Summertime Saga is an ambitious project from DarkCookie and has enjoyed quite a bit of popularity. It's a Ren'Py-type game that offers a little something for everyone and allows you to explore a number of fetishes without forcing you into them. It provides a fully-illustrated world created by DarkCookie himself. The real question is, does Summertime Saga live up to the hype? I'll be delving into the game and trying to shed some light on it.
As an 18-year-old man, you are the Main Character (also known as MC), but like in many Ren'Py games, you customize your name at the start of the game. MC has recently lost his father due to some suspicious circumstances involving organized crime. It turns out his father owed some dangerous people a lot of money, and even with his death, his debt still isn't settled.
You quickly move in a house with a new landlady having very maternal instincts and another girl looking a few years older than you with whom you share the first floor. All alone in the world, you start your new life trying to make money, resolve the circumstances behind your father's death, and of course, exploring your sexuality with a number of potential partners along the way!
The game teases you at first. At school, the boys and girls locker room seems to be shared, and you're given some tasty eye candy right from the beginning. But to actually start having sex means having to put in some playtime. Summertime Saga really offers something for everyone’s tastes. From someone who just wants to have vanilla sex with hot women, to those who are into virgins, milking, BDSM, cosplay, and more.
You can go on a quest to become the mate of an undersea siren, go after the busty cheerleader, or focus on fucking your bitchy roommate. There's another optional storyline that allows you to pursue a relationship with one of the guys at your school if that's your jam!
Summertime Saga is unlike most Ren'Py games in that all the art is done by hand from DarkCookie. As a result, it's a 2D visual novel, but the art quality is high, and he doesn't pull any punches by offering you plenty of lewdness as you continue the game. The sex scenes are animated, and a few offer you x-ray vision to see inside of the woman you're having sex with.
The music tends to be upbeat and peppy and reminds me more of a company's "on hold" music or the music from the Sims, and so I tend to disable the music entirely. There aren't any sound effects to the sex itself, but the artwork is high enough quality that it doesn't really matter.
Does it live up to the hype? I'm going to say Yes! Summertime Saga is widely considered to be one of the best lewd games out there, and while DarkCookie pulls in almost $50,000 a month from Patreon supporters, his small team is only going to update the game more and more as time goes on. While you can't use old saves for new versions of the game, his website does offer a free downloadable game save that has most of the storyline unlocked already so you won't have to slog through a fresh game each time it updates. Summertime Saga is great for someone just starting to get interested in the realm of lewd games and offers a lot of high-quality content that you'll be sure to love.
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