A Summer's End: Hong Kong 1986
released on Apr 23, 2020
A Summer’s End - Hong Kong 1986 is a visual novel game. Follow the story of Michelle and Sam, and how their chance meeting evolves into a deeper romantic relationship. A Summer’s End is a romance story between two women. Set in vibrant Hong Kong in the year 1986, it is an original story about love, family, and culture.
Inspired by Hong Kong cinema, 80s anime, and city pop, A Summer’s End - Hong Kong 1986 is a visual delight for fans of retro art and fashion.
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The best parts are when the main character feels bad for just going out because her mother has been waiting all night. Being a really small thing, it nails that the guilt is not so much on how the mother really feels, but on the girl’s perceptions on how she always thought she ought to be (as expected, it turns out that it is not that much of a deal, although the game is also too bland presenting the conflict of views and needs between mother and daughter).
Getting that out of the way, the game lacks passion. The same passion that makes the girl want to change her life to be who she really is, that makes her fall in love, that makes her take risks. I even activated the “erotic” scenes out of curiosity (because I’m a pervert) and I’m pretty sure I can easily find Teletubbies clips with more blood in their veins than any sexual encounter here, let alone any kiss or any hug. And this is not only my complaint about the relationship not working but about the exploration of oneself necessities and desires not working, about the state (and problems) of living in Hong Kong in 1986 being whatever and at the end getting out with a bland, supposedly liberating, romance that is too shy to say anything out loud as much as it wants to.
love the aesthetic of this game so much
Beautifully illustrated. A tender and emotional love story. A soundtrack of wall to wall jams. It is a game with simple ambition and flawless presentation, few visual novels could possibly compare. 5 stars, I am so excited to see what Oracle and Bone come up with next.
Predictably sentimental in just the right way for my little gay heart. The prose could've used another pass, but the game nails so much about being queer in conservative Asia that I don't feel like giving it too much grief.