This post is spoiler free.
Greetings chumps! So I found out pretty quick, that the APTV Twitch Community really loves games that make you feel feelings and mess with your mind. Last Day of June is definitely one of those! For this review I will rate the game on a scale of 1 – 5 in four categories: game mechanics, art, story, and $$ per hour of game time. The overall score will be the average grade from each of the individual category scores. Make sense? GREAT!
Now buckle up for an emotional ride!
Mechanics wise, this game operates as a pretty standard walking sim. You walk around with WASD, control the camera with the mouse, and interact with objects using E. Like most walking sims, it limited the areas you could explore by not offering the option to interact with doors, gates, or any object really that could lead you astray from the intended path.
For some, this might be a bit of a turn off, but the way that it was done makes it SO. GOOD. Remember how I said this game is a walking sim? Well, it is. But it’s also a puzzle game. I’m trying REALLY hard here not to spoil it all, but I will try to put it this way:
This game is more than a walking sim. It’s the embodiment of the Butterfly Effect. How you decide to solve puzzles will have a positive or negative impact on the other playable characters. Every action has a direct reaction and that reaction can change the course of another character’s life forever. I hope I’m explaining that well, because it’s BRILLIANT.
Game Mechanics Score: 5
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have a thing for creepy styles. This game is quite…unique in it’s art, and for the most part, that was the only complaint from the APTV Twitch Community. They eyeless-ness of the characters gave a general sense of unease and a “Tim Burton” feel to the whole thing.
Personally, I like the art a LOT, but what I truly appreciate is that this game has no dialogue. Nothing. There’s not even something to read, which is pretty unusual for a walking sim. The lack of dialogue leaves open room for interpretation of emotions and connections between the player and the characters. Which in itself, is pretty artsy. Not to mention that the soundtrack is killer.
The only reason this won’t get a 5/5 is because the vibe always felt generally uneasy, which I would argue is not an important emotion to evoke from the player.
Art Score: 4
Oh boy, this is going to be hard to score without spoilers. At first glance, Last Day of June is a cute love story between a guy with glasses and a girl who loves to draw. Without dialogue, we don’t know their names, what they do, or even the name of the town where they live. But that’s what makes this so wonderful! You don’t NEED to know those things. Because this section is really easy to spoil, I’m going to explain myself like this:
Think about the book The Hunger Games. Not the movie, the book. Did you know we’re never given a description of what Katniss looks like? We only know that she wears her hair in a braid, but we’re not even told what color her hair is. That’s what made that series so special. Anyone who read it could literally imagine themselves as Katniss and truly put themselves in her shoes. There’s a similar effect here. You don’t need to know everything about the characters to be able to feel all the feelings that they are.
I would argue that not knowing anything about them creates a stronger connection between the player and the characters. You can empathize more directly, because you can make them whoever you want. The only thing I’m going to even REMOTELY spoil here is, I cried when I played this game. I truly cried. Only a really good story can evoke true emotions out of a player.
Story Score: 5
For me personally, I finished Last Day of June in three hours, which is roughly on-par with the average. Now, I also got the game in a Humble Bundle Monthly, but it is available on Steam for $19.99. So that’s roughly $6.50 per hour, with no replay-ability. If you choose to go the completionist route, I’m sure you can squeeze out at least another hour or two to unlock all the achievements, but other than that, it’s a one and done. The question is, do I think that’s fair?
Now typically, I aim for $1-2 per hour, but that’s assuming I have to pay $50+ for a game. Not saying that $20 isn’t a lot of money, because it definitely can be, but I truly believe this game is worth the cost if you can afford it. If it cost you roughly $20 to go see End Game in theaters, this is just as fair of a rate to play a game that’s just as long!
$$$ Score: 4
OVERALL SCORE: 4.5
I was incredibly impressed with Last Day of June. Whenever you need a good cry, definitely pick up this game and carve out a few hours of your time. It’s totally worth it, I promise! If you do decide to play, let me know on Twitter cause I’d love to chat about all the emotions!