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19 Jun 2022

REVIEW: Summertime Madness on XBOX

Review by Staff
Summertime Madness is a single-player first-person puzzle game. The game starts off with a nice intro.

"The city of Prague was under siege, ravaged by war.
Buildings were falling, churches were burning, and everything was to be washed away forever.
A painter lived there, isolated from the outside world. The worse the terrors of war became, the more the artist obsessively painted beautiful landscapes as a contrast to the evil he had witnessed. One night, a mysterious figure appeared in the house seemingly out of nowhere. The stranger walked slowly around the room, inspecting the paintings. He then sat down in front of the artist; to offer him a deal.
The chance to enter one of his own creations, far away and free of war. But he would have to find his way back out before midnight, or else his soul would become trapped in the canvas forever. Feeling alone, on the edge of madness, terrorized by the scent of death creeping in from the streets, the artist shook the mysterious man's hand, accepting the deal.
A few moments later, the house was empty."

Once the intro has finished, you get a choice of how to play the game. 
Classic Mode = 6 hours to finish the game.
Advanced = 3 hours to finish the game.
Explorer = No time limit.

Once you have chosen which you prefer, your characters eyes open and you find yourself in a beautifully drawn 3D world.
You play as the painter, now inside one of the paintings, who has seemingly made a deal with the mysterious figure, basically representing the devil.

As you walk about you will need to solve puzzles and explore your surroundings.

For a puzzle game, there is a lot of walking around, which seems strange, but I understand that the game makers want to give you a peaceful experience, but then why add time limits?

The puzzles themselves involve a lot of running back and forth, and unfortunately the puzzles in general are really poorly thought out. And instead of a challenging feel, they will just make you frustrated. The first puzzle for example, run back and forth turning the wheel on a ship, open doors, close doors, pull a lever, ring a bell, it all gets a bit tedious. The exact puzzle mechanics tend to be very easy, but wrapped in ridiculous back and forth running about, that is just annoying and not much fun.

The game doesn't hold you hand either in any way, some puzzles are just confusing and make no logical sense, and since you have no real idea what you are supposed to do, the feeling to just give up and turn the game off, grows and grows as you play.

The Good
The game is beautiful, the visuals and sounds are all of the highest quality.

The Bad
The puzzles are poorly thought out, and frustrate more than challenge.

The base of a good game is there, it is just ruined by puzzles that are just terrible in their delivery.

I score Summertime Madness on Xbox, a poor 3/10

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