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SEASON: A letter for the future | The inaccessible dream



SEASON: A letter for the future, from the independent Montreal studio Scavengers, is extraordinarily pretty, peaceful, focused on the search for meaning of a young girl who leaves her village. But she finds very little, finally, and the player too.

Scavengers Studio gave us in 2018 a shooter, Darwin Project, where a team of ten players must survive starting from an ax and a bow in an arena. Forget all that with the second game, SEASON: A letter for the futurewhere action is replaced by poetry, shooting by sadness and survival by the search for testimonies.

We are first seduced by the naive drawing to depict the village of Caro that our heroine, a young black woman called Estelle, must leave soon. We do not know the reason for this departure, except that it is the first in years. It’s the end of an era, a new season is coming and she has to document everything. We quickly understand that the “seasons” are in fact tragic events, the war having been the previous one and a disturbing change pointing to the horizon. We won’t reveal the punch of what’s to come.

Bright landscapes, dark dialogues

Estelle must therefore photograph, record and archive all the clues and places she travels, on foot in her village of Caro and then by bike. Don’t look for an equivalent in Caro, it was founded in the heart of the mountains in 710. A mysterious doctor Fumio worked there and “cured illnesses of the mind”. Estelle’s mother prepares her for her trip by sacrificing five of her memories which are locked in a talisman.

At this stage, we appreciate the calm and the majesty of the landscapes, the ease of the controls for photographing, recording or consulting one’s notebook, but the dialogues are somewhat obscure. “War is now like a disturbed sleeper tossing about in bed,” she read in a letter found outside her village. “Find a patch of land, lay me down to get the dust on my back,” his father advised him. Do you see for yourself? You see the dead, for the unborn. By bike and in the order that the player likes, you have to meet other characters to whom you have to ask the right questions to obtain clues. These give Estelle bits of their “wisdom” in terms that are sometimes poetic, often disconcerting. “These symbols and gestures were covered in meaning. There are clues in the way you move your hands, or close your eyes. »

Each clue is collected in a notebook and, after having arranged several, gives the heroine an “inspiration” to move forward in her quest.


Estelle must therefore photograph, record and archive all the clues and places she travels, on foot in her village of Caro and then by bike.

It should be noted here that the voices in French have a slight Quebec accent, which is appreciated. However, we would have liked them to be entrusted to professional actors, which is clearly not the case here. The tone applied is that of students full of good will, but the replies sometimes ring false.

Slow pace

The graphics were not left to amateurs. The striking beauty of the sunsets, the landscapes crossed by Estelle and the realistic touch of the characters is a pure delight. We feel the duty to stop to contemplate the paintings and simply relax. All this work exudes the sincerity and involvement of its developers, who have put a lot of heart into it.

Which is unquestionably makes a beautiful video game. Is he good ? We must admit that its pace is far too slow, its wisdom too obscure and its twists too rare to seduce us. Sadness and nostalgia for a world that we do not understand well do not help us to dive. But we are touched by this quest, which is similar to that of the inner changes that this young girl is going through, the losses that we inevitably suffer in life, the loved ones we leave behind. Only an independent studio like Scavengers could afford such a personal project.

SEASON: A letter for the future

Developer: Scavengers Studio

Release date: January 31, 2023

Price: $39.99

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tried on a PS5 with a copy provided by Scavengers Studio

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