My Summer Car
My Summer Car is set in the open world fictional area of Peräjärvi, Finland, during the summer of 1995. The main character is an 18-year-old who has the family home to himself while his parents are on holiday in Tenerife. The player attempts to assemble, restore, and upgrade a car, the Satsuma AMP (modeled after the Datsun 100A). In order to do this, the player must use the car parts that are inside the garage, as well as occasionally order new parts from a catalog.
My Summer Car
In the summer of 1995, a 19 year old kid finds himself alone in the Finnish countryside with a lot of free time on his hands. Dirty jobs, bizarre Finnish swearing, drunk driving, spontaneous urination and car building ensues. The main attraction is building the eponymous car, the Satsuma, from square one, but it also involves a healthy dose of not dying. The car building part is perhaps a bit too accurate to real life, what with the game just giving you a bare car frame, a garage with a couple hundred car parts on the shelves, and a bunch of tools for putting it all together. Bolt by bolt. Each requiring a different size spanner to fasten. The game will never tell you anything, so you either have to be a Mr. Fixit or a Grease Monkey by trade to assemble the car without an online guide. All the while the survival part... Is equally realistic. You'll often find yourself having to drive down several kilometers of dangerous Finnish dirt roads just to buy much needed sausages and beer, or else it's game over and all progress on your car is lost. While there is no ultimate goal yet, you can do various jobs to make money for better car parts that you order via snail mail.
Recycled IN SPACE!: The 2017 April Fools prank
Retraux: Just look at the official webpage. The DOS-like command line interface of the MikroPekka's operating system, the bulletin board system and games accessible through the computer, as well as the television's built-in teletext functionality, also qualify.
Rice Burner: One possible outcome for the Satsuma.
Scenery Porn: Finland is a nice country.
Second Place Is for Losers: Finishing the rally in 2nd place (with permadeath enabled) grants you the achievement titled "First Loser" with the subtitle "Coming in second is just a first loser."
Schmuck Bait: The MikroPekka computer's command line operating system has a usable "format" command prompt that has no use besides irreversibly wiping out the contents of your computer's drive or floppy disk and rendering either completely unusable.
Shout-Out: The Satsuma is based on the Datsun 100A and has the licence plate VBX-403, the same as the Datsun 100A in the 1988 Finnish film Pohjanmaa.
The brand names and signs also contain several Finnish in-jokes.
The "Jonnez ES" moped added in the 17 April 2017 update is a reference to the "mopojonnet" youth subculture in Finland, with "ES" referring to a cheap energy drink they like to drink.
The TV shows, some of the songs on the radio, and the default posters in player character's bedroom are developer's other projects or references to them.
The player character has what looks to be a bootleg Garfield lamp in his bedroom.
The name of the truck, Gifu, refers to a Finnish brand of liquorice candy which is named Sisu like the actual truck the ingame truck is based on, and the reason for the different name being the fact that the blackletter Fraktur typeface used on said candy boxes makes the word "sisu" look like "gifu".
The name of the MikroPekka computer is a reference to MikroMikko computers that were made and sold in Finland in The '80s and The '90s. Its operating system, RS-POS, is based on MS-DOS.
Signs of Disrepair: The sign on Teimo's shop (Teimon Kauppa) has the first letter 'A' damaged so it looks like it reads "Teimon Kuppa" or "Teimo's Syphilis".
Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: You can easily waste a lot of in-game hours playing the numerous mini-games on your home computer.
Sir Swearsalot: There's a lot of swearing in the game. Given that it's set in Finland where swearing is not really considered a big deal, it's not too surprising, but the guy in the yellow muscle car is foul-mouthed even by Finnish standards. It's possible for the player to be this; if you want to you can spam the swear button, which relieves stress.
The Smurfette Principle: Until the February 2018 update, there were no female NPCs in game and the player character's mother was only seen in the opening cutscene. The aforementioned update added the player character's grandmother who as of 2018 is the only female NPC. This is no longer applicable after a later update that populates a dance hall with additional female characters.
Some Dexterity Required: To get into a car and get it moving you have to click and hold the door handle to open it, hop on with space then click and hold the door again to slam it shut, press enter to enter driving mode, disengage the parking brake with mouse, hold X to release the clutch, click and hold the ignition till it purrs, press G once to put it in first gear, let go of X, gently tap W to rev it slightly, then continue shifting as needed, downshift with B, don't forget the clutch. No automatic option. The Satsuma requires you to work the choke, and heavy vehicles have a gear range selector.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Routainen maa, the song that plays every time you die, is far more upbeat than it should be. Subverted in that the lyrics are a bit more depressing (if you can understand them, of course).
Survival Sandbox: A huge world to explore and interact with? Check. Having to eat sausages and drink beer to live? Check.
The Swarm: If you let your dirtiness meter get too high, you'll face the full might of the Finnish summer. Death by wasp attacks is also very much possible if you stumble into a wasp nest.
Technology Porn: The attention to detail in car assembly is breathtaking.
There Are No Tents: You can only sleep at home. The vacuum truck has a bed in it, but it's only good as beer storage. The update of 5 February 2017 added the ability to sleep in the vacuum truck's bed, as well as the couch found at the dump. Later updates would also add added the ability to sleep in the Satsuma's back seat, and introduced a new combi with a built-in sleeping compartment.
Title Drop: "Radio Chill" repeats the words "My Summer Car" over and over in its lyrics.
Toilet Humor: A staple of the game. You have a urine meter as one of your stats that fills up when you drink, you must urinate regularly or you risk dying from a burst bladder. You're also able to pee anywhere, even on people! You can pee in the radiator if you're short on coolant, doing so grants you an achievement.
