Waypoint Weeklies: Summer Games

Summer is here, and whether you spend it at (socially distanced) picnics or huddled around your window AC unit, many of us will still be playing video games through it all. Or at least jamming to Bubblaine (the theme for Seaside Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey; sound of the summer).

So this week, let’s talk about the games we love to play in the summer! Do you have any preferred chill games to beat the heat? Do you have a game you find yourself playing while relaxing at the beach? Favourite summer events in a multiplayer game? If you are a student or teacher, do you take the summer break to play games you don’t have time for during the school year?

(And if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, feel free to reverse the question and tell us the cozy games you like to play in the colder months.)


Oh! Well, traditionally, summer games to me means playing weird games through the night. My home is where it’s never truly dark in the summer, so playing Silent Hill 2 or Fatal Frame throughout the night when everything is quiet, but natural light seeps into the room feels like home to me.

Besides that, I had a summer when me and my sisters played Harvest Moon on the SNES a lot. So I have some affinity for long resource management games played in summer daylight.

Edit: I’ll add, that in modern times (sadly, I’ve lost my access to the arctic circle light) I like to dig into longer games. A couple of years ago I dug into Final Fantasy 7 for the first time and had an actual blast working through it during a hot summer. This year is even more peculiar since I’ve moved further south again, but I hope to make it through a good visual novel once my vacation weeks come through. Either Umineko or AI: The Somnium Files! That’s my jam.


This week’s thread was delayed by the fact that I live in BC and turning on my computer to write it would have killed me instantly, so I have spent the week surrounded by fans and playing on my Switch - as the one device I could play without turning on my TV (which runs quite hot). I ended up playing a bit of In Other Waters, and appreciating the psychological affect of playing a game with a lot of ocean and bright colours. Made me feel cooler than I was.


Summer, to me, is backlog time. That insanely long RPG I poked at but didn’t really dig into (konbanwa, Yakuza 7)? Summer game. That indie game I got on sale? Not that one, the other one. Summer game. That game I bought when it came out but never started because I was already in the middle of something else but now I need something to play? Summer game.


Other than long late-night 4X marathons, the one game that swims to mind right now is a replay of Paradise Killer–maybe with a few unknown beverages from my local Asian grocery chilled on the side.


I believe I’ll be replaying Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which i try to play at least once a year. The rest of the summer will be spent playing the slate of new games coming to Game Pass over the next couple of months, like Cris Tales, The Ascent, and Psychonauts 2. I might eventually finish The Evil Within, which I am still slowly moving through a chapter at a time

I don’t really have games I replay during the summer, but there are games I associate with summer because I remember playing them for the first time during summer. The closest one that gives me a bit of a summer vibe is Kirby’s Dreamland 3. The graphics of that game, and greater more chill levels with focus on puzzles also just makes me think of summer vacation.

The Super Monkey Ball games are also games I associate with summer since during summer vacation I would sometimes tend to spend more time on the same games, and I would try and get better times on the levels. There is also this music track that I always listen to on loop during summerdays: Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll World 1 Monkey Island - YouTube

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My fun summer game is guilting myself for every second I spend gaming while it’s nice out.

Summer is also when I probably spend most time with my siblings - so things like Gang Beasts, Smash Bros., and Duck Game get a lot of run.


Summer is often the time I make a Big Plan to dive into some of the huge games in my backlog, like FE: 3H or Persona 5, and then fail to even start those games up. Last summer I found myself re-engaging with Overwatch after a long hiatus, mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to care about anything with any kind of narrative depth, and that gave me something snacky that I was already at least good enough at to have a decent time.

Hopefully this summer though I can actually follow through on said big plan (this time to play all the Metroid games) because after the fuss I’ve made about it on the thread I started, the embarassment I’d feel at giving up in front of you good people will inevitably outweigh any impulse to just spend the days in a heat-induced stupor.

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For a while, I had this idea that summer would be backlog time - but like others in this thread, it usually doesn’t work out. (And whenever I’ve tried to make it work out, I’ve generally not enjoyed it as an experience!)

So, at the moment, there’s nothing particularly special about summer video game time, by design. [I also think this has been weird in 2020 and 2021 summer, since pandemic changes mean that I’ve been working from home for more than a year - so a lot of associations of time separations have changed.]

