Last Day of June (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 19.03.2018

Review for Last Day of June on Nintendo Switch

Nowadays, more and more walking sims are appearing in the gaming realm as developers are eager to convey deep and meaningful story content to as many people as possible. To do so without alienating the more casual audience, the consensus appears to be to avoid bogging the experience down with overly intricate gameplay. Some love the concept, others despise it, and sometimes it works well, whilst other times it crashes and burns, and then there are some unusual takes on the theme that kind of hit the middle-ground. Last Day of June (originally covered here on PC) is sad tale based on an actual short story, with a game carefully crafted around it. Does it work well, or is this just another recipe for disaster?

What would you do if you thought there was a chance a tragic event could be bypassed? Most would likely do everything in their power to rectify the wrongs done to them. In the case of Last Day of June, a husband is left wheelchair-bound and without his pregnant wife after a horrendous crash on a rainy day. What had started out as a beautiful trip for the loving couple, celebrating their joy and happiness, turned into something very sour and so disastrous, and consequently life was dramatically altered afterwards.

Screenshot for Last Day of June on Nintendo Switch

The way the story is put across from the very start in an emotionally driven manner, but not laid on too thick, with smatterings of well-timed interactivity interlaced with, first of all, the introductory credits, and then the events leading up to the crash. Sure, it could have benefitted from actual voice work rather than the strange utterances used, and the sunken, eyeless characters are rather creepy and can lead to some connection being lost, but the soundtrack is gorgeous and background settings beautifully visualised, creating a strong ambience in which the tale can be told. It is all carried out in such a way that players will soon be drawn into the scenario playing out before them, and not released until the very final moments.

Screenshot for Last Day of June on Nintendo Switch

Everything takes place within the vicinity of the widower's home, initially with him being controlled in his wheelchair to interact with a painting in the back storage area. He is then drawn deeper into past memories where specific others that had a role in the run-up to the crash can be directed to adjust their actions and, with any luck, allow the tragedy to be wiped from history. A young boy playing football, a woman moving home, a gentleman shooting away at a bird that stole his medal, and an old man delivering a gift - they all played their part, and their actions had severe consequences, unbeknownst to them at the time. The question is, though, whether or not you, the player, can influence their movements to ensure a happy ending. Is it possible, or a fruitless endeavour? It is not long before the answer is revealed, in a moving fashion.

Last Day of June is not a lengthy experience, which is ideal as its theme only has a finite amount of fascination for those at the helm before it verges on growing tiresome. The same goes for the gameplay elements, which do not outstay their welcome thanks to the overall brevity. Switching between various characters brings with it intrigue to a certain degree, trying to understand how best to adjust happenings, whilst also opening gates that other characters can then access in their version of the timeline. Fortunately, before any stale feeling creeps in, or frustrations with traipsing back and forth across the same landscape several times, new areas actually begin to open up, and the conclusion starts rolling into view at just the right moment.

Screenshot for Last Day of June on Nintendo Switch

Chasing a bird from tree to tree by shooting at it, but needing to make sure your dog is on guard at the correct nearby tree to guide the avian thief towards a place where the stolen item can be safely retrieved, can indeed be trying, to say the least. However, on balance it works well enough, and, on the whole, the way this game has been overlaid on top of a poignant yarn is thoroughly impressive, providing more interaction than initially thought following the introductory sections.

There are also 20 collectible memories, separate to the main adventure, that can be found dotted around the area, each offering up some insight into the supporting cast, which is proves to be a pleasing touch once the final credits roll. The majority are quite easy to spot, but as with general progression through the story, it is a case of figuring out how to open certain routes to get around with the appropriate person.

Screenshot for Last Day of June on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Last Day of June is a great example of how to turn a short tale into an engaging interactive experience, one that importantly does not overstay its welcome. There may be one or two frustrations along the way but, all-in-all, it tugs at the heart strings in the right places on the story front, and also engages the brain on the gameplay side of things enough to make everything feel extremely satisfying once it reaches its conclusion.

Developer

Ovosonico

Publisher

505 Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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