Publisher: Soviet Games
Release Date: November 19, 2014
You play as Semyon, a man going nowhere. He rarely leaves his house and is generally unenthused about life. Then one winter night, he falls asleep on the bus home only to wake up in an unknown location in the middle of summer. Where is he? When is he? How did he get there? What is this strange camp filled with kids and hot women?
While there is a strong mystery element to Everlasting Summer, I simply wasn’t into it. The prologue didn’t draw me in and it certainly didn’t make me care about what happens to Semyon. Even when we get to the camp, I still wasn’t fully engaged. The only part I was really interested in was later in the story when Semyon goes looking for a fellow camper at an old abandoned site. At least that was kind of creepy and weird.
There are seven different routes in Everlasting Summer, each following one of the girls Semyon meets or where he goes it alone. Two of the routes aren’t available at first and an additional route isn’t unlocked until the very end, but you can still pursue Slavya, Ulyana, Alisa, and Lena. The most intriguing female character is actually Viola, but she is not an option, unfortunately.
I did Lena’s route the first time and was mightly disappointed. Of the available girls, I liked her the best, but didn’t like her at all by the end. There was also no closure to the story. No explanation as to what was happening at all. Semyon and Lena hooked up and that was that. Maybe other routes give more information? Definitely not Miku’s which goes in an entirely different, unexpected direction.
There are a few content warnings for Everlasting Summer. There is talk of suicide, death, and bombings in the common route. And one of Ulyana’s options has a rape joke. Miku’s route has a conversation surrounding Semyon calling her retarded and depictions of gore. I haven’t gone down all of the branches, so I’m unsure of other warnings.
When Everlasting Summer first started, I was not a fan of the artstyle in the prologue. It just didn’t appeal to me. But once we get to the camp, I started to like it more. The backgrounds have a more painting look to them which was actually quite nice. I do like the character designs though. And the girls have multiple outfits which is nice.
However, there are some scenes that aren’t done in the typical visual novel style. These extra scenes have a different drawing style and I actually found them quite ugly. They didn’t match the rest of the art style and something looked off about the characters. Unfortunately, these are the only times we see Seymon as well.
And the visuals don’t always line up with the story. There’s a big inconsistency when it comes to the number of campers. The canteen is shown to be full and Semyon comments on how there’s nowhere to sit. But on Day 2, when the campers are there for “line up” there’s only a handful of people, and Semyon wonders why he was told all the cabins are full if no one is there. Then the canteen is full again. Which is it?! Even the camp map shows that there’s only a few people there.
Sound Effects + Music:
The background music is an eclectic mix. Some tracks sound like elevator music while others would be more at home in a platformer game. They’re not bad songs, but they don’t seem to fit together. I much preferred scenes that had no music, only ambient noises. Not to say that I don’t like any of the music, because there are several tracks, particularly near the end, which I did enjoy a lot.
Gameplay + Controls:
Everlasting Summer is a visual novel with a few additional gameplay elements. Simply press enter to progress the text and click on the story choice that you want. This game uses a score-based system to unlock the different routes, so your choices add or subtract points for each route and to determine the type of ending.
There is an interactive map of the camp, which comes into play in one part of the story. It doesn’t add much though, since you have to visit the highlighted buildings, and can’t go anywhere else. Later you do have free reign to choose where to go. Maybe you’ll run into one of the girls, or maybe not.
On day two there’s a card competition and you actually have to play the game as Semyon. The rules really don’t make sense, but you have to either win or lose which counts as a “choice.” It’s hard to choose to win or lose when you don’t know how to play. I did lose though, which is what I wanted.
Everlasting Summer has 14 different endings. There’s a Good and Bad End for each of the five girls, Good and Bad end for Seymon, and then two special routes that unlock once you’ve unlocked the others. This adds a lot of replayability if you’re interested in the story, or just want to “beat” it.
It took me about 5 hours to read Lena’s Good End, and then I dove back in to get Miku’s route, since she was the girl I was most interested in other than Viola (she needs a route!). This took me another 2 hours.
Everlasting Summer is an okay visual novel. I didn’t like the common route at all, and I wasn’t a fan of Lena’s route either. Miku’s route was crazy though and left me curious as to what the other girls would lead to.
Leave a Reply