Bientôt l’été is a videogame for two players. Two players who pretend to be lovers. They pretend to be lovers separated from each other by lightyears of deep space. They have lonely walks along the shore of a simulated ocean, thinking wistful thoughts of each other. Thoughts from ancient Earth literature by Marguerite Duras.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (212 reviews) - 45% of the 212 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2013

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Includes 6 items: Bientôt l'été, Fatale, Luxuria Superbia, Sunset, The Graveyard, The Path

 

Reviews

Fast company - "Bientôt l’Été resonates like an accomplished painting or a good piece of music."

The Verge - "Finally, a video game as artistic and hard to understand as French films."

Akimbo - "I was at times elated by the beauty of the sentiments expressed and, at other times, surprised by how dark it could feel."

About This Game

Bientôt l’été is a videogame for two players. Two players who pretend to be lovers. They pretend to be lovers separated from each other by lightyears of deep space. They have lonely walks along the shore of a simulated ocean, thinking wistful thoughts of each other. Thoughts from ancient Earth literature by Marguerite Duras.


The empty beach, the strong wind, the gentle music and a small colony of electric seagulls are their only companions. Yet their heart is full and their mind confused. Walk along the shore, until they meet the emptiness.


When it all becomes too much, they run towards each other. Enabled by intergalactic networks, they touch each other’s holographic bodies in cyberspace. A surreal game of chess becomes the apparatus through which they, man and woman, can talk. The words they have were given to them, as they have always been to lovers everywhere.


The sea remains, tugging at their hearts when not at their hairs and clothes, as it itself is tugged by the virtual moon. And as great as the desire for the other may be, they cannot stay away from the wind and the waves and the sand. Every time they find a new treasure. An abandoned tennis field. An heap of coal. A dead dog. Ordinary. Absurd. Meaningless. Yet comforting.


Enter a café, exit a villa, enter a casino, exit the ruin of an ancient colonial mansion. We know this is not real. So it doesn’t surprise us. Nothing surprises us. It doesn’t matter when you feel the pain of love. Of being in love, of falling in love, of leaving in love. There is no such thing as time. There is only love. And it never stops. No matter how much it hurts.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:2 Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Geforce 7600, Radeon X1600
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:7
    • Processor:3 Ghz
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.6.8
    • Processor:2 Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Geforce 7600, Radeon X1600
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:10.6.8
    • Processor:3 Ghz
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (212 reviews)
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157 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Recently Posted
Obey the Fist!
0.2 hrs
Posted: July 15
This is an esoteric/walking simulator from France. Games in this genre are often very hit or miss and the good ones marry a deep experience with high quality graphics and art direction and a solid technical implementation. Bad ones don't. Bientôt l'été is unfortunately in the latter category.

At face value the game has you walking around on an empty beach (not a new experience for walking simulators). The twist is that eventually you'll collect a few "romantic" thought concepts and share them in a cafe with another avatar played by another player.

The gimmick falls very flat and overall it's not very interesting. Esoteric games are very much a personal experience to discover the game which the developer in their quest for "Art" eschews for the 2 player gimmick. Technical issues also detract from the experience.

Graphics: Thumbs down here because they actually try to charge more for high res textures. Otherwise okay but few options in fine tuning and shoddy "film grain" makes everything look like mud.

Gameplay: Practically none - the 2 player gimmick is weird and doesn't make up for the lack of single player story. You're walking around on a beach.

Technical: The game works okay in 4K but the graphics engine is fairly weak and lacks fine tuning options like getting rid of the film grain. Worst of all is the game somehow assumes you have a flight sim HOTAS and maps all the buttons that way - and if you do have one, it binds the axes in bizarre and ridiculous ways - and there's no way to disable them, so you end up staggering around the beach like you're drunk. The shoddy "film grain" effect does enhance the drunken experience.

Overall this game misses the mark by quite a way. If developers want to do "art" instead of making an actual game, they need to exceed other games technical implementations. Falling behind on gameplay and delivery is a quick way to get a thumbs down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yung Meme
1.8 hrs
Posted: July 10
As you walk across the beach you see a pile of coal. You approach the pile of coal have visions of your loved one. Once the visions have subsided, the coal has disapeared and all that remains is a chess piece. A brown queen. You continue to walk along the beach and as the tide comes in, your mind races with words. Eventually you find an old house. As you enter you see a chess bored, a bottle of wine, 2 glasses, and a pack of cigarettes. You have a seat and wait. You do not know what you are waiting for, but you know in your heart you will know what it is when you see it. As you wait you decide to pour yourself a glass of wine and have a smoke. An aparition appears. You recognize it as your partner that has long since been gone. As the aparition sits down you say,"Have some wine." It does. The aparitions says," Why do we always fight." You respond," Because I don't know if you still love me." The aparition then stands up and leaves, never to be seen again. You finish your smoke and walk back out to the beach, hoping to find your partner again.


