Ciao Bella (Ciao Bella: la Bella Romanza) blends life and romantic simulation games to create a fun and bubbly game experience with a story structure at the core. In Ciao Bella players are put in charge of Elena and must get her through her hectic life in one piece as you manage all facets from health, culture, family, work and harmony. In order to achieve this you’re given complete control of Elena’s actions as you build out her career, spark a relationship with boyfriend Elio and maintain her health.
Ciao Bella opens with Elena receiving a call from her (hopefully) soon to be mother in law Teresa who intends to set up a reunion restaurant date between Elena and Elio who have been away from each other for over 2 years. No sooner have you gotten off the phone the first of many family crisis events unfold with their sisters wedding being cancelled. Solving these events serve as the primary side activities to your own life and are generally resolved by visiting a certain location, engaging in dialogue or completing a particular action and need to be factored in carefully into your daily plans.
With your first two objectives established Ciao Bella begins full blown tutorial mode as it teaches players of the available game activities and the linkage to needs. These activities alter based on your game location such as home, work or the local cafe with locations also having particular opening hours. Being at home for example offers options such as sleeping, eating, make-up, reading, watching TV or cleaning while the cafe will offer eating and work. Some activities also act as mini games such as playing tennis, making food and even driving to reduce travel time.
Your ability to manage Elena’s life and her affairs with all of these game elements at play will undoubtedly be pushed to the edge as you try to balance elements of her life, career and overall well-being. This story is split across 13 different game chapters each with their own unique game objectives tied to Elena and her family. If you can make the right choices and solve enough family problems during these you’ll finish the game with an engagement ring on your finger.
Part of these key choices just like in other life simulation games is the improvement of Elena’s stats in a number of areas while also maintaining her core needs like food, sleep and happiness. The game is significantly more structured than games such as The Sims series though which has it’s pros and cons. On the one hand the structure provides identifiable objectives for players to chase. However, while these objectives can generally be done in various ways there is always an optimal solution which can hurt replayability of Ciao Bella. Ciao Bella is also an extremely short adventure at around 2-3 hours with diligent players able to max out their stats fairly early on leaving little to do but follow the story content.
This means that Ciao Bella is best as a discount purchase for those seeking a simple casual life simulation game with the understanding that you’ll probably only want to play it once or twice due to its lack of sandbox style freedom.
- Simple and fun life simulation experience with a story structure that follows the love and family of Elena.
- 13 different levels with their own personal and family objectives to overcome,
- A range of mini games from tennis to driving to break up the core Ciao Bella gameplay.
- Manage your health, culture, family, work and harmony stats by completing particular activities regularly.
- Visit a vast range of locations complete with NPC characters such as the cafe, church and the mall.
Review Platform: PC