Life Is Strange #5 - PlayStation 4 PS4 PS3

Life Is Strange may just be the best teen drama that John Green didn't write. DONTNOD's goosebump inducing adventure wears its young adult fiction inspirations proudly on its polka dot sleeve, but while it skips on The Fault in Our Stars' terminal illness plot device and Paper Towns' amateur detective vibes, it offers its own intriguing gimmick: time travel.

Max Caulfield represents more than just your average The Catcher in the Rye reference: she's a Blackwell Academy photography student with a gift. When she witnesses the murder of tween pal Chloe Price in the school toilets, she rewinds time in an effort to save her – a decision which threatens to forever alter the fate of sleepy American suburb Arcadia Bay.

By the end of the series the Parisian developer manages to insert its head so far up its own rectum that it can see yesterday's eggs and bacon, but that should take nothing away from the mesmerising moments that pock the plot; a desperate rooftop exchange, a paraplegic, an assisted suicide – the studio pummels your "feels" neurone over the course of ten or so utterly engrossing hours.

"Life Is Strange is equally special when it keeps its Converse in everyday territory"

But to focus Life Is Strange's successes solely on the #Emotion hashtag would be a mistake, because this game's equally special when it keeps its Converse in everyday territory. An early sequence sees you skulking down the Blackwell Academy corridor to soft indie sounds, internalising opinions on all of the characters that will ultimately play secondary roles in the release.

And then there's Chloe Price, the blue-haired teenage tearaway upon which the whole plot pivots. Mourning the loss of both her father and best friend Rachel Amber, she's the hardy yet heartbreaking type – a steely girl with a sentimental side. It's impossible not to fall a little bit in love with her, and even though the conclusion plays on that, it ultimately makes all of the character building worthwhile.

But for everything that the developer gets right, this is not a perfect game. The writing, for instance, can be hella awkward at times, and when it attempts to introduce more traditional mechanics such as stealth, it falls flat on its freckled face. But like a John Green novel, it's a page turner, constantly tantalising you with narrative nuggets that will keep you hooked until the end of the world.

Life is strange – but it's also tough and touching. DONTNOD's attempt at telling a very human story with a sci-fi twist may be ham-fisted and clumsy at points, but we'd gladly turn back time if it meant that we got to experience it fresh all over again. And that really is the mark of a truly great game.

Are you an Arcadia Bae, or do you reckon that we're not cereal with Life Is Strange's selection in our Game of the Year list? Caul-field us out in the comments section below.