice comes through the speaker, notifying all teachers that vacation will start a day early, effective immediately. Teachers are instructed to help all students leave the facilities in an orderly manner.
Including New Year’s Day, students will have a total of 4 days off. But even if it is a holiday, they’re all required to work on their homework… while “enjoying” the holiday. With junior high right around the corner, everyone must work hard and take school seriously if they are to succeed. As soon as class is dismissed, Ken Yu quickly leaves the school and starts walking home. Chen Liang walks after her so that he can try to deliver the card. She lives on the top floors of the apartments above the People’s Bank.
This is when you’re presented with the first choice that will set a series of events in motion for the rest of the day. Since she lives above the People’s Bank, it would make sense to select the footprints icon on the bottom left corner of the screen to start walking toward the People’s Bank so that you can see her before she gets home. But even if you do manage to catch up to her, your route will be blocked by a person who’s murmuring to themselves something about a deadline that is due.
Because of this, you’ll fall a bit behind Ken Yu, but you’ll get to experience another part of the gameplay loop for A Perfect Day: choosing from the available dialogue options to reply to someone. This adult – who happens to like smoking – mentions that he didn’t see you, and since you’re rushing, he guesses you’re probably late for school. You tell him that everyone got the day off. When he asks why did that happen, you can either reply that you don’t know or that it’s none of his business. Will you try to speed up and try to catch up to Ken Yu? Or will you decide to keep your distance? What will happen next? You’ll have to play the game to find out!
A Perfect Day is an interactive story that will have you on an endless loop of the last day of the year. Instead of going the Groundhog Day route and having your character remember everything that happens on each day, he’ll start each new journey with no recollection of what has transpired previously… but you will! Can you help Chen Liang keep his nervousness in check so that he can complete the tasks needed for him to have a perfect day? Will you also work toward helping others have a perfect day as well? A Perfect Day is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag.
This A Perfect Day review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Coconut Island Games.