Erunatyan strikes again with a phenomenal adventure game in the likeness of the lesser-known Festival. The world is surprisingly intricate and is much bigger than it seems at first glance. Also surprisingly, the game does a fantastic job at keeping you pointed in the right direction. You'll pass a seemingly innocuous object, but later get a related item and have to return to that spot. It's pretty rare to see this balance of openness and pointedness in adventure games.
The actual platforming is always interesting, utilizing both unique triggers and Mario-themed gimmicks, as well as a certain recurring character. The traps are mainly the kind that will bungle you once, and are never terribly frustrating. Some parts do become puzzley and pretty precise, but for the most part nothing is really hard to decipher.
Of course, a review would be incomplete without mentioning the game's namesake: the Thug Lifes. No, that's not a typo. Basically, there are various spots in the game where doing something cool or badass will result in a neat, funny little cutscene. Unfortunately, the game does play these cutscenes every time you activate the trigger, and this does cause for some frustration in certain places.
As a non-Japanese speaker, I only had two major qualms. First off, I had no way to know that the true end required a certain amount of each ingredient. Given that all of these are hidden behind very tedious parts of the game, getting more becomes annoying quickly. Secondly, you are required to talk to exactly one NPC in the entire game, who asks you a question. Answering the question at all allows access to one of the ingredients, so not knowing to ask got frustrating.
In spite of these flaws, the game is a breath of fresh air in what has been a relative drought of good, wholesome fun adventure games. This is absolutely a must-play.