Well, this is perhaps one of the strangest games that I’ve ever come across.

It’s the year 2000. You play as Jaska, who goes on vacation to a little island known as Muhvijärvi in Finland. You’ve apparently crashed your car into a moose, and someone has robbed your summer cottage. Now you’ll have to find some way to regain your peace of mind, while helping your neighbors “have a nice midsummer festival.”

Your objective? Cut up some wood. Heat up bathing water. Get the temperature cranked up in the sauna. Invite your “neighbors” to your heat party. By the way, one of these neighbors, an older gentleman by the name of Erkki, steals a couple of your beers. But I guess you have to return the favor with kindness.

sauna instructions

You can shape how events turn out. You could have a zombie with a dagger sticking out of his wrist come chase after you while you’re bathing. So you could say this game has some horror elements to it. It’s up to you how you want things to go down.

Since the game takes place in 2000, the graphics are PS1-style. That’s the one thing that I do like about this game. I’m fond of the N64/PS1 days; those were the games that I grew up with and to see this type of style in a modern game is nice. I wonder if the framerate is somewhere around 20 FPS. Judging by the trailer, it looks like it is.

Speaking of the trailer, that’s another strange thing. It first talks about how we’ve become distracted with the notifications that we get from our devices, and then the narrator asks, ‘What if we went back 22 years ago, when there was no social media? What if you could just melt away your worries by relaxing at a sauna in Finland?’ Thus the introduction to Sauna 2000.

sauna2000 jaska

From there the trailer kind of goes all over the place, from a zombie chasing after you to your neighbor complaining that he has a dry throat, so he takes two beers from you.

Definitely a strange one. And yet part of me wants to try this game out when it releases. I’ve been told that this game will be coming to Linux “right away.” Check more details about Sauna 2000 on Steam. A smaller version of the game, “Autumn Night Prelude,” will be available on itch.io on October 14th if you can’t wait to try it out. The full game will be “coming soon” in Early Access; probably sometime in 2023.

All screenshots are credit of Moya Horror