Created by the Warsaw Film School’s Video Game Directing department, Best Month Ever! is the story of Louise and her biracial son, Mitch, living in 1960s rural America. Having been diagnosed with a terminal illness and told she doesn’t have long to live, Louise takes Mitch on a road trip for summer, promising him the best month ever, and resolving herself to finding a home for him once she’s gone. It’s an intriguing set-up which promises a huge emotional punch, but it fails to deliver fully.
As a narrative and choice-driven game, Best Month Ever! switches between playing as Louise and Mitch depending on the situation. Choices Louise makes have an impact on Mitch’s upbringing and ultimately influence the ending you get. There’s an option you can toggle to see how each choice affects the various meters, but it's off by default, and so it’s unclear what effect they'll have on Mitch. The choices themselves aren’t explained too well and have a really vague description. Things escalate at an alarming rate; disagreeing with someone at dinner may result in someone getting shot, for example.
Best Month Ever! feels like it’s trying to cover too many issues at once. At its core, it tackles the inherent racism found in the 60s, with the added sociological and cultural implications of Louise being a single, white mother to a biracial child. This alone would've been a really interesting exploration, but then the narrative adds in childhood sexual abuse, murder, abduction, rape, and it just feels like too much is crammed into the game’s short runtime.
Gameplay is frustratingly glitch-filled, and restarting the chapter was necessary on several occasions in order to progress. Luckily, chapters are fairly short — there are 12 in total and the game’s runtime is around three or four hours, so even restarting means you don’t have to go back too far. The game feels clunky to control and doesn't run as smooth as you’d expect.
Best Month Ever! is a short, enjoyable narrative that perhaps suffers from high ambitions that don't quite pay off. Glitches in the game can really take you out of what would otherwise be a fluid experience.
“Tries to fit too much in”
Sounds like my sorority days…
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