Super Rare Games’ latest collaboration with publisher 505 games is providing you with the opportunity to get a physical copy of Ovosonico’s Last Day of June for the Nintendo Switch™ starting from… the last day of June! 5000 copies of the game will be available; this limited release will include the vibrant case, interior artwork, a full-colour manual, a sticker, and three of five possible trading cards featuring art from the game. The cart will feature all currently available content and will be available from Wednesday, June 30th at 6 pm BST at superaregames.com
Last Day of June (originally released digitally in 2017) is a critically acclaimed game about love and sacrifice. Based on characters created by Hajo Mueller for the music video ‘Drive Home’ by Steven Wilson, the game centres on the relationship between Carl and June. This story is conveyed through a unique art style where characters have big heads, no eyes and communicate non-verbally with emphatic grunts like any given Zelda title pre Breath of the Wild. In addition to having the minds behind the music video involved in the game’s development, such as the aforementioned Steven Wilson, as well writer/director/animator Jess Cope (animator on Frankenweenie, director for Metallica’s ‘Here Comes Revenge’ music video) it was also directed by Massimo Guarini (Murasaki Baby, Shadows of the Damned).
If you’ve seen Groundhog Day (1993) or Palm Springs (2020) it’s a similar situation here- after a car crash leaves June dead, Carl finds himself stuck in a time loop with the means to go back in time until he comes to the particular character-defining result necessary to conclude the story. Unlike the mentioned examples though, Carl has a bit more freedom in how he travels through time since it’s voluntary and he can experience the day from the perspective of the other villagers. He does this using the mementos June left behind: paintings of these very same villagers.
Another apt comparison (besides Tokyo Revengers, you should watch it, it’s pretty good) might be The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, but unlike that game where you also periodically reverse time, you won’t be raiding temples or getting giants to deadlift the Moon to prevent the apocalypse. The narrative is much more intimate and personal. You’re not trying to save the world. You’re trying to save your partner, June. You do so by exploring the lives of the other members of the small idyllic town you reside in. As you gather clues on how to prevent the vehicular tragedy that haunts Carl, you’ll be faced with hard decisions and greeted with gut-punching plot twists.
Despite their basic designs, the small cast has no issue expressing themselves. The characters all have distinctive silhouettes, grunts and body language, which are all complemented by palpable sound effects and a gripping soundtrack. Perhaps the most visually striking thing is the use of colour. It’s like playing a Monet painting, everything is rendered in contrasting and complementary colours that underscores the bittersweet tone of the experience. Furthermore, the lack of dialogue and the surreal nature of the story leaves it open to interpretation, giving the game staying power well beyond its 5-hour length.
Last Day of June is an emotional rollercoaster, the time loop-the-loops are punctuated by soul-stirring highs are heart-breaking lows. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s afraid to cry, but that’s largely so I can buy more copies for myself like the monster I am. Whether you’re looking to add to your game collection, compliment the album The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) with some engaging ludonarrative, or just want a good story to enjoy, I highly recommend grabbing a copy. And remember, even if you miss this Super Rare opportunity, the game will still be available digitally!