Carl is enjoying a wonderful outing with his beloved June, when a storm rolls in forcing them to head home. On the drive home, a devastating accident occurs, resulting in the crippling of Carl and the death of June. Crushed from the loss, Carl discovers a way to repeat their final day together. Could there also be a way to change the events and save June?
Last Day of June is driven by its incredible story. The story is based on the song “Drive Home” by Steven Wilson, and you can see parallels to the video for the song in both the art style and story itself. That said, this isn’t a one to one retelling, not at all. The song and video are clearly used as a base, but what has been built atop that is truly remarkable.
As this is a story driven game, the story itself needs to be good. So how does it fair on that front? Spectacularly. I was glued to the game throughout its 3 hour story, and in the end it left me a sobbing mess. The game hit me hard, unlike any game has hit me before. It is beautiful, tragic, and joyous all at the same time.
Being a massive fan of Steven Wilson’s music, I was immediately drawn to Last Day of June since its announcement. Seeing what influenced it instantly, I had two thoughts cross my mind. First that Steven Wilson’s music would be perfect for a video game. Second, how are they going to use his music? Were they going to use just the instrumentation, or leave his vocals on the tracks? If his music is implemented poorly then this could just be a game with his music slapped on top.
Thankfully, that was not the case. The music used here is done so tastefully. It is never ham fisted into the game, and as such is only ever additive to the experience overall. They have wrapped such a perfect game around the soundtrack, and hand picked the perfect songs that gel with each moment. Needless to say, it helped to sweep me up in the story.
The sound effects used are of high quality as well. Car doors closing, gates opening, bouncing balls, barking dogs, rain, wind, everything here sounds great. One thing that put me off to start with were the voices. I had a serious Sims vibe from their gibberish, and found it rather jarring. That is until just after the intro, where the voices used are much more emotive. From that point on I bought into the vocals, and proceeded to get lost in the story.
Visuals & Performance
Last Day of June has a very distinctive look to it. The character models are particularly unique, having the physique of a lollipop. The faces though are a little unsettling at first. They are expressionless, and the eyes are nothing but empty sockets. The creepy look fades quickly though, as the way the characters animate masterfully bring these expressionless models to life.
The colours have a lovely pastel look to it, similar to a painting. This makes sense considering that paintings play a big part in story. The environments look beautiful too, and I found myself exploring the small town just to get a look at everything. The game overall has a coherent art style, which helps bring everything together and pull you into its world.
The game never missed a beat either. It ran smoothly throughout my entire experience. There were no bugs to be had, no frame dips, everything just ran perfectly.
Last Day of June’s gameplay resembles a third person point and click adventure game. You are tasked with solving puzzles in each section, and they can get quite challenging. The later puzzles will have you switching between characters to open new paths to create new outcomes. Each puzzle is well thought out, and none get too abstract like your typical point and click adventure titles.
Navigating the world feels good. The controls are responsive and the camera does what you want it to. Interacting with items is never a hassle, which shows the amount of polish this title has. This is all helped with a simplistic control scheme that helps you spend less time thinking about the controls and more time being absorbed in this amazing world and story.
This is an extremely hard category to speak on in regards to Last Day of June. The price is on the higher side for indie titles, and this is a 3 to 4 hour game. It is a lot of money to part with for such a small experience, but I truly feel the experience it gives you is more than worth the asking price. I haven’t been affected by a game like this before. After finishing it it has stuck with me beyond those few hours. Will this affect you the same way? That’s just too hard to say, but I feel this is one worth taking a chance on to find out.
Deeply emotional story
Beautiful visual design
May be too short for some considering the price