10/10 would cry again
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Lúcio
1.7 hrs
Posted: July 5
Joey runs into his house and into his kids' room, yells I'M BEAAAAAACK, then starts eating one of his kids. Half way through eating the kid, he turns to his other kid and yells WOO WOO WOO WOO. Then he goes outside, finds a chess piece, goes back inside and tells his partner, "I need more wine," but in French. I think he was on LSD as well. Great game.
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Solitude
0.5 hrs
Posted: June 29
To my surprise someone was actually online the same time as me.

I can't help but like these Tale of Tales games. But I can just imagine what they could do if they added more to it. It's as if all their games are the start of something and then there's just nothing more to it.

So I recommend this to those who have liked other Tale of Tales games. Um if you get it really cheap or free. Just for the feel of it.

Oh how I wish they could make something big!
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Moh
0.3 hrs
Posted: May 31
Best game ever. My life is fullfilled, I can commit sudoku in peace.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sucram
1.0 hrs
Posted: May 21
Who the hell puts white text on a white background.

anyway, good luck finding a second player to join you.
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xnorb
1.2 hrs
Posted: May 16
I don't know, maybe the quote in the store page is correct "Finally, a video game as artistic and hard to understand as French films" - maybe Bientôt l'été needs to be played by a conncoisseur of french art.
It just doesn't make any sense to me. Why is there a cruise ship? Why is there a dead dog? Also there's no actual dialogue to be held.
If the game would give me anything else than loosely throwing phrases at me acompanied by items that don't appear to have anything to do with them then i could absolutely dig it, but in that form... i just feel like i wasted that 1 hour.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
✪ cowmilk | kickback.com
0.3 hrs
Posted: April 24
not a game... just an artistic piece.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Museroom[MO]
1.1 hrs
Posted: April 24
sllow
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gay Furry
3.8 hrs
Posted: March 8
this game is really weird to understand at first since its not really a GAME. its more like youre trying to participate in a painting or photograph. the game is about relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, and how your words and actions influence it positive or negative. in all, this is one of the most relaxing games ive played even if the "story" takes a turn for the worse. though i can understand some people's feelings about this game i really recommend it if youre a fan of artsy and surrealism since it has elements of surrealism within the game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
145 of 159 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Before noting that I said I do not recommend this, please understand that it's not bad.
With this confusing statement out of the way, let's get started. Bientôt l'été isn't a game. It's an artistic piece, and this needs to be understood. From what I could gather, the goal of it was to demonstrate how people can communicate, even if limited by language, actions, or possible phrases (as seen by the chess board in-game). However, this requires that someone somewhere is playing at the same time you are, unless you want to talk to an AI. It's a beautiful experience when it works well, but this is so rare I can't recommend a purchase at any time other than during a sale. Due to the game's artistic goal and nature, it was heavily slammed upon release, driving away potential players. Without a community waiting for another person to chat with, more people slammed the game for not having a community. This is Bientôt l'été's biggest problem, without players it simply cannot achieve the desired effect.
For this reason I suggest buying this when it's on sale. More players are likely to be experimenting with it at the same time as you, and you're more likely to see the beauty of limited conversation with a complete stranger.
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40 of 45 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 16, 2014
Before you, I never knew anguish. I tried to Imagine myself without you.

This game is about walking on the beach. And drinking wine. And smoking cigarrettes. And conversations that are incredibly fatalistic.

I liked the feeling I had after I played this game, but I cannot recommend it. I feel like it's more like a prototype for a mini-game. Kind of like a dream sequence or something, that keeps you from getting bored with the actual game, except there is no actual game. Just uselessness coupled with self-hate. C'est la vie.
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57 of 80 people (71%) found this review helpful
68 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2013
This is, by far, the best cigarette smoking simulator on the market. At first, it seemed confusing with the long walks on the beach and random phrases popping up on screen, but only once I entered the café did I realize the actual draw of this title. As I sat at the chess board and waited five minutes for a partner to join, I then realized something else; I was the only person to buy this game. Thank god they included a computer controlled character to interact with or I may have missed the hidden gem in this pile of coal.
We moved our chess pieces across the board and spoke sweet nothings to each other until only silence hung in the air. And then I saw it. Near the bottom of the screen was a classic lighter and a half full soft pack of smokes. Move over wine glass! The true beauty and meaning of game play was at hand. Once clicked, the screen goes black and you can actually hear your character click the flint, light up, and take a long, smooth drag. You can almost taste the tobacco. A puff of smoke fills the screen upon return to the scene. The cigarette is then seen majestically smoldering in the ashtray on the table. If clicked again, another drag is taken until there is nothing but a snuffed out filter left.
Oh, but that's just the beginning. It seems there is no limit to the amount of cigarettes you can smoke! My only complaint would be that there aren't enough ways to put out your coffin nail. The choice to put it out on your lover's hand or leave it floating in their wine glass should be included in a future patch for the sole reason that some of the predestined lines are mad creepy. 8 out of 10 because I can't tell if they're menthol or not.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2013
Game developers should be encouraged to challenge the status quo with narrative and mechanics, but I feel that there are certain best practices for game design that Tale of Tales often overlooks for no visible reason or benefit to the game. While Bientôt l'été has the most conventional controls and straightforward instructions of their games to date, it still suffers from the same problem: some strange design decisions have little to nothing to do with, and may even hinder the concept.