Super Mario Sunshine. I know it’s theming is apt, but I’m picking this because of when I played it. Nothing quite like sitting in an air-conditioned basement failing to make Mario throw various fruits into baskets.

I never finished it, not even close, and I’m not sure I’ll ever finish it, but this song is living rent-free in my mind.


A musical break

The other thing I occasionally do during the summer is go back and play stuff I can bang out in a few days like Spyro the Dragon. Games so thoroughly ingrained in my brain that I can do even some of the complicated tricks still.

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i’ve been playing mario golf in short six-hole bursts with my partner which has been pretty fun, if not terribly challenging. i’ve got a few different courses unlocked and am yet to look at a hole and think “this is a toughie, how am i going to approach this?”. we’re both complete golf game neophytes, yet unless one of us makes some heinous error we end up tying almost every time we play.

it’s a nice easy going colorful nintendo time. i’m far from playing all of the holes on the courses i’ve unlocked; i don’t know if we can commit enough time to play a full round.

overall i’d say it’s a pleasant, chill way to spend some time but i’m hoping to find some more meat here somewhere. kinda feels like i’m missing something.

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You can also put me in the backlog camp, and I’ll usually try to go for games that fit any of these categories 1) a very long game 2) an indie I’ve been meaning to check out for forever, or 3) a game I’ve been playing for a while and just need to finish. And usually I’ll end up finishing only a single game over the course of the summer :sweat_smile:

Other than that, I kind of associate Summer with a lot of handheld gaming from my younger days. Both because if our family ever went on vacation, my brother and I would always bring along our handhelds to get in some prime gaming time, and also I just have a bunch of fond memories of being out of school for the summer and just lazing around watching tv while also playing my GBA/DS/PSP/Vita. Good times.

I associate the summer with not playing video games because for a long time as a kid (and well after that) I would spend the summer back in my hometown doing everything but playing games. But that hasn’t been the case for a while now, but I sill don’t really have any seasonal gaming habits I get up to this time of year (same for any other time of the year, really) except maybe buying a few too many games in the Steam summer sale.

This year, though, I’ve got a couple games I would at least like to make a little bit of progress on or check out before the summer ends:

  • In 2016, I was Going Through Some Stuff and impulsively bought a 3DS and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and it really helped me deal with what I was going through. That and Spirit of Justice, which came out a couple months after I got my 3DS, both helped remind me how much I love the Ace Attorney games. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles comes out later this month and it’s practically an instant buy for me when it drops. Didn’t play the fan translations for either game so it’ll be first time playing them and I’m really looking forward to it!

  • I started playing Blaster Master Zero and Azure Striker Gunvolt recently and they’re both incredibly sick games that made me realize that I’ve really enjoyed all the retro-style games that Inti Creates has put out in the past decade. Both series’ have a third game coming out soon and I wanna finish all the available games so I can get caught up. Been leaning more towards the Gunvolt games even though the third game is much further out but those games are so mechanically demanding that I feel compelled to dig into them right now while I still have any semblance of how to play them decently.

  • With all the horrible stuff coming out about the Olympics, I’ve been thinking about getting extremely into an Olympics-adjacent video game instead and I think it’s gonna be the Numan Athletics games. I haven’t played much of them but I know they’re arcade mini-game collections about literal superhumans competing in absurd sporting events. Also that whoever did the soundtrack from the first game was really into breakbeat hardcore.

your summer reminds me of my 2020 summer where i impulsively bought a new 2ds xl to play ace attorney games. ive played teh fan translations for the great ace attorney chronicles, but they’re only just released the 3rd episode for the 2nd game so far.

The summers of my youth were for endless hours of PC strategy games. Stuff like Civilization 2/3, Sim
City 2000
, Shogun: Total War, and Heroes of Might and Magic III. When you have hundreds of hours to kill and don’t want to go outside, accept no substitutes.

Pokemon games are my summer games. I got my first Pokemon game, Sapphire, while on vacation visiting my Grandma in another state. I played Pokemon on countless summer trips as a kid, on a trip to Spain/Portugal in 2018, and even on my honeymoon in 2016. They’re easy to pick up and play in quick bursts, have familiar mechanics, and since they’re all on portable consoles they’re easy to play in the car/plane/hotel/guest rooms.

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