Life Is Strange is an interactive fictional game that delivers a powerful message about choice and how it will affect the lives of others. Unlike other time travel stories, Life Is Strange’s time travel elements are not explained and is much stronger for it. Rather than wasting time discussing what causes the time travel, the game focuses on the characters and the struggles they face. While the game has only two major possible endings, the choices the character makes will greatly determine how the story will unfold. Because the player plays through the perspective of Max, the player will experience the relationships and choices the player makes directly through her eyes and see how it affects her and the people around her. The time travel and clue based puzzles along with dialogue options pushes players into this world and discusses important topics like bullying, suicide, and euthanasia.
As the events of the story unfold, the protagonist Max quickly learns that there is much more going on in Arcadia Bay than what it seems at first glance. She tries to uncover what is happening while trying to keep her personal and educational life in check. The game does this by providing gameplay that primarily involves dialogue trees, exploration, and puzzle solving either through dialogue or to progression through the story. Most of the game’s choices are not morally binary and are presented to be morally gray. They are not designed to be right or wrong answers, but choices between what Max wants and what others want, which quickly becomes an important theme and is contextual to the last decision of the game. Chloe’s character throughout the story evolves from being selfish and stubborn to being a great friend and companion, and when the narrative comes to a close, she will lose her selfish attitude for the benefit of the ones she loves. Max’s journey takes her to several locations and themes. She begins the story as a shy introvert who wants to be cool and popular. But throughout the game, she is encountered with friendship issues, moral dilemmas, and life threatening events that strengthen her character so that when the end of the game arrives, she would have learned about the power of friendship, sacrifice, and the potential dangers of using time to get what you want.