You can also drink your own pee if you're close to dying of thirst. You do this by looking upward while peeing, this also grants you an achievement.
Peeing on the hot coals in the sauna will create a cloud of yellow steam, this grants you an achievement but also increases your dirtiness meter.
"Enjoy the smell." One of the jobs you can do to make money is operate a vacuum truck and empty out people's septic tanks. Fleetari might bribe you to vandalize the inspection station by dumping sewage on it (doing so will get you fined by the police).
The only locations you can save your game are toilets and outhouses.
Teimo has a random line of dialogue that implies he's incontinent.Teimo: "My washing machine broke, and I have only one pair of clean underwear, well... not anymore, shit happens."
Too Dumb to Live: Any freeroaming AI driver or pedestrian. Of note are the Techno Viking, Jani and Petteri, who have a tendency to Drive Like Crazy and end up in nasty crashes. Pena is also notable for rarely stopping for anything, even if it results in death by a passing train at a railway crossing. Can often be you just as easily.
Trial-and-Error Gameplay: You'll die a lot before you figure out what to even do. Your chances of survival rapidly increase with experience, though. It can be hard to know exactly what you need to buy from the store at first. Fan belt, a bottle of motor oil, two bottles of coolant, at least 3 bottles of brake/clutch fluid and as many sausages and bottles of mosquito repellent as possible. Or where the store even is. Take a right turn at every interesction
Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: When you overturn your vehicle in the middle of nowhere and there's no button to reset to track. Or rewind time. Diesel vehicles require you to turn the ignition on and wait for the glow plug light to go out before starting, otherwise they will struggle to start.
Yes, you can fall into the septic well and die horribly
If the phone rings during a thunderstorm and you answer it, there's a chance that you can get killed by a lightning strike: you can avoid this by waiting for the phone to ring twice before answering it.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can punch a guy unconscious, drink his booze and pee on him. And of course, you have a wide variety of vehicles to choose from for running people over. Or alternatively, empty out someone's septic tank, get paid for it and then just dump all of it in their face. Maybe go to the village shop, smash all the windows, go in, throw everything around, pee on the floor, light up a cigarette, flip the shopkeeper off, then leave. Yet another, more subtle way is making one good batch of moonshine and a huge batch of terrible moonshine, sell a single jug of good moonshine to Jokke and unload the crappy moonshine on him at the same price. Or you can just skip making crap moonshine altogether and just sell him jugs of water after the first jug of moonshine. Plus, it's possible to slaughter the green hatchback and yellow tuner car drivers. Aside from that, you can flip off, punch or even kill Suski much as you do to most of the NPCs. (Seriously, why would you do that?)
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you steal Jokke's briefcase full of money and beat him in the fight, he will hang himself from the bridge and will be permanently dead. Not only do you lose a significant source of income but you also indirectly caused the death of one of the few friends your character has and it's all your fault! Doing most of the above will now have some kinds of consequences: not bothering to properly empty out the septic tank where you should will result in a fine for polluting the environment, and selling crap moonshine or just plain water to Jokke after he agrees to pay you the highest possible amount for your moonshine will result in an angry answering machine message and slashed Satsuma tires.
Violation of Common Sense: You always want to have a nice, large case of beer on the passenger seat to sip on while you drive. Really helps keeping the thirst meter low on those long trips across the map.
Yet Another Stupid Death: The game is rather creative in the number of ways you can die, including Darwin Award-worthy behavior: Being stranded in the middle of nowhere with minimal chance of help and supplies, and dying from hunger, thirst, or a heart attack before you reach civilization. Bonus points if you do so in the dead of night with no flashlight.
Rupturing your bladder by refusing/forgetting to pee.
Being electrocuted while answering an erratically ringing phone during a thunderstorm. Or while working on the Satsuma's electrics with a live battery still connected. Or by urinating on the TV.
Crashing your car at high speeds without wearing a seatbelt.
Crashing your moped at high speeds without wearing a helmet.
Egging on the (drunk) driver of the car you hitchhiked in to drive faster to the point of crashing violently.
Hitching a lift in a souped-up car driven by an incompetent driver.
Dying of a heart attack caused by chronic stress.
Being blown up by smoking while filling gasoline at the pumps.
Being blown up by throwing a gasoline canister into a fire bucket or onto a barbecue.
Drowning in the lake while swimming in it extremely drunk.
Burning to death by remaining in the house while it's on fire.
Lingering along the roadway and facing the full frontal force of a speeding car. Or a speeding train if you're on the train tracks. Or hanging about on the drag-racing track and...you can see where this is going.
Falling into a septic tank manhole and drowning in sewage.
Being beaten to death by a drunk in a bar brawl.
Dying from allergic reactions to multiple wasp stings by venturing too close to an infested wasp nest.
Being murdered with an axe by a lottery winner after stealing his winnings.
Driving without a windshield only to get stung by a bee in the eye.
What a Piece of Junk: The best case scenario.
Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The municipality of Alivieska, which the game takes place in, doesn't exist. While there is a municipality called Ylivieska and Alavieska in Finland, the setting looks like it could be based on any rural part of Finland in general.
Wizard Needs Food Badly: If you don't eat, you die of hunger. The same goes for drinking, peeing, and managing stress. Sleep deprivation used to be fatal, but this was at some point changed so that you just start blacking out instead.
Work Off the Debt: If you order a bunch of expensive parts, you'll have to work extra hard to pay for them. Breaking either or both of the breakable windows at Teimo's store while he's around will also get you a stiff bill added to your next purchase.