A Tale of Laid-Back Exploration: A Review of Season: A Letter to the Future

6 min


Scavengers Studio’s second release, Season: A Letter to the Future, is a laid-back exploration game that offers a break from busy battle royales and intense FPS games. The game has been categorized by many as a “walking simulator,” but those who delve into it will find themselves on an enjoyable journey through thought-provoking environments.

Gameplay Mechanics & Visuals
In Season, you play as Alex, a girl from the present who is visiting her grandmother in the past. You have been given a bicycle to explore your grandmother’s neighborhood and discover its secrets. The mechanics are simple—you can bike around, collect items, and talk to NPCs. But despite its lack of complexity, there is something oddly satisfying about exploring this world on your own terms. As you ride around town, you will come across various characters who will tell stories about their lives and offer insight into the secrets behind the world you inhabit. It is these conversations that make up much of the gameplay and they are often interesting enough to make up for any moments of boredom that may arise from biking around.
The visuals are also quite nice—the town has a pleasant aesthetic with lush vegetation, bright colors, and vibrant lighting. Despite its simplicity, there is something strangely captivating about exploring this world on two wheels; it feels like being taken back in time to simpler days where all you had to worry about was which path you chose next.

Storyline & Conclusion

The overarching story revolves around Alex’s grandmother and her past—a past that Alex must uncover in order to understand why her grandmother chooses not to talk about it. The storyline progresses at a slow pace but offers enough intrigue that it never becomes too boring or tedious. Ultimately, Season: A Letter to the Future offers an experience unlike any other; it is both relaxing and thought-provoking at the same time. If you’re looking for an escape from frantic battle royales or intense FPS games then this game might be worth checking out!

Season’s creators had a message they intended to get out, but it’s conveyed in such a hazy manner that players are left to interpret it for themselves. The game invites players to think about death and discusses memory, time, the perils of wallowing in the past, the value of thinking about the Future, and other related topics. As a result, the experience is tinged with regret, wistfulness, and nostalgia. The Season will likely only appeal to a particular player who doesn’t mind turning a little melancholy and reflective.

A silent protagonist in the game leaves her remote town after hearing from a friend that the current Season is about to expire. It has been decades since anyone left the village. Since the outside world is a dangerous place where people often lose themselves mentally and physically, this is challenging. However, before the Season is over, the lead character feels compelled to capture the environment around her using an audio recorder, a camera, and her artistic abilities in the hopes of leaving a record for future generations.

Although it’s unclear precisely what these seasons are, they are a fundamental aspect of this universe, and humans can experience a variety of them throughout their lifetimes. While the setting of Season first appears to be very similar to the real world, it is clear that it is either set in a distant past or the Future when new universal laws are in effect. Because the globe Scavengers Studio developed is magical, filled with enigmatic gods that have the power to grant or take away memories, as well as complex diseases that can cause individuals to enter a permanent dream state or even alter their capacity to forget.

The players are entrusted with exploring this intriguing environment since it begs to be done so. On a bicycle, they leave Caro Village and travel gently through a stunning terrain home to wildlife and the weathered remains of previous seasons. Season’s scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, and it’s enjoyable to soak in the landscapes’ vivid hues. Most people will feel this component of the riding sim needs to be more emphasized because it takes so little time to get from one place to another. It’s a tranquil moment in the game that makes you desire more.

This is primarily due to Season’s style, which is understated but contains just enough details to give the environment a fraction of life. Nothing beats the rush of rounding a curve in the road to see a magnificent landscape stretching to the horizon with fluffy clouds shimmering pink in the sunlight. It’s the perfect location for photos; thankfully, Scavengers gives you plenty of chances to do so.

The main character in the game keeps a sketchbook where she keeps sketches, images, audio files (somehow), posters, and notes she finds lying around. She can even make notes of memorable quotes from the many residents she meets. As the book fills up, additional embellishments or stickers can be added to customize it further. It’s surprisingly satisfying to finish each section, which results in a beautifully presented visual record of each player’s unique gameplay experience.

Although it’s a possibility, gamers aren’t expected to merely stroll around the undulating hills and take random photos of everything fascinating they come across. A few more “quests” in the game urge the player to locate particular objects to photograph or record to further explain important plot points in Season. Finally, it is optional to complete the game. One is free to skip all the recordings, photograph, sketch, and proceed straight through the game.

Those interested in recording the gaming world will soon discover how rewarding it can be. Tempest 3D AudioTech, which Scavengers’ Creative Director Kevin Sullivan refers to as “spatial dimensions of sound,” is a feature in Season. This implies that when the player gets closer, the sound of a waterfall smashing into rocks, kites flapping in the wind, or birds singing will get louder and more distinct. Nevertheless, it’s simple to miss some sounds. Therefore it’s helpful to activate the subtitles, which also give a visual cue.

Apart from that, Season’s photographing and recording aspects are quite straightforward—in a good way. They are simple to learn and integrate into gameplay rather than existing independently, like a photo mode might. The camera has a zoom, filters, and a focal point adjustment feature, but that’s about it. Stopping every few seconds to capture a photo of another beautiful scene quickly becomes a habit. The only drawback was that as the game progressed, the sun started to set, and the lighting became less bright, making all of the pictures regrettably gloomy and challenging to view.

The Season is not a post-apocalyptic story, despite the rusted and rotting reminders of the past that are still present. Instead, it creates the idea of a fresh start, similar to the sensation that follows a heavy downpour when the light returns and the birds begin to sing. Hope for the Future coexists with grief for the things that have been lost.

As a result, the protagonist needs help to explore the environment. She will come across a small group of distinctive and fascinating locals, each with a sobering tale of adversity and hope to share. The way Season makes the player care about these characters and their post-game lives is excellent. Many players will be left curious about the game’s world, strange history, and diverse inhabitants.

The experience of navigating around Season is generally delightful, and it indeed seems like entering a work of art. Of course, the game could be more flawless. Random stuttering that caused the camera to lurch upward by around half a centimetre during the playing was one problem that occurred frequently and required the brain to adapt to a slightly different perspective quickly. It was unsettling and annoying and accentuated the motion sickness, another game drawback.

At least for some players, Season’s camera movement causes them to experience continual motion sickness. And the game’s choice to reveal or hide the reticle includes a warning that “displaying a dot in the centre of the screen may help to lessen motion sickness,” suggesting that the creator is aware of this. Unfortunately, the dot could have been more helpful; only a few games emphasize this. Because of this, it was challenging to play the game for longer than an hour at a time.

However, from those two issues, Season: A Letter to the Future has a few drawbacks. Those looking for a more action-packed experience will likely find it challenging. However, the adventure game provides a thoughtless evening on the couch. Players will be left with a pleasant sensation of wonder, curiosity, and hazy nostalgia after playing this game since it is just so gorgeous in terms of graphics and the story it portrays.

Season: A Letter to the Future debuts for PC, PS4, and PS5 on January 31, 2023. A Steam code was given to Game Rant for this review.

Scavengers Studio’s Season: A Letter to the Future provides players with a laid-back exploration game with simple mechanics and compelling environments. Despite its categorization as a walking simulator by some players, those who venture into this indie title will find themselves on an enjoyable journey into a thought-provoking world where they can explore their grandmother’s neighborhood on two wheels while exchanging conversations with NPCs along their way. While Season’s storyline progresses at a slow pace, it offers enough intrigue that it never becomes too boring or tedious; ultimately making this game worth checking out if you’re looking for an escape from frantic battle royales or intense FPS games!

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With over a decade of writing obituaries for the local paper, Jane has a uniquely wry voice that shines through in her newest collection of essays, which explore the importance we place on legacy.


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