Season: A Letter to the Future is really interesting. You play as someone leaving their cosy mountain village, tasked with recording the history of a nearby valley before the changing of the season. A new season doesn't mean what it does in the real world, though. It's a major, seemingly cataclysmic event, capable of wiping the memories of all who live through it. In fact, danger seems to lurk behind many mundane things here, like tragedy masquerading as a warm hug.
Once you embark on your adventure, taking photographs and recording audio on a field mic, you'll start to uncover an alarming number of devastating events. Though the pleasing, vibrant valley you find yourself in is delightful to cycle through — even if it's easy to get caught on geometry — something's not right.
The stories you hear from the few remaining residents paint a very different picture: deities that steal your identity, a war quelled through sorcery, a mysterious mineral that feeds on memories. The number of curious things you encounter is incredible, and the sheer variety in stories is stellar. There are so many tidbits and hints of events that we wanted to hear about. The game takes a less-is-more approach in most cases, choosing to explain just enough to maintain intrigue, but there are multiple games' worth of ideas crammed into this experience.
In a clever move, the gameplay emphasises the world-building as well. Rather than shooting or doing platforming puzzles, you simply exist as an observer. Record as many interesting things as you can find, to ensure some record of your time exists after the seasons change and everything is wiped away. Organising and decorating your notebook becomes an almost religious experience as you fill it with all the moments that matter most to you. Picking just a few isn't easy.
While the voice acting is a little below par, the writing is superb, crafting meaningful, emotional moments seemingly at will, while walking a delicate tonal line between sadness and catharsis. What you're left with is a fascinating, emotionally powerful experience not soon to leave you.