Ovosonico’s Last Day of June is what happens when a water color painting and a highly emotional story come together to make a beautiful game. The game dabbles with the concept of chaos theory, more commonly known as the “Butterfly Effect” and changing a devastating and heartbreaking moment. It doesn’t follow the norms of your average video game, with a claymation art style very reminiscent of Tim Burton mixed with an original story. You are truly in for an unique video gaming experience. Read on for our full Last Day of June review.
Title: Last Day of June
Publisher: 505 Games
Available On: PlayStation 4, PC
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Game Provided by the Publisher for the Sake of This Review
What follows over the next several minutes in this review are slight spoilers in terms of setting up the narrative. Everything mentioned takes place within the opening minutes of the game, so we feel comfortable explaining it, but wanted to put this warning in if you want to stay completely spoiler-free. You play as Carl, a bald, middle aged man who is married to the titular June. You are introduced to these characters in the past in a bit of a prologue to the main story and while you never hear them speak, they convey emotion and you are instantly invested in their tale. After a brief introduction to these characters, their lives get flipped and are changed forever in a highly emotional and very touching scene. The major event which sets this story in motion is an automobile accident that occurs while driving home from Carl and June’s favorite spot. The accident kills June and their unborn child and leaves Carl in a wheelchair.
In the present, we pan to Carl, alone in his darkened living room, the chair his beloved June once called her own is now empty. The story now revealed to the player is one of loss, the death of his one true love June. Carl relives the moments and memories tied to June and those who were around her and he reflects on the “what if” aspect. What if we did this? What could we have done to prevent this from happening. This begins your mission, to relive the events of that fateful day through the eyes of the others to change the events of the past to save June. Very much like the movie The Butterfly Effect or Terminator 2.
You navigate your hub world, which is your home. You open up ethereal doors that June had painted while she was still alive. Every time you touch one of June’s painting, which are of her friends/family, it unlocks a character for you to play as with puzzles to solve in order to unlock new memories and the possibility to save June from that fateful event. Your ultimate goal is to help the characters and animals painted by June to change the past and alter the future so that Carl never has to lose his love ever again.
We don’t want to give the whole story away but will highlight the first character memory you play as. The car originally crashed when Carl swerved to avoid striking a young boy playing with a soccer ball in the road. By preventing the young boy from playing soccer on the road, it will change what happens. Just remember, when you change the past you don’t just change that event, but all events going forward from that point on.
Graphically, Last Day of June is absolutely, drop dead gorgeous… it’s a true work of art, a masterpiece that perfectly channels a message of love, loss and grief all whilst creating a powerful and moving narrative that will stay with you. The art style, color choices and animations really created something unique and beautiful and that’s where Last Day of June truly stands out on it’s own. The game also has a very melancholy soundtrack, no voice acting but more of a chatter similar to Animal Crossing or The Sims and that blends perfectly with this game’s aesthetic and actually makes it better forcing you to rely more on the emotion versus a forced narrative given through the spoken world. The game was masterfully crafted together and we are a lot happier for having played through it.
In a nutshell, this was a fun puzzle based game with a great story and an art style that truly impresses.