Eight-year-old Jamie Last (name changeable) is a resident of the sleepy seaside town of Sunset Bird, California. Jamie lives with their mothers, Pamela and Noelani, and their older sister, Lizzie. As Jamie returns home one summer evening, they encounter a strange man. The man has a secret proposition: if Jamie befriends the man's son, he will give Jamie a twenty-dollar bill. The mysterious man turns out to be Mr. Holden, Jamie's new neighbor. After divorcing his wife, he has moved to Sunset Bird with his eight-year-old son, Cove. Little does Jamie know, Cove will become an important part of their life...
Our Life: Beginnings & Always is a wholesome visual novel created by GB Patch, and was released on November 16, 2020. It is the first installment in the Our Life series. The game follows the MC and Cove's relationship as it develops over the course of fifteen years. The gameplay is separated into four "steps" — Step 1 occurs when the MC and Cove are eight years-old, Step 2 occurs when they are thirteen, Step 3 happens at age eighteen, and Step 4 at twenty-three. Each step represents a single summer, and is divided into events called "moments." Within the moments, the MC makes decisions that shape both their and Cove's characters.
A second installment of the series, Our Life: Now & Forever, is in development.
This page contains minor unmarked spoilers.
Our Life:Beginnings & Always contains examples of:
- Almost Kiss: While on vacation with their families, the MC has the option to invite Cove into the RV's loft to sleep beside them. While there, the MC can attempt to initiate a kiss; but at the last minute, Cove becomes so nervous that he jumps up, banging his head on the roof and waking up everyone else in the RV.
- Amicably Divorced: Despite their divorce, Kyra Preece and Cliff Holden still seem to get along well. To the point that Cliff invites Kyra to stay with him and Cove one summer.
- A Rare Sentence: From Mom in "Sleepover" of Step 1.Mom: That's enough. Nobody here is a loser or a rotten egg. You're each farm fresh. ...Which is a sentence I never thought I'd say.
- Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Cliff has a few of these with Cove, like taking him to the beach when they first moved in or sharing the floor of an RV together, but Cove rarely enjoys them as a kid and young teen. 18-year old Cove starts to come around, though.
- The Big Damn Kiss: During the epilogue of Step 2, if the MC is romantically interested in Cove, the MC and Cove can have their actual first kiss. Cove instantly becomes embarrassed, and clamps a hand over his mouth while muttering to himself.
- Bonding over Missing Parents: In the Family Moment of Step 2, Elizabeth asks her mothers about her biological parents, and learns that she was born in the Philippines, and that her biological parents are dead. If the MC decides to ask their mothers about it, they learn that their parents are also dead. Elizabeth and the MC later discuss their shared circumstances and deepen their sibling bond.
- Bookends: Lampshaded by the MC when they propose to Cove at the end of Step 3.MC: "I found you crying because your life was about to be different, and now we're here again and you're crying for the same reason."
- The Bus Came Back: Shiloh and Jeremy reappear in one moment (Serependity) in Step 3.
- Childhood Friend Romance: If the MC and Cove become friends in Step 1, it is possible for them to go from childhood friends to lovers.
- Crush Blush: If the MC becomes romantically interested in Cove, Cove will often blush in response to any sort of flirting or physical contact.
- Dance of Romance: After they finish their meal at a charity dinner in Step 3, Cove will ask the MC to dance with him. Later, they have another opportunity to dance if the MC accompanies Cove to the hill behind their house.
- In one of the moments added by the DLC, the MC can invite Cove to a soiree at the country club. The MC can dance with Cove or choose to dance with a stranger who later turns out to be Baxter.
- Enter Stage Window: Cove climbs through the MC's window several times throughout Step 2 and Step 3.
- At the end of Step 3, the MC can climb through Cove's window.
- Fallback Marriage Pact: At the end of Step 2, Derek proposes that, if both he and the MC are still single in ten years, they should just marry each other.
- Family Business: Cove's father and Derek's father own a joint business. During Step 2, Cove and Derek discuss the possibility of one day taking over their fathers' business.
- Feud Episode: In the Talks Moment of Step 3, Cove and the MC's friends, Miranda and Terri have a falling out. Cove and the MC spend the day attempting to get the two of them to reconcile.
- Depending on the MC's reaction to Miranda and Terri's fight, they might end up fighting with Cove.
- Flowers of Romance:
- If the MC chooses to invite Cove to the soiree at the country club, and they tell him that it is a date, he will give them a flower. Specifically, it is the flower that they said was their favorite during the Long Day Moment of Step 1.
- The MC can also propose to Cove with a poppy at the end of Step 3.
- For Want of a Nail: Choosing a slightly different combination of choices may change the immediate outcome of a situation, and how characters react to other situations later in the game.
- Friendship Trinket: If the MC tells Cove in Step 1 about how his father offered them money in exchange for befriending Cove, Cove will become upset and begin to cry. His father, attempting to remedy the situation, gives Cove a twenty-dollar bill. Cove, in turn, gives it to the MC. If they insist that Cove keep the money, his father will tear the bill and give each of them half of it. The MC thinks of it as a token of their friendship.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The MC's first and last name can be changed upon character creation, and their first name can even be changed between "steps." The game also has a free voiced name DLC where there's hundreds of names that Cove could say in voiced lines.
- Her Boyfriend's Jacket: After being caught in a sunshower, the MC goes to Cove's house to dry off. If they request it, Cove will lend them one of his shirts.
- The "I Love You" Stigma: If the MC accepts Cove's confession in the epilogue of Step 3, and then visits his room that night, Cove will blurt out that he loves them. Cove then proceeds to become flustered because he fears that he has said it too soon.
- Literally Loving Thy Neighbor:While routes can be played in which the player never gets romantically involved with Cove, most routes involve doing so and art for the game shows that the protagonist canonically does.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Whenever Cove goes to visit his mother in Nevada, he and the MC are forced apart.
- Love at First Sight: It is possible for the MC to fall in love with Cove at first sight.
- Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: If the MC sneaks into Cove's room in Step 3 and decides to spend the whole night there, Cove's father will walk in on them the next morning.
- Pen Pals: The MC tells Lee that while Cove is staying with his mother, they keep in touch via letter.
- Shared Universe:
- Shout-Out: Early on there's a choice where you can say you hate sand and how it's coarse and gets everywhere.
- There Is Only One Bed: When the MC and Cove spend the night at Kyra's apartment, there is only one bed. They can offer to share the bed with Cove, but he insists on sleeping on the floor. If they prompt him again, he agrees but the trope is averted when he becomes so flustered that he is unable to do it.
- Twice Shy:
- Visit by Divorced Dad: Or, in this case, mom. At the start of Step 2, the MC and Cove find out that Cove's mom will be staying the summer at his house.
- "Wash Me" Graffiti: During the Hang scene in Step 3, Jamie can put this on Cove's car when they notice how covered in sand and dirt it is.