Actions speak louder than words.
LAST DAY OF JUNE ON PC
I’ve always been a fan of character driven stories, and I’m glad to say that Last Day of June managed to meet my expectations up until the end. 505 Games and Ovosonico’s latest project managed to carefully deliver the story of two torn lovers while weaving together bits and pieces of other scenarios that tied in with the overall plot. For the most part, Last Day of June follows a man named Carl whose life takes a tragic turn after a car accident killed his wife, June, and left him handicapped.
The main cast comprises of six people, including Carl and June, who each had a hand in June’s accident. Early in the game, Carl discovers that he has the mysterious power to revisit events that led to his wife’s death by connecting with the paintings of the townspeople in his art room. In an attempt to save June, he delves into each painting and takes control of the character on the illustration to change the past. Despite its psychic and time-traveling elements, Last Day of June still remains down-to-earth for the most part with its plot.
Aside from Carl, you take control of the four other people in the game: a young boy, Carl’s female childhood friend, a hunter, and an old man. Last Day of June plays out like a puzzle narrative game wherein you must overcome several obstacles to unlock a different route where June doesn’t die. Once you manage to successfully complete a route with a certain character, the next person will unlock. While the puzzles in the game aren’t that difficult per se, Last Day of June continues to grow more complex with every added character. Each resident has more than one ending, so you’ll have to juggle between different paths to move on. Since the game only takes place in a small town, you won’t have trouble getting around too much.
Similarly, certain characters have key actions that can unlock new routes in the game. There were plenty of times when I had to switch to a different person, use their action, then switch back to my initial character and continue on. The process does get a bit tedious sometimes since you have to complete a person’s ending before switching to someone else instead of just having the option to leave when you’ve finished your business. The main downside here is that you can’t skip these mini movie endings, and they get pretty dull if you’ve already seen it once or twice. Once you get each character’s proper ending sequence, a scene will play out where Carl and June manage to avoid specific accidents.
All of the four side characters each have their own background in Last Day of June, but the main game will only gloss over it. To know their full stories, you’ll have to collect their memories which are scattered throughout the town. There are five memories for each of the supporting cast which can be viewed in the menu as literal images of their past. It helped me personally connect more with most of the cast, especially Carl’s childhood friend. These images help establish the fact that each character is the protagonist of their own story, despite the main plot revolving around Carl and June.
That aside, Last Day of June had some really simple controls with Q, E, and R being the only keys used for interactions. Moreover, you use the mouse to control the camera and space bar to run. My three hours with the game went surprisingly smooth and I had no issues whatsoever controlling my characters, which made it easier for me to focus on the narrative.
If there’s one thing I really admired about the plot, it’s how it didn’t rely on wordy phrases or sappy quotes to convey emotions or messages. Instead, Last Day of June uses its warm and vibrant art style (along with incoherent mumbling from the cast) to tell its story. I admit, I was a bit hesitant about playing a game with characters that have big heads, no eyes, and don’t even speak. In spite of this, they managed to draw me in with their personal stories which proved that there’s more to these people than their appearance.
On a different note, I was enthralled by its enticing visuals to the point where I felt like I was actually playing a painting instead of a video game. Soft golden rays of the sunset envelop the town while the dried leaves on the floor mark the fall season. Last Day of June also has its fair share of tender tunes that fit right in with the slow and simple pace of country life.
Strangely enough, the game manages to convey a wealth of emotions through its wordless narrative and faceless cast. After the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but think about how far we would personally go to save someone who was important in our life. With its simplistic puzzles, captivating narrative, and amazing art style, Last Day of June is definitely a game you’d want to pick up.
Score: 4/5 – Great
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