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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Summer of '58




At A Glance

  • Released: 10/22/22

  • Reviews: 3,160, net very positive, as of 8/2023

  • English Reviews: 1,407

  • Localized in: English, Russian

  • Had Publisher: No

  • Majority of reviews:

    • Russian ~40%

    • English ~40%

    • Spanish ~4%

  • Price: $8.99

  • Review report:

    • Negatives: game consists of merely walking around and gets clunky, cheap jumpscares, very short

    • Positives: very scary, heartfelt ending, excellent sound design


Gameplay

  • Same movement system as before

  • Camcorder is picked up and kept off until ‘F’ key is pressed

    • UI is minimal, only a REC and zoom bar

    • NV on/off makes a sound

    • Zoom in/out makes a sound

  • To start, there are only 3 rooms to explore (bathroom, main, and hallway)

  • After wandering the same rooms the hallway door closes and locks me in

    • Subtle changes keep happening like dolls being misplaced, moved, or removed entirely, may increase uneasiness for people who don’t notice

    • Jumpscare occurs and camera glitches (sounds like man screaming)

  • All doors unlock and phone rings

  • Forced me to look in a room until i found a box, then had me bring it back to campsite

    • Perfect chance to jumpscare, and that's what happened

    • Was also able to turn on camcorder even though box was held with two hands

  • Had a lot of trouble finding where to put the fuse, it was back in the main room

  • Key on nightstand, camera forced to look at it

  • An astounding amount of gameplay was created from just 4 rooms and a hallway

Sounds

  • Lots of creaking, footsteps, door opening, and chewing

Art

  • There doesn’t appear to be a 3D world outside, it’s a skybox

  • Camp girl is sitting by the candles (same model reused?)

UI

  • Same splash screen with Lisa model

    • Menu is the same as Find Yourself

  • Into the game the company name is words in the real world

Writing

  • Starts with premise of vlogger exploring places

    • There is a cutscene that flashes back to previous game locations

  • After opening box a journal entry is read and it transitions to 1958

  • Seems like the boss lady made the camp to harvest peoples organs

    • All for her son

  • Communicating with kid who was gonna get gutted

  • Game transitions to hospital

  • Player says they have a chain cutter in backpack, how long? Why not use it earlier (only prompted when story is far enough)

    • Its a Saw blade

  • Game ends with mystery being solved, maybe lady was a ghost, who knows

  • There is an epilogue in another house, not sure about connection

Scare Factor

  • When night comes the radio turns on in the dark room, ripe for jumpscares

  • Monster flies across the hallway

    • Woman is still floating there at end of hallway

  • Once entering other room a body is dragged away

    • Breathing nearby also gets louder

  • Trickling water from bathroom draws me in

    • Water stops, then the camera focuses on a mystery box

    • Once picked up, blood leaks from roof

    • I can see behind me there is a blockade so I am forced into the scare

  • After throwing down gas, same thing happens in the office but there is a hazmat guy behind

Extra

  • There was a brief period where the developer stated he was on an indefinite hiatus because of people refunding the game ‘taking advantage’ of the system.

    • This announcement got insane press coverage and reviewers came in droves to call out the refund practice (At this point, not sure if it’s true but consider as a strategy for later)

Overall

  • Excellent short game with plenty of scares

  • Did extremely well crafting small environments and using them to the absolute max

    • Note on this, these were *entire* store-bought maps that were tweaked to specifications. Extremely impressive turnaround, take notes (but be wary of people know what you’ve done)


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