Imagine the PS3 game Journey: two players meet at random in a surreal world to make a connection. Except in Bientôt l'été, both players are chat robots stating phrases at random while smoking cigarettes, drinking wine, and playing chess (with a catch: you have to find the pieces first, but one at a time). The highlight of the game should be the multiplayer, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be very populated (a symptom of its avant garde concept, I guess), and the interactions are severely limited.

What should be a virtual date with a stranger in a surreal world becomes tedius, with no real interaction or connection with said stranger. Unlike Journey, which limits your characters' intractability to serve the purpose of the mechanics and design, Bientôt l'été's design stands at odds with its concept, preventing players from creating any kind of meaningful connections.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2013
This hits a very niche market... and not very well. I typically really enjoy introspective forlorn romps through artsy settings, but this is a bit of a streatch even for me.

Spoilers follow:


No seriously, there's nothing to this game, so litterally anything I say past this point will "ruin" it for you.

Don't read further unless you've either already played it our have no intention to.


So the idea is that you go for long walks on the beach reflecting on this relationship you've had. Sometimes there's something on the beach that will drop a chess peice which you can take to the house and use on a chess board to hold something resembling a conversation with an online partner... The dialouge seems to suggest that these two love each other out of necessity and not for any actual romantic reasons... they don't seem to actually like each other but are bound to eachother anyway. It's really sad...These two need to see other people, but it's clear that there are no other fish in the sea, so to speak.
Oh, and once you've collected all the chess peices, the next item to drop is a gun... well that escalated quickly. You can use the gun on the chess board like a peice. It does nothing in particular, but I think it's more meant to be a metaphore for putting an end to the relationship more than anything.

To sum up the game: Help I'm trapped in a holodeck of angst and regret! I don't know what love is and I want to kill myself because I'm so messed up about it!
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54 of 89 people (61%) found this review helpful
27 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2014
Just played it while I was drunk and somehow it was good.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
Looks like I can't review this really, since it's to be played with someone else but goooood luck connecting to anyone :\

So what's in there once you start the game? You walk your male or female avatar on a beach. Turn around, there's a house of sorts, which will change in appearance when you enter and come out. Inside, you can sit at a chess table, drink wine and smoke, place chess pieces on the board.. with a partner in front of you (most likely an AI since noone is ever around for real) doing the same.

You go back out.. from time to time there will be random things on the beach.. like a huge pile of coal.. a wheat field.. dead seagulls.. which you briefly watch and then 'collect' the memory of (which just means it disappears and your avatar bends down like picking up a pebble, there's no inventory or anything..). Going in each direction for a little while you realize the space is rather limited, but feels bigger since it's sooo empty.

And that's pretty much it.

What is it trying to say ? No clue.
What would be different if someone else was there for real ? No clue.
Is there any point to it ? No clue.
Is there more to be seen or experienced if you stick to it ? No clue. Was too bored to find out.
Does understanding French help at all? Absolutely not - native speaker here.

I did like the nighttime sky effects (time goes by when you close your eyes). That was about it.

So I really can't recommend it. Unless you're the type to go stare at a single blotch of paint on a white canvas at a museum and go "ooooooh, that's deep".
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 24, 2013
I really enjoyed Dear Esther. I also enjoy Tale of Tales other games, like The Path. I simply do not understand nor enjoy this game at all. I went into it with low expectations and an open mind, I left questioning exactly what should be considered "art" in gaming.

Bientôt l'été is the most pretentious of pretentious indie art games. One that is "too deep for you" to even understand whatever trivial message it's trying to put across. Let me just say right now that when a developer needs to address their entire userbase in a forum post, revealing what their inspiration for the game was in order for you to understand its purpose, then the developer has completely failed to convey any sort of rational thought with their game. Still, no one slightly understands the purpose of Bientôt l'été and those who do are obviously elitist intellectuals whose thoughts and opinions on the matter are also "too deep for you" to understand yet again. It's hard not to call Poe's Law into play.

