Last Day of June Review – A Beautiful Experience
Platforms: PC (reviewed), PS4
Publisher: 505 Games
Release: 31st August 2017
Every year has some of these linear story games, lacking much gameplay, in order to focus completely on the story. Last Day of June is exactly such a game, aiming to stand right next to the previous successors of this genre. So, let´s take a look why Ovosonico certainly created an interesting game here.
Last Day of June revolves completely around the subject of loosing someone. Putting us into the shoes of Carl, who got disabled and lost his wife June after a car crash, we experience how we feels and sees his life after this tragedy. One day, however, he gets the chance to rewind the actions that led to this incident, granting him the power and possibility to undo his wife´s deaths. During the ~3,5 hours long story, we do exactly that, occupy the four different other characters, to change the past.
While we slip into the shoes of the little cast, we´re free to explore Carl´s little town on our own. Filled with memories from the past, when June was still alive or other heartwarming scenes, Last Day of June doesn´t need long to fully engulf me into its tragic world. I felt with Carl who just wants to save his one and only love, especially because we all lost something in our lives and wanted to get it back. During the various perspectives, we begin to uncover more about the crash, what led to it or how we can prevent it.
I really like how Last Day of June always stays normal, never trying to tell events, which seem impossible in our world. However, the part I absolutely loved about it was the end, because it showed something so true and realistic I can just applause it, for having the guts of doing this step. I don´t wanna spoil it though. At the end, Las Day of June wants to tell an everyday story about loss and tragedy … and succeeds at it, in a great way.
Last Day of June also presents itself in a very similar way to Virginia. Lacking any kind of voice acting or dialogue, relying solely on movements and little grunt noises to convey its messages. Topped by a unique art style, which has a lot in common with water-colour or acryl paintings. The fact the colour palette changes along the atmosphere of the different events, underlined by an amazing soundtrack, are able to let us feel with Carl and Last Day of June in a very sensible way. Overall, if you enjoyed Virginia´s presentation, then you will enjoy Last Day of June´s.
Surprisingly, Ovosonico didn´t create a walking simulator, when it comes to gameplay, Last Day of June is actually a very easy adventure game. Putting us into the shoes of Carl´s different friends, we have to solve little puzzles, by using the right items at the right spot, pretty basic, very easy. Honestly, these puzzles are nothing special but a nice topping on an already great package. Unfortunately, Last Day of June actually forces us to replay those sections at least 1-2 times, before we can see or understand the whole image. By enforcing these super easy, slow and unspecial passages on us, Ovosonico managed to actually annoy me. After I played each section once, I had enough of them, I didn´t want to replay them, yet I had to … and that´s Last Day of June´s biggest flaw.
Story- and Presentation-wise Last Day of June is a heartwarming, touching game, truly unique in a lot of ways. Would it have been a walking simulator, I would´ve recommend it in seconds, sadly, it isn´t. Suffering from repeated, too easy puzzles, which are stuffed down our throat, it suffers from its very own gameplay. Combined with the 20 dollar price tag for a 4 hours long play through, I don´t know if I could recommend it without regrets.
[A Review Code was provided by 505 Games]