I knew Last Day of June would end in tears, and it still got me.

That, to me, is the most impressive feat this short time-traveling adventure pulls off. From two minutes into the game, before anything’s even gone wrong, you know tragedy lies in wait. From ten minutes in, you have a decent idea where the rest of the game is headed. From half an hour in, you’ve mapped out most of the remaining story.

It still gets you. And it hurts.

A stitch in time

“Sad Groundhog Day” is a pretty good descriptor here. You play as Carl, a bespectacled man with a comically large and round head. Carl’s life seems pretty damn picture-perfect to start, spending time down at the lake with what seems to be the love of his life. She shivers, you go get her a blanket—you can even stop and pick her flowers on the way to the car. Adorable.

And ill-fated, as you can probably guess. A storm sweeps in off the lake, sending Carl and the woman I assume is the titular June scrambling back to the car. I say “I assume she’s June” because, well, it’s her last day.

Not clear enough? Okay, spoiler: She dies.

Last Day of June IDG / Hayden Dingman

So much for true love and all that. It was a beautiful ten minutes Carl got to spend there, before his life came crashing down before our very eyes. When next we see Carl, post-accident, he’s a wheelchair-bound shell of himself, stricken with grief and guilt and all the other emotions I imagine come with this sort of freak accident.

Carl’s given a gift though. For reasons unknown, Carl discovers he can jump back into the past, change the events of that fateful day in an effort to spare June’s life. Not his own actions—for whatever reason those seem locked in time. He can’t just go back and decide not to drive the two of them home.

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