Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Last Day Of June

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 12 - 2017

Better grab a bucket for your tears.

 
Last Day of June is a puzzle adventure game from developers Ovosonico that follows the heart-breaking tale of Carl and June and puts the player into a “Groundhog Day” style situation where working through the same day over and over again from different points of view are the order of the day.

 
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The players are first greeted by the most beautiful scene. Carl and June are enjoying the sunset together next a tranquil lake. The entire scene is washed with gorgeous oranges and yellows, as befits a sunset towards the end of Summer. Carl and June, along with the rest of the cast of this tale, are depicted with oversized heads and no eyes, yet they convey an incredible amount of emotion. They also don’t speak a proper language, leaving the player to translate the noises and gestures that they make. Fortunately this is all done very well and there is very little confusion about what the characters are trying to convey, and it really is charming to watch.

 
There is also very little confusion about the fact that Carl and June are deeply in love. The game quickly introduces the limited mechanics, as Carl trots back up to their car to fetch June’s cardigan when she starts to get cold. June presents Carl with a gift, all wrapped up with a bow and everything. But before Carl can open the gift, the weather takes a turn for the worse and they must rush back to the car before heading home.

 
This is where everything changes and we get to experience the true sadness of this tale. The next scene is dark and awash with blues. Carl sits alone on his chair, next to the empty chair that should contain June. Behind him is a wheelchair and it becomes apparent that something terrible has happened as Carl struggles to get into his wheelchair and navigate their house. The overall tone of love and hope has been replaced with loss and desperation.

 
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It is slowly revealed what happened on that fateful journey back from the lake and Carl is now by himself. Through a series of events, he ends up heading into June’s art studio, which seems to have been untouched for quite some time, and stumbles upon some of June’s paintings of the local residents. It is here that Carl discovers he can touch the paintings and be transported to that dreadful day again, seeing it through the eyes of the painting’s subject. It also turns out that he is able to manipulate the events of that day. Could Carl change the past and save his beloved June?

 
So begins the Groundhog Day journey of reliving the same day over and over, solving puzzles that may change the overall outcome. The puzzles themselves are quite simple, possibly made a little more difficult by the lack of communication in the game. They tend to involve finding objects and interacting with other characters. The player gets to meet a range of different characters, all of whom were going about there own lives on that fateful day, and all of whom can have an influence on the final outcome. There is a certain amount of repetition as the player tries to make the right sequence of events for the outcome they need, and players will have to keep reliving the day in order to see how the changes they have made affect things, which does drag a little. Changing the different lives of these other characters on this one day is the real puzzle of the game, and the one which will prove the most challenge to the player as they try to see the big picture in every action that they take.

 
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Despite a little repetition and light gameplay, Last Day of June is a game that begs to be experienced. There is so much heart and feeling imbued into the game through the amazing visual style, the use of colour and the way the characters communicate without words, that it is impossible to come away without being touched in some way. While the deeper meanings of the story are up to the individual to interpret, players don’t have to look too deeply to find a wonderful story that will stay with the player for a long time to come.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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