14/03/2021

๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ—ฟ Summer Catchers | Review | Nintendo Switch | "Summer Loving Had Me A Blast!" ๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ—ฟ @SummerCatchers #GameDev #IndieGames

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Summer Catchers has been out on PC since July 2019 and it’s a game that passed me by. 

Fast forward to 2021 and now it’s on Nintendo Switch I think I have discovered a video game that will stick with me for a very long time to come. 

Summer Catchers is……….bloody marvellous.

I’m sitting here with the Nintendo Switch on my desk and it's just begging me to play another run of Summer Catchers as I try to bring together some words to describe what Summer Catchers is.

Steam tags it as Casual, Racing, Indie, Action, 2D but I have to say that it’s much more than that. The Pixel Art graphics and animation alone gives it a character and a charm that I have fallen in love with. 
The well-written dialogue is endearing and completely at one with the game as it brings across the growing relationship between a little girl and a wise old bear/wolf who happens to be a fantastic woodworker. Bear* with me because this game just gets better.

But what is it all about I hear you cry...good question my friends. 

The story centres around a little girl who lives in a snowy land and who has never seen the summer. She wants to escape the forest to witness the summer for herself and that's where the wolf bear comes in with his handy set of tools and a cool wooden go-kart for the girl to drive.

The gameplay loop boils down to a side-scrolling auto-runner whereby you control the actions of your go-kart with a set of tools represented by in-game cards that you can choose to utilise at the correct moment. The tools will enable you to overcome obstacles and lengthen your run whilst collecting mushrooms from the forest to spend as currency. Does that make sense?
The tools initially enable you to attach a battering ram to bust through obstacles, apply a jump to get over damaging ravines or attach a rocket to get up a steep snowy hill. These are the baseline tools and as you go on through the story you will unlock further tools to assist you in your quest.

Your run will come to an end once your go-kart takes one too many hits and you are returned to the hub where you can spend your hard-earned mushrooms on more tools, go-kart upgrades and clothing. 

You’ll also be set tasks from this lovely looking Pixel art hub by your Wolf/Bear buddy. These tasks act as a tick list of objectives to unlock a new area and are the gateways to progression. 

You’ll also get letters in the post in the hub area which you will be able to add to your scrapbook as you progress through the levels and these act as a nice way of documenting your progress.
The whole game just oozes charm and has a simple game loop that is just so well implemented that it’s simply a joy to play. Each screen feels like it was meticulously crafted in order to draw the player into the world of Summer Catchers and even though this an arcade-style game of sorts it makes you feel like you truly care for the characters and the storyline.

For me, this is a must-have purchase on the Nintendo Switch and anyone who doesn’t enjoy this game is no friend of mine as not liking this game equates to not having a heart.

This is truly a hidden gem in the poorly designed Nintendo eShop and it deserves to have its name sung from the snowy rooftops so as even more people experience this dose of pure video games goodness.
"Right, I’m off to collect mushrooms in the forest and plant saplings whilst chopping down dead foliage."

*unintended pun alert

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