[this preview contains spoilers]
Last Day of June by 505 Games is an atmospheric puzzle game which tells a tale of love, loss, and hope. This game attempts to tell a story without any spoken dialog and accomplishes this rather well.
At the game’s beginning, a character by the name of June dies in a tragic accident. The game’s prolog shows June to have a passion for drawing/painting art. One night after the accident, June’s husband Carl enters her art room to find all of her portraits blank while one starts to glow. Drawn by curiosity, Carl tries touching this painting only to see a vision of the accident through the eyes of a child who was unintentionally involved. Realizing he had some semblance of control over the child in the vision, he thinks if he tries touching the portrait again, he might be able to alter the vision—and by extension, time itself—so June survives. To his frustration, Carl finds that the portrait—which now shows a picture of the accident—will not allow him to go back.
On the verge of giving up, Carl suddenly hears a strange noise and one of the doors of his house opens on its own. Upon investigating, Carl finds a blue portrait of the child he had inhabited earlier. Once he touches the portrait, it disappears, only to reappear in color back in June’s art room. Unlike the glowing portrait, this portrait takes Carl back to the beginning of the day of the accident from the child’s perspective. Carl then tries to find a way for the child to end the day at a spot where he can’t be involved in the accident. Upon succeeding in this, Carl finds his memory of the event has been altered. Although the accident still occurred, the cause of it had changed to someone else. Like before, Carl will find a portrait of the person which allows him to see relive the day of the accident through that person’s eyes.
This is where the game starts to get interesting. There does not appear to be a way to alter the ending of the day for this person. However, after ending the day for the second person, you learn that you can rewind the child’s day back to the beginning of the day again. Thankfully, the game allows you to skip the puzzles you did while playing as the child before and drops you off at the point where you can decide how the child’s day ends. After ending the day for the child, you are sent back to the art room and are allowed to redo the day from either person’s perspective. By going back into the child’s painting and changing the ending of the day back to its original form for him, a way opens up for the 2nd person to have a different end to their day. Unlike before, the child’s original ending is altered by the 2nd person’s new ending, thus removing them both from the accident.
Of course, then Carl learns that this time a 3rd person was unintentionally at the scene of the accident and caused it despite the other 2 people being out of the way. Understandably frustrated, Carl finds the painting of the 3rd person to begin the cycle again. With 3 people to control, the puzzle starts to get a little harder as you need to find a way so that all 3 endings keep the 3 people from being involved in the accident.
From what I could tell, there are more than 3 people to control—much to poor Carl’s frustration. I can only imagine that the game gets harder as more and more people become involved. Another thing of interest is that you are only required to alter events so June stays alive; you are under no obligation to ensure the other people have a satisfactory ending to their day.
I found it a little difficult to be completely emotionally involved with the characters, although that might simply be because I haven’t experienced some of the emotions present in the game before. I could definitely relate to Carl’s frustration at how everything he did felt futile.
Overall, I had a lot of fun playing this sneak-peak of the first 3 chapters of The Last Day of June. While the game’s puzzles weren’t too difficult, I see the potential for more elaborate puzzles further into the game. Additionally, as mentioned before, the game does a great job of telling a story through scenery and atmosphere alone. If The Last Day of June can keep this pace the rest of the way through, then I can see it doing rather well.