With nine days left in The Good Life's second crowdfunding campaign (opens in new tab), developer White Owls Inc, helmed by Deadly Premonition creator Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro, released a free demo earlier today, which you can download here. Just extract it to a folder and run the topmost application. You'll need a gamepad to play it—ideally an Xbox controller, because let me tell you it does not play nice with PS4 controllers.
The demo drops you in Rainy Woods, a surprisingly sunny city, as Naomi, a photographer with a massive debt to repay. I didn't run into any bugs in my time with the demo, but it is an incredibly early build with no menus or instructions to speak of. Here's a quick rundown: aim your camera with the X button, zoom with the d-pad, snap photos with the right bumper, and interact with items and people with A.
I can't say for sure whether the game's much-vaunted animal transformations are in the demo. At the very least, I couldn't find a way to activate them. The best I could do was photograph a red utility truck after blockading it with a garden gnome. Nevertheless, as previously reported, everyone in Rainy Woods turns into cats and dogs once a month. Once Naomi discovers this, she can "turn into a cat and climb up to high places, scratch walls, and steal fish and chips from kitchens" or become a dog and "dig holes, follow scents, and swim in rivers and lakes." It's one of The Good Life's many quirks (opens in new tab), not the least of which is that it turns into a murder mystery as Naomi becomes more involved with Rainy Woods.
The trouble is, at the time of writing The Good Life's Kickstarter (opens in new tab) has only raised $330,300 of its $623,759 goal, and again, has just nine days left. So unless we see one heck of a second act twist, it likely won't reach its funding target. However, as Swery told Eurogamer (opens in new tab), White Owls says that "even then, [we] have no intention to stop the project."