Last Day of June is a game about a married couple and the events that occurred during the last day of June being alive. Hence, the title being the Last Day of June. I was intrigued by its premise and wanted to see what it’s all about. It’s a tale of love, loss and time travel. Before we proceed, there might be some minor spoilers about the game. So please proceed with caution.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platform Available: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: August 31, 2017
This review is based on a review code provided by 505 Games.
The Last Day of June’s premise is that the main character Carl and his wife June went on a trip by the lake where June surprises him with a gift. When a storm was looming, they went back to their car and made their way back home only to be met by a tragic accident that killed June and made Carl not able to walk.
Carl was trying to forget about the events that happened during that day but one fateful night, Carl came upon a painting of June that made him relive that day. What happened next was a race against time to figure out what killed June and what Carl can do to prevent it.
The controls are fairly simple and the game even shows you which buttons to press for the actions that you need to make in the game. There are four parts for the time sequence. Each of which shows a different person that contributed to the accident. You then take control of that person and make the choices for them that will help you prevent the accident.
To unlock each person you first need to find their corresponding portrait that is scattered about in Carl’s neighborhood. You can only collect the portraits one at a time though and there seems to be an order on which portrait you can collect. It starts with the little boy and ends with the hunter. While the fourth portrait gets unlocked automatically.
You then need to touch the portrait that gets teleported inside Carl’s house. You can then traverse the memory and do things like collect memories for the person involved or do other actions that can help unlock obstacles for the other memories. This also means that you will have to go back and forth into each memory once you get to unlock them to find the best possible scenario to save June.
The game is primarily a puzzle as you try to string events that led to the accident. You might even have to rechoose the path of a character to choose a different path for another character. This effectively changes the events of the accident and could even mean that someone else contributed to the accident even after you’ve corrected one path. It feels a lot like I’m playing a game version of the movie The Butterfly Effect. A time-travelling adventure that lets you help June from dying in the accident that occurred.
The art style of the game is really beautiful. The palettes used gives the game its distinct vibrance and aura making it easy on the eyes and visually calming. And then there are tones where it makes you feel sad and gloomy. Especially at the beginning where Carl felt empty because of the loss.
The characters are people that you can relate and empathize with. It really got me invested in their story and the outcome of each story. The memories that you collect even helps you figure out why the characters are behaving a certain way.
The game lets you experience the tragedy and triumph that Carl undergoes. But more importantly, it teaches you that sometimes no matter how you try to change things in the past, you can’t run away from what has already happened. That sometimes, in order for things to work out you just need to accept things the way they are. And somehow, the only thing that you can really do is change your own path.
Behind the game’s simple mechanics are all these deep meanings about love, about life, and about choice. It’s a remarkable game despite its complexity. A game that challenges your determination and creativeness. A game that challenges your wits. A game so emotionally charged that I can’t help but feel for the characters and what they were going through.
If you’re after an experience that touches your heart and soul, I recommend that you play this game. There is nothing more compelling than a game that lets you experience a journey as beautiful and as tragic as this one. A game that’s worth it from the beginning until the Last day of June.