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Last Day Of June (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 4 - 2018

It’s okay to cry on the bus.

 
Ovosonico’s Last Day of June was one of the most memorable games from last year. I played the game on PS4, and even now I can still remember so much of the story and the emotions that it made me feel. Last Day of June had that power to touch the player and embed itself in the memory. Now, Last Day of June is available on Nintendo’s Switch console, which means not only a whole new audience, but also the chance to play the game on the go.

 
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Last Day of June is a “Groundhog Day” style puzzle adventure, but that definition almost falls to one side as much more is to be made of the art style and the tale that the game wishes to tell.

 
Scenes awash with reds, yellows and oranges give feelings of warmth and love, perhaps of hope for the future. The game has a beautiful, almost water colour feel to the backdrops, filling a scene with emotion even before any characters are added. Emotions change quickly, with much more dark scenes made up of cold blues and blacks. There are only a few characters in the game; the two main characters and then a small selection of villagers that each play an important role in the story. These characters are also beautifully created on the screen, with large heads and an absence of eyes. None of the characters talk properly, only muttering strangely unintelligible noises.

 
With no eyes and no real voices, it would be difficult to understand how the game communicates the story to the player, or indeed their objectives. But Last Day of June is a masterfully woven tale where hints in the environment will give away the key details that the player needs to know, along with the changes in mood, the gestures from the characters, and even the tone of their noises. It really does involve little work from the player to deduce the story in Last Day of June, but it is all the more satisfying, and emotional, to have put two and two together for themselves.

 
The tale revolves around Carl and his beloved June. Players are first greeted to a wonderful scene with Carl and June enjoying a beautiful sunset together by the lake. It is here that the player is introduced to the simple mechanics. This scene doesn’t last long, however, and before long the player is exposed to a much darker scene of Carl sitting alone in a chair, June’s chair next to him is empty, and behind him is a wheelchair. Something terrible has happened.

 
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It is this tragedy, and it really feels like a tragedy as the game does such a great job of portraying the emotion, that pushes the player through the game. Carl soon discovers that June’s paintings in her studio have slightly magical powers. The paintings are of the different villagers, and by touching the paintings, Carl can take control of them on the day of the tragedy and maybe, just maybe, save June.

 
The puzzle element of the game is not difficult, but it does require being able to see the big picture and it will need a large amount of repetition. The thing is, each of the different characters that the player can control are able to do different things. The puzzles mostly come down to talking with characters or finding an object. Players may find themselves having to achieve something with one character before being able to proceed with another, which will mean seeing the same sequences over and again, and being able to see how a small action can affect the bigger picture for the other characters. It’s not that complicated, and most of the time the game will point the player in the right direction. However, with no way of skipping cut scenes, it can be repetitive.

 
As I already said though, the gameplay almost falls to one side when compared with the overall feel of the game. Coming to the Switch, Last Day of June is a pretty straight forward port from the previous PS4 and PC versions. That is to say that the long loading times have come across, not that I ever really noticed when I played on PS4. On the big screen Switch, Last Day of June looks as stunning as I remember it. However, on the Switch’s small screen, I could even say that it looks better. The colours just seem to pop. But the big bonus for Switch players is being able to take this adventure with them anywhere. Much like reading a book, it is perfectly suited to traveling play.

 
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A new platform means a new audience for one of the most memorable games from last year. Those who enjoyed Last Day of June on PS4 or PC would struggle to find a reason to pick the game up again, especially given the lack of replayability. But for those Switch owners looking for a puzzle adventure that will play with their hearts, Last Day of June comes highly recommended.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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