The year is 1976 and your mother is giving birth to you in a lovely ’70s car, known in game as The Satsuma. Of course, when you’re born it’s all in 1st person to give you full immersion!
Moving on now, we find ourselves in the family home with nothing but beer and sausages for provisions, our Uncle’s van for transport and an old beaten up Satsuma…. the car we were born in. Other than that, all you have is a note on your fridge from your parents. What you do next is on you and that’s what makes this game so great.
If you like cars, alcohol and comedy then this is the game for you. Of course, the main goal is to fix the birth mobile up, tune her and rally her if you’re brave enough (did I mention this is permadeath and everything can kill you?)
Yeah, this game is insane. Forget your seat belt? Death. Misjudge speed and direction? Death. Drink too much? God only knows where you’ll wake up.
There are many things that make this a hit indie title but the main one for me has to be the lack of tutorial and direction. Everything is common sense – you’re not trying to figure out the game mechanics, in fact, you must use your real-world sensabilities and this makes My Summer Car incredibly immersive. The only real direction you actually get are phone calls and a map – other than that it’s all on you. Then you have the characters which really do have character, humour and personalities. They will grow on you, trust me. You will be visiting your Grandma every week just to watch her drink tea from her saucer.
I also have to add that you can watch the My Summer Car developers on the in game TV, starring in Topless Gun. There’s comedy is everywhere you turn.
Once you have saved some money from doing odd jobs, such as chopping wood, taking care of people’s sewage or even brewing illegal alcohol, you will be aiming to build your car up and getting it ready to be inspected. This thing has been off the road for years and obviously will need to be deemed fit enough for Government roads.
This is where the challenge begins. Build the chassis, build the engine, fettle the carb and set your valve clearances. These are just a few of the features that you will have to take care of, just to get your Satsuma running and believe me, when you do, it’s the most satisfying thing you will accomplish in a game. Provided you pass inspection (which is not easy) you will then want to get her ready for rallying… I mean who wouldn’t?
This is no normal game, remember. You’re not going to open a menu, click a part and it appears. Oh no, no, no. This is the mid ’90s. Flick through a parts catalogue, order what you need and drive to the post office and physically post an envelope…..then wait! Want a roll cage to try and stop you from dying? Take your car to the local rip off merchant and have him fit one.
After earning enough money you will eventually have a fully tuned and pimped rally prepared birth mobile and it’s time to go win that rally. Again, because of the journey undertaken, the near death experiences, the blood, sweat and tears involved, if you win that rally it will be the best day of your life.
Did I mention that this is also a survival simulator? You will need to drink copious amounts of beer, eat plenty of sausages, smoke to relieve your stress, take frequent pee breaks and shower occasionally. That’s right, survive like a true 90’s man.
In brief: this game is sick. Get it and support the devs. They truly care about their creation.
Good luck, don’t die, drink lots.