Summertime Madness is a first person puzzle game. You play as “The Artist”, he’s a painter who’s living in a war-torn country, he paints beautiful landscapes in order to escape the reality of the war tearing through his country, the reality of all the horrible things he sees every single day. One night a man appears in his studio and offers him a small escape, he can escape from this city and it’s horrors and enter one of his paintings. There’s a caveat to that though, because of course there is, after he enters the painting he has until midnight to find a way out of the painting or his soul will be trapped there forever. Lovely story no? I don’t really understand why he accepts it, oh you get to go on a solo vacation with no people for a fragment of a day, if you don’t work really hard and get back from this vacation your soul is forfeit. To me that doesn’t sound like a good time, maybe if it was like a month sure why not, but less than a full day, well… I’m not sure that’s worth it.
What I played was just a demo, it doesn’t have a full release until June, so I only have the first like maybe two or three levels to go off of? Well each new looking area was a level in my mind, no idea if they actually were individual levels or what. The look of it seems like maybe you visit other paintings but I’m not sure on that. The first area I was in was this bright and colorful it was a couple nice green grass filled hills with water everywhere, a ship appeared which held a puzzle on it, I had to find a way to activate the next area which required me to pull leavers and ring bells in such a way to open doors at different areas on the ship, to open one door another would close and the like. It was actually a little tough to beat, it took me a while to figure out how to do it, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t so hard that I felt like I was bashing my head into a brick wall, but it wasn’t so easy it was a piss take. Eventually you unlock a lighthouse to enter to get to the next level. Not only do you unlock the ability to enter the lighthouse, but you actually make the lighthouse show up in the first place.
The second area was after you got to the top of the lighthouse, it was a circular bridge puzzle. You were able to click flags to move one of three rings of a set of bridges. There were three flags each controlling a section of the bridge, you have to move them around in such a way that the connectors between them connect so you can move around and connect a connector to the door out of this area. This wasn’t too hard of a puzzle, once I got the first part started and I understood how everything worked, it was both obvious and easy, just getting that first part done was a little complicated.
The next level was after you exited through the door of the prior one I talked about, it’s also the puzzle in the demo. The puzzle in this level was a much smaller puzzle, you just had to get five candles lit up, each candle you touched would cause another candle or two to light or extinguish depending on what setting that candle was at in the first place. Let’s just say the candles were one through five, and let’s say lighting one caused four and five to flip, so if five was lit at the start and both one and four weren’t and you lit one, it would light one, four, but extinguish five. Every one of them did this, which made it take a while to solve. I… I’m going to be honest, I solved it via luck, and it took me like ten minutes to solve this simple little candle puzzle and I’m ashamed.
Upon completing the five candle puzzle though you created a new painting, and when you clicked on it, it ended the game. It seemed like in the full game, you would have actually entered this new painting to continue your adventure, granted there’s no guarantee I’m right but it seemed that way. The audio made everything feel really relaxed and chill too which was nice. The only real issue I have with the game is this, it specifically specified in the game that there wasn’t a time limit in the demo, this implies there IS a time limit in the main game. I don’t like time limits, I don’t like feeling stressed, I’m bad at time management and I like to take my time doing things, so a time limit worries me, quite heavily.
Otherwise though, I really enjoyed this. It was a nice chill game. The puzzles were mostly fun to figure out because you got to interact with the world around you, I think that was my favorite part, the first two puzzles you interacted with the world to change things to solve the puzzle and I got into that. The candle puzzle wasn’t as good for that same reason, you were just sitting in front of candles and clicking them, that’s it, and that was kind of boring after playing on a pirate ship and with a bunch of bridges that I had to move around on. That being said if you like games like The Witness, I think this might be up your ally, it’s not even all that computer intensive which was awesome cause I have a fucking potato. I really wish covid19 would fuck off so parts would start getting made in earnest again and their prices would drop again so I could fucking afford it. *sighs* It took me years to save the money for a new PC just in time for something to come around and jack up the prices to fuck me once more FML. Anyways yeah, I liked the game, my potato can run it, I played it on lower settings and they were already fairly pretty, so running it on more current day computers this game is going to be super prettiful and that makes my mouth water a little… or maybe I’m hungry… I don’t know.
A preview copy of the game was downloaded for free via Steam.
darkmikasonfire thinks you should keep an eye out for Summertime Madness.