[PC] Natsu no Owari – Review

Title: 夏ノ終熄
Developer: Cube
Release Date: 26th August 2022
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~5 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB

Natsu no Owari takes place in a world where a global pandemic has caused the majority of the adult population to die. We follow Yuuji, who left the city not long after graduating university due to struggling with the social aspects of the modern workplace. He ended up moving back to his grandparents’ house in a remote mountain village and had a successful career as an online vlogger/streamer producing content focusing on survival and general countryside life. These skills prove useful after the pandemic hits and, though he’s the sole surviving member of his village, he’s able to sustain himself from the land. However, he finds himself simply “going through the motions” and not really having much to live for.

One day whilst foraging for mushrooms in the mountain forests, he comes across a girl called Mio. It turns out that she left the city to travel to the seaside in order to see the ocean but since she has a terrible sense of direction, she ended up wandering in the opposite direction for three days. Realising she had no food or water, Yuuji offers to help her out and Mio ends up staying with him.

In a world that has gone to ruin, will Mio & Yuuji be able to find a reason to continue moving forwards?

My Thoughts

When it came to the August 2022 releases, I was extremely excited about Natsu no Owari from the moment it was announced – with Kazuki Fumi at the helm for scenario I was fairly confident the story would be decent. I’m also a big fan of single heroine novels in general – they’re gentle on both my wallet and time whilst still generally providing a memorable experience. Considering all of this, it’s no real surprise that I ended up pre-ordering this game so did it end up being worth my money or should I have waited for it to go on sale?

Something that I feel prospective players should be aware of is the scope of this game – it is not an epic sci-fi or action tale dealing with the solving of a pandemic. It is firmly a romance story about two people finding each other and a reason to keep living in a tragic situation. And in this regard NatsuOwa delivers an enjoyable tale.

Being a single heroine title, how much you like Mio will be a pretty big factor regarding how much you enjoy the game. This game spends much of its time building an atmosphere of 二人だけの世界 so if you don’t like the two main characters this is not the game for you. I personally found the leads to have quite enjoyable banter and the way that Mio slowly opened up to Yuuji over the course of the story was enjoyable. The fact that she initially thought he was some sort of mountain bandit but then felt safe enough to go home with him in the first place because he looked “dead behind his eyes (not in a bad way)” was hilarious and Mio only continues to be a quirky, fun character.

The story progresses in a very structured way – each day is seperated into a few defined sections:

  • Morning – Wake up with Mio’s perspective on the day ahead, have breakfast together and choose somewhere to go together to look for something to eat.
  • Daytime – Go to chosen area and look for food, or go fishing/hunting.
  • Evening – Arrive home, cook + eat dinner, have a bath (Mio’s perspective) and then relax together. This is where the non-map choices are.

Despite the fact that this story structure could sound repetitive, it actually came across more relaxing to me. In fact, I would describe the game as a whole as surprisingly relaxing and calming for a title with such a depressing setting. There are for sure some emotional moments in NatsuOwa but I personally wouldn’t go as far as to call it a 泣きゲー.

Pretty interestingly you’re locked into one of the normal or bad endings on your first playthrough and, once you finish the normal ending, the true routes unlock. There are technically two true routes and four variations on the true ending but the only difference in the endings are small variations in the final CG, no actual dialogue changes, which is something I found to be very disappointing. The two true routes themselves are a little more unique, primarily in the H department.

The artwork for this game was provided by Umiko (Aonatsu Line, Yukiiro Sign) and was pretty nice imo. Some of the CGs were perhaps a little simplistic but that’s not a major complaint. The one other thing I will say is that I was disappointed about the different variations of the true endings not having completely unique CGs but I understand this is probably a budget issue.

There’s actually a really low number of BGM songs & only one vocal song (used for both the OP & ED). However, the game itself isn’t that long so I never really found it to be a problem – again, this is a low-priced title so there has to be some areas that pale compared to full-price games. That being said, the vocal song is pretty good.

Final Thoughts

My Score: 7/10

In the end, Natsu no Owari is a pretty decent and self-contained story with an unusual setting. I enjoyed the atmosphere and characters a lot but found the variety of true endings to be slightly misleading. If Mio as a character or the setting interests you then I would recommend picking this up, I think it’s definitely worth its price.

I believe this is the first single heroine game from Cube but I hope they make some more in the future! There’s actually a number of other lower-priced titles I’m interested in towards the end of the year so plan to review those at some point too.

Thanks for reading!

About Zettai Renai

Hello! ヾ(^-^)ノ Sometimes I write about Visual Novels. I particularly like cutesy/fluffy stories~ I also am eternally suffering in Enstars hell(˶′◡‵˶)
This entry was posted in Galge, PC, Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to [PC] Natsu no Owari – Review

  1. Ari says:

    This game caught my interest as well and I was considering getting it sometime, so I’m glad to hear it seems to be worth checking out. It looks quite pretty and the setting does sound interesting. And the short time investment is a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zettai Renai says:

      Happy to be of help! The setting was definitely one of the really interesting parts of this game so would recommend it based off that alone. Also this is a great choice if you want something shorter – it’s nice to be able to read something for a change without having to commit 20+ hours.

      Like

  2. Sang Guci says:

    Nice review, 二人だけの世界 theme reminds me of the half latter part of eden* by minori… Also both of the heroines are white-haired haha except her artificial loli human body.. I also recommended eden* if you like

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s