Summer Catchers Gameplay Preview – Perpetual energy go-karts

Developed by FaceIt, published by Noodlecake – July 16, 2019 (Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $11.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/908050/Summer_Catchers/

Summer Catchers is a cute endless runner about a young child driving a wooden go-kart to the ocean to see the summer after living in a land of endless winter.

This wolf solved the energy crisis by inventing a perpetual energy source to power a go-kart. Someone gives this wolf a prize!

The go-kart itself was engineered by a wolf and somehow runs forever, leading me to believe this wolf has created a perpetual energy source. Unfortunately, not much attention is paid to this genius so I’ll move on to how the game plays instead.

The kart will move ever forward but obstacles will await you. Avoid them by using the appropriate ability.

The go-kart will move forward continuously, much like other endless runner games. There are obstacles that will slow you down and hitting three obstacles will end the run. To help you avoid obstacles, you can purchase abilities. For example, the first level will have a snow pile, a totem pole, a pit of icicles, and a large slope as obstacles. You can use the plow, jump, and boost abilities to bypass them.

Each ability is a one time use and must be purchased at the store.

The catch here is that you need to purchase these one time use abilities from currency earned by playing the game. Once you are in the game, you have three random abilities available for use. Since it is random, you can end up with abilities you may not need, but you are able to swap one ability out at a time for another random ability. There is a cooldown for the swap so planning ahead is important.

This is the yeti boss fight at the end of the first level. Using the boost ability is key to outrun the yeti.

The game feels pretty good for the most part. It is pretty generous with the window of time you can activate the abilities to overcome the obstacles and most abilities can be used on more than one type of obstacle. This provides some flexibility in how you approach the level, but since it is random, you can get quite unlucky. For example, you can get three icicle pits in a row, which require the jump ability. Since the cooldown on the ability swap can last a while you may not be able to get three jump abilities in time.

The game throws in little extra encounters once you travel far enough that unlock extra collectables.

Overall, Summer Catchers is a fun little endless runner. The art style is lovely, the music is serviceable, although can get to be a bit repetitive, and the game play is solid although a bit stressful at times due to the random nature of the game. It provides enough fun and the progression of unlocking levels and new abilities by completing tasks and winning boss fights provide enough of a reason to keep playing the game.

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