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Published by Future Friends Games, SUMMERHOUSE is the latest release from Friedemann Allmenröder. Previously having worked on titles such as ISLANDERS and Superflight, this is their first solo effort, and what a delightful game it is.

Building Buildings

For this review, the game was played via Steam and worked brilliantly, as it’s not a demanding game. The fact that it costs just £3.99 makes it very accessible to gamers and a perfect gift to friends as a tiny gesture of appreciation.

If you want to add more cozy games to your library, feel free to check out Mike’s review of Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator.


The best way to describe SUMMERHOUSE is that it’s exactly what it says on the tin, “A tiny building game about beautiful lived-in houses. No rules or restrictions, just pure creativity.”

A screenshot from SUMMERHOUSE. You can see general places of business with a bunch of accessories, such as graffiti, laundry lines, pigeons.
General Places of Business

There is no story to the game, and you cannot win or lose. You just build and use your imagination to create stories of the people who may live in your tiny homes. You start the game by choosing what landscape you want your tiny homes to reside on; by the sea, the mountains, the desert, or the city.

Depending on what area you pick will help influence the designs of your home to match the terrain, but as mentioned before there are no rules so you build whatever you want.

A screenshot from SUMMERHOUSE. You can see a gentleman in the coat hanging outside the window of a bulidng that looks like a grocery strore.
Just hangin’ out and enjoying the views.

In terms of controls, you only have to point and click. There are tabs on the left side of the screen to start building your homes from the base up. You can quickly select the building base, roof, doors windows and accessories with left click or open the gallery using right-click.

It is even possible to randomize the items by selecting the dice tab. There is the freedom to place items further back on the landscape or in the foreground to create some intentional framing and pleasing compositions.

Creative Freedom

There is a variety of blocks to choose from to let your imagination run wild. This includes creating places of business such as restaurants, cleaners, or convenience stores. There are assets suitable to create the perfect post-apocalyptic overgrown town or even build a quiet and quaint Hobbit-hole.

As mentioned previously, there is no winning to the game but there is a progress menu and 10 Steam achievements to gain during your playthrough. This usually involves placing a specific amount of blocks or placing a certain block from the gallery to unlock a special character.

Some things I wish were included are a story or guided tutorial that delves deeper into the special character you meet along the way. I like having a quest or way to be rewarded, and whilst the special characters offer that unexpectedly, SUMMERHOUSE feels like it could benefit to include more.

Graphics & Audio

The gorgeous art style with lush landscapes and detailed pixel-style blocks and the additional special characters create a lived-in feeling, reminiscent of tightly-knit communities and neighborhoods.

Something that you might pay attention to but does a really good job of immersing you, is the soundtrack and the ambient noise. The lulls of birds chirping and the distant rustling of pedestrians create a relaxing and calming environment, resulting in a meditative experience.

A screen shot from the game SUMMERHOUSE. A tiny house with a red roof and four windows, with a large mountain in the background. The rainy weather option is toggled
Rainy mountain living..

In regards to the graphics, being able to swap the weather of where your tiny creation resides from a warm summer’s day to a cozy rainy evening is a fantastic touch, especially when you see the lights shine through the windows and glass doors. The atmospheric ambiance combined with the soft-toned soundtrack made for a pleasant gaming experience.


There is no end to SUMMERHOUSE so players can build to their heart’s content, but they are limited to 20 save slots. As mentioned, there is a progress menu showing players what characters they can unlock as well as ten Steam achievements after completing those. That will be where players may not continue to play the game.

After about an hour and a half I had unlocked 40% of the achievements. Those who want the freedom to create without limitation may find themselves putting several hours into the game. Those who like direction and guidance however, will probably call it quits after an hour.

Final Thoughts

SUMMERHOUSE is a dream game for those who love to build tiny houses with big stories and the freedom to create whatever they want. Beautifully crafted, it’s easy to pick up, and made with a lot of love and thought. Being a solo and personal project, the game achieves what it sets out to do.  There is no limitation to what you build when using your imagination.

Bringing a sense of serenity with its minimalist but thoughtful approach to gaming, it has me wishing for summer to arrive. I would love to see future DLC where players can have more themed blocks to recreate their childhood neighborhoods.

Though it did leave me wanting more, SUMMERHOUSE got a Thumb Culture Platinum Award from me.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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