Genre(s): Adventure, Racing, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 11/02/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Summer Catchers will bring players on an epic road trip where, thanks to their wooden cars, they’ll be able to travel to distant lands full of mystery, strange creatures and exciting races in your quest to finally experience summer. As you’d expect, it won’t be easy. As you’ll drive through shadowy forests, dark swamps, vast valleys, and underground cities, you’ll encounter a bevy of obstacles and difficult situations.
Don’t Forget To Pack the Essentials!
Summer Catchers is a unique 2D game which mixes racing, rhythm and puzzle based elements. The core of the gameplay is, obviously, players riding their wooden vehicle across various environments. You’ll come across a bevy of obstacles that can only be cleared by using a few special abilities that you’ll pick up along the way. There’s a rocket that will give you a boost, a ram-like item which will help you go through trees or snow banks for example. And there’s also a wheel like icon that will make you jump across spiked obstacles.
Before jumping into a track, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a goal to complete; such as picking up X amount of mushrooms or cutting down X trees. As you ride around, you’ll pick up mushrooms that will be used as your currency. Before jumping back onto the track, you’ll have the opportunity to refill your power-ups which are mandatory to progress forward. Additionally, the further you go, the more items you’ll be able to unlock in the shop, e.g. rides, clothing and power-ups.
Woah! Déjà Vu!
My biggest issue with Summer Catchers is that it feels very grind-y; much like a frustrating RPG where you feel like you’re never strong enough to progress forward. Once you’re out of power-ups or run out of health, you die, meaning that you have to start over. It also feels like no matter how many times you retry, there’s little to no feeling of progress. And if you forget to refill one or multiple power-ups and jump back into the racer, then you have to die on purpose or quit/restart.
Summer Catchers looks great; personally, I’m a sucker for 2D 8-bit designed games, which is seriously the main reason I wanted to review it. The game is also colorful with various color palettes throughout this virtual road trip. And on the audio side of things, the soundtrack is great; it’s a synthwave-like score that will get you grooving on your path to repetitiveness.
So, is Summer Catchers worth it? Well, it all depends on your tolerance for repetitiveness and the feeling of no progress as you try and master the game’s mechanics. The concept is great, but it’s also the type of game that if you stop playing for a while, it’s easy to forget how to use which power-ups when. As a whole, I can recommend Summer Catchers, but be warned: the steep learning curve and required quick reflexes can be a detriment to some players, but once you’re over that hill, it’s a nice little gem.
Rapid Reviews Rating
Summer Catchers can be purchased on the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.