This game has a mechanical crutch which becomes limited by its users. The main attraction of Bientôt l'été is being able to connect with other players in a cafe of sorts, decked out with a chess board, a glass of wine, cigarettes, and the ability to communicate intricately with one another. Except this all falls apart when you realise you're the sole person in existence to be playing this game at this point in time, forcing you to instead substitute a human presence with artificial intelligence. This severely impacts the game as a whole.

I never found a partner to play with so I had to resort to A.I., and after collecting all of the chess pieces I managed to find a gun... although my character holds it backwards. Does this gun do anything more than intimidate the opposing player? If not, then there is no point to this game since there aren't enough people playing this game at any one time; you can't really surprise artificial intelligence.

The entire process of Bientôt l'été took me little over 80 minutes to achieve. After collecting the gun and positioning all the chess pieces in their correct order, hoping for something to "unlock" or tell me I've done something right, only to find out nothing much happens. I decided to go back out and collect more items, coming to a stinging realisation that the cycle has restarted and I'm collecting the very first chess pieces again.

This game is insulting.
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98 of 173 people (57%) found this review helpful
117 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
A friend of mine gifted this to me for my birthday. He's not my friend anymore.
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25 of 39 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 18, 2014
Short:
+ Relaxing "walking simulator"
+ Eerie, dreamy, surreal, transcendental design, music and ambiance
+ Bold multiplayer concept: People are strangers, no direct means of communication

- Lack of any significant, forward-driven narration/story/plot
- Lack of any significant, long-term gameplay
- Odd/Awkward, not exactly comforting (keyboard) controls
- Multiplayer barely works for the lack of people playing this game (workaround: joining Steam group and timing online time with other people)

Long:
Interesting from an art-ish and ambiance-related point of view, lacking gameplay-wise, and with an irritating control scheme.

Badmouths may call it a boring walking simulator. It provides less exploration and narration than for example Dear Esther, but a bit more than for example Proteus, and has it's own unique graphical style and ambiance. The graphics, sounds and music give you an eerie feeling, it's dream-like, surreal and transcendental, and for this alone it's interesting to look at and listen to, eventually even admirable.

You select a male or female character stored inside tubes. "It's nearly summer" you are told. You appear with your character on a simulated/virtual beach shore and walk it. Random phrases will appear drawn onto the ground. You "collect" ("remember) some of them by closing your eyes, you also hear them voiced in French then (they are always subtitled in the language of your choice). You collect some object "hidden" beneath some worldly, "holographic" thing (a tree, a bush, a crane, ...) that disappears to reveal this object (chess pieces mostly, and one more unique and confusing one which leaves room for interpretation). You enter a house, meet with a virtual partner of the opposite gender in some sort of bar, put your objects in turns on a chessboard (freely, you don't actually play chess - some spots trigger the words/phrases you previously collected to appear on the screen and be voiced), take a smoke, drink some whine or select some pre-set of music tracks to play music-box like in the background. The lines you collect and make appear are circling around the two characters and their relationship, who are or used to be lovers After that you leave the house, walk along the shore again, collect more phrases and another object and enter the house again. This you repeat as many times as you wish, at some point the simulation starts over again with you collecting about the same pieces again (the game however seems to remember all pieces you once collected - I've just started up the game again and could place all the objects I once picked up many months back when I first played this game).

The partner in the house is either A.I.-controlled or an actual human who is playing the game at the same time as you do. You don't see his/her name, he/she is a stranger, there is no text or voice chat to use, you only communicate with the words and through symbolism you can do with the chessboard and the objects, and the only indication whether there is someone else playing/waiting in the house is - from what I've been told and noticed - a window you see from the outside that has lights on. I haven't been able to meet up with a real human yet, because either the mechanics to match you up with one are not working too well or this game was never played by too many people to begin with. There is a Steam group one can join, and sometimes people try to group up through it. However this is a bit of a misleading way of playing this game, since it was obviously intended to meet strangers, an idea Tale of Tales originally came up with in "The Endless Forest", but which isn't executed too well in this game. A game that did this better was the PSN game "Journey". But I guess one must probably consider that "Journey" was a larger success than any of Tale of Tales' games ever were - the more players play these games the higher/better the chances to meet up with them. At some point no one will play these anymore, I guess, not even "Journey".

The control scheme isn't entirely bad but not exactly too enjoyable. This is a problem I keep seeing in the games made by Tale of Tales. You look around by moving the mouse to either side of the screen, you walk by holding down the left mouse button, you close your eyes with the right mouse button and run with spacebar. It feels odd/awkward and not very comforting. They could adapt to the more classic control schemes that games with a first- and third-person view give you, the usual WASD and mouse-look thing. I don't see any good reason in doing things differently there. Has it to do with being different for the sake of being different? Or are they inept and don't play their own games? I don't know, and I don't like being harsher to them than they deserve. You can play with a gamepad too, maybe I should try that and will feel better then.
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