Seasons: A Letter to the Future Review

Published: 08:27, 30 January 2023
Season: A Letter for the Future
Season: A Letter for the Future

Season: A Letter to the Future is a third-person atmospheric adventure bicycle road trip game set at the end of one season, in which the young girl Estelle seeks to capture as much about the people and events as she can for future generations.

Season: A Letter to the Future is a game with a therapeutic impact on the player. While most other games aim for excitement, making players feel the rush of adrenaline, Season: A Letter to the Future works in the completely opposite way. You get the impression that everything in Tieng Valley including the gameplay's pace, the characters' tones, the calming sounds of the setting, and the gorgeous, fairytale-like graphics is designed to put you at ease and help you enjoy it as long as it lasts.

In Season: A Letter to the Future, you only get to interact with a small number of characters, but each and every one of them will have such a strong impact that you can't help but care about them and want to do whatever it takes to help these people, even if it means deviating from your main goal.

AltChar Cycling appears to exist just to fill the void Cycling appears to exist just to fill the void


The narrative that Season: A Letter to the Future tells is its most crucial component. You play Estelle in Season: A Letter to the Future, a young girl who leaves everything behind to ride her bike around the world and record memories of people and places before the season comes to an end. She uses her camera to document the lives of the people she encounters to understand the changes occurring and preserve her findings for later generations.

The basic premise of the story is not particularly complex, but the story's beauty comes from the lives of the characters—specifically, five of them—whom you meet in the valley beneath the unstable dam. Estelle makes an effort to capture every aspect of these common people's lives on the final day in the valley as they get ready to be evacuated and compelled to leave the homes and lives, they have built over the years.

In these never-dull encounters with these people, you will hear some profound thoughts that will make you pause the game, take a pen and paper, and write them down. 

As you advance through the game, you will encounter some documents and events that will deepen the story even further by adding details about previous residents. The valley itself has a story of its own.

Every character in this game has a soul, and in the little time you spend with them, you will realise how strong their personalities are and how beautifully they are written. Each character is unique, whether it is a widow who has recently lost her husband or her child who is adjusting to life without his father and will now have to adjust to a new life in the city, a long-forgotten artist who has lost her inspiration, or a monk who has lost his faith and will to live.

In other words, the story in this game is excellent, and it's worth overlooking some small flaws just for the sake of it.

AltChar Some thoughts are so profound that you will want to write them down Some thoughts are so profound that you will want to write them down


As the official description of the game says, it is a third-person atmospheric adventure bicycle road trip game. Well, atmospheric it is, in third-person—obviously, but a bicycle road trip, not so much. 

Let us stick to this bicycle part for some time. When I first heard about this game, I thought it would be the kind of game where cycling would form the backbone of the gameplay. Don’t get me wrong; you will ride the bike throughout the entire game, but cycling will serve you only to pass the distance from point A to point B and no more than that. 

If you make a game explained as "Bicycle Road Trip," you should make a game that uses the mechanics of a bicycle road trip. Given the small size of the valley we're exploring, sprinting mechanics could entirely remove the bike from the game. With no further connection to the protagonist, it seems as though the bicycle was introduced into the gameplay just to fill a space.

Another issue with biking is the peculiar behaviour of the driving mechanics, which, for example, allow you to ride at full speed up steep stairs but prevent you from going over a small hill if the game forbids it. 

The other gameplay mechanics are quite good. In the brief time you have, you try to capture as much information about the valley and its inhabitants as you can. You'll be able to do this by using a camera and a voice recorder. You'll be asked to add the images and sounds you capture to your dictionary in order to build a page about the new locations you come across while travelling. There are so many unique entries that you almost certainly won't ever see the same pages with two different players.

The controls are pretty responsive, and the clever use of adaptive triggers on the DualSense controller while cycling just adds to it. 

Estelle will occasionally be required to pick from a variety of options during the dialogue. While this seems like we could have an alternate ending, the game's epilogue is always the same; the only thing that changes is how we get to it.

Season: A Letter to the Future is a very short game. In the official game’s description, it says six to twelve hours, depending on whether you play just to finish the game or to linger as long as possible. I decided to really linger, filled every page possible in Estelle’s journal, explored every corner of the map, and still finished it in seven hours. So, if you are looking for endless fun and lots to do in the open world, this game is definitely not for you.

AltChar Some sceneries are simply breathtaking Some sceneries are simply breathtaking


As much as the pastel, comic book-style visuals used in Season: A Letter to the Future can offer, I was quite impressed by the graphics. Tieng Valley is a beautiful place, and from time to time you will feel the urge to just stop your bike and enjoy the moment of this calm place before it is completely gone. Everything is so vividly depicted, from colourful hills and beautiful rivers to dense forests and beautiful temples. The game is not using some modern graphic settings, but still, the lightning and shadows in the game are pretty impressive.

The character design is quite odd but in a positive way. This is not the type of game where everyone is shaped perfectly with a six-pack and all that; instead, all characters are designed to look out of proportion. The characters look more like normal people, which adds to their personalities. 

The sounds and atmosphere in this game, in addition to the fantastic story, deserve praise. Because the game is designed to be calming in general, and everything is in that tone, the sounds in the game unquestionably contribute to the game's fantastic, peaceful vibe.

In most circumstances, there will be no music at all, and if there is music, it will just serve to establish the mood.

AltChar The characters are odd but in a positive way The characters are odd but in a positive way


Season: A Letter to the Future is a game that seeks to deepen the player's relationship with all of the characters in the game, not just the main character, and it mostly succeeds in this. This is a game that is built on a fantastic story that seems more like a well-written novel than a game. When we combine that with charming graphics and wonderful sound that create a relaxing mood, we get a game that is worth experiencing, maybe even more than once.

The Good

  • An excellent story
  • The game’s therapeutic effect
  • Charming comic book-like graphics and soothing sounds
  • Well-written characters
  • Big variety of entries that can be added to the journal
  • Atmospheric game design

The Bad

  • Odd bike-driving model
  • The game is too short

Our Rating


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