Summer Catchers (Switch, PC, Mobile)

If you are ready for Spring and Summer to get here, you may want to pick up Summer Catchers.  Play as a little girl who has lived way up north all her life and has never seen Summer before.  One day, while out in the snowy forest, she meets a talking wolf who is also a craftsman.  He offers to build her a wooden car so she can drive down South to the beach so she can finally see what Summer is like.  Summer Catchers is an endless runner adventure available for Switch, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

In the main game, you’ll be constantly driving forward all the time.  On the right side of the screen are tools you can use when you highlight them and press a button.  These tools include bumpers that let you run into something, tires that let you jump over obstacles, rockets to give you a boost of speed, or a propeller that’ll let you fly a short distance.  When you use a tool, another will appear in its place.  If you don’t have any good tools to use, you can press another button to swap one out for another, but you’ll have to wait for a cooldown meter before you can do that again.  Your car can take a couple of hits, but if you crash you’ll have to start at the base again.

The base lets you do a few things.  There is a shop where you can buy more tools with the mushrooms you collect while driving.  The good thing is that I never once ran into a case where I ran out of mushrooms to buy more tools.  You can also unlock new outfits and cars, but they are purely cosmetic.  You can also talk to the animal friend of that world, and view objectives that animal requires of you.  These include collecting certain objects as you play, or using certain tools at the right spots.  Once you complete that animal’s objectives, you’ll go up against a “boss” which usually means using tools to outrun a yeti or a tornado for a certain distance.  You can also check a mailbox at the base and write letters to previous animal friends, which is cute, as well as buy postcards to put in a photo album scrapbook.  Once you are ready to go again, highlight the car and start driving once more!

The game does a good job of making you feel like you’re on a road trip.  Sometimes while driving, the action will pause so the girl can look at something weird in the background, like a giant mountain with eyes or a huge feather falling to the ground.  And other times, when you crash, you won’t immediately go back to base, but meet a new character and sometimes play a mini-game like a maze challenge or music rhythm game.  Completing these will usually net you a new animal friend that acts as a power up when you jump and touch certain objects.  I also like the pixel graphics and some of the music is pretty catchy, too.

Summer Catchers does have a few problems, though.  Even on the Easy difficulty selection, the game eventually just gets too hard, at least for me.  I never could get past the tornado boss.  And while they explain some of the objectives pretty well, other times you are left in the dark.  For instance, you get a tool to help you with that tornado, but I have no idea what it does.  Plus the progress feels a little slow and sometimes the shuffling of tools makes the game feel like it relies on luck more than skill.  It’s a shame, too, because otherwise this is one of the better endless runners I’ve ever played, with lots of charm and things to do.

Kid Factor:

Violence is fairly minimal.  If you crash your car, the kid will fly out and land on the ground, spinning around for a bit (sometimes landing on her head).  And then she’ll say something funny like “I should buckle up” or whatever.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.  Summer Catchers is rated E for Everyone.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!