Summer Catchers by FaceIT
Summer Catchers is a side-scrolling endless runner game that throws obstacles at the player as they journey across a landscape collecting mushrooms.
The game is built around a charming story starring Chu, a young girl who lives in a frozen forest, and her quest to finally see summer.
Summer Catchers opens with Chu meeting an anthropomorphic wolf (which she mistakes for a bear) who provides assistance by way of a wooden vehicle in which to travel. He continues to provide upgrades and additional tools as Chu performs tasks for him, and their relationship is the start of a chain of endearing interactions between Chu and various other characters.
The action of Summer Catchers is structured around races – infinite side-scrolling driving segments where numerous obstacles must be overcome with a selection of tools provided before each race.
Tools range from barriers to rocket boosters to temporary flight, and they can be purchased as single-use items from shops that serve as preparation areas. Items are served up randomly, with a choice of three being available at any one time, meaning that a certain amount of chance is at play at all times.
I found this could be frustrating as levels often ended quickly simply due to poor luck, but the ability to dive straight back in mitigated this somewhat.
Between races, it is possible to stock up on items for the next activity, interact with local characters and purchase cosmetic skins for both the car and for Chu. All of this is bought with mushrooms collected on each run (they are scattered intermittently across the ground when driving).
I found the upgrades and the bemusing conversations between Chu and her companions to make for a fun distraction from the gameplay itself, although there is a certain sense of everything being a little too structured; each area provides a couple of new cosmetic unlocks to buy with newly acquired ‘shrooms, for example, rather than there being a greater selection to consider at all times.
Summertime and the Living’s Easy
The visuals of Summer Catchers are nothing short of stunning, and the upbeat music helps to provide a cheery atmosphere for the game. Each area has its own aesthetic and background theme that shapes into an engaging journey.
As the story unfolds, some quirky and mysterious events unfold that help to provide motivation for progress. A beautifully animated mystical stag in the first area, for example, made for a delightful aside from all the obstacle-dodging antics.
Summer Catchers is a very sweet game, and while the gameplay isn’t exactly complicated, it is engaging and fun when the RNG-related issues don’t cause too many hiccups. I did find that PC controls aren’t exactly cut out for the interface here, and this is definitely a game that would be better experienced on a touchscreen.
Nonetheless, Summer Catchers is a fun little time-sink, and its beautiful art, appealing audio and sweet story make it worth a look for adventurers looking for a simple but pleasing experience.
Summer Catchers is available via the App Store, Google Play and Steam.
Watch the official Summer Catchers trailer below: