Point and click adventure games seem to have fallen by the wayside recently. Back in the 90s they were all the rage. Grim Fandango, Monkey Island and a million more used to be the bee’s knees. Well in a day that is filled with first person shooters, and more puzzle games than you can shake a stick at comes Fictorama Studios and their upcoming post-apocalyptic game; Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today.
I have played a little bit of the current Dead Synchronicity demo, and I will admit that I am excited about the prospect of the full game, but that being said there are some issues that really stood out. Luckily there is still a whiles away from the game’s release so a lot of these problems can be fixed up before then.
Like a lot of modern games, Dead Synchronicity is set in a fictional, post-apocalyptic world that has become desolate after The Great Wave – a chain of natural disasters that have absolutely decimated the population and environment. Many survivors are finding themselves stricken with an illness that turns people into delirious, yet telepathic mutants on their way to death. If you couldn’t piece it together, this game is seriously dark. The world is basically a police state and there is just a tonne of violence and gore throughout. I was really impressed with how powerful some of the imagery was in the sections of the game that I played through.
The game’s protagonist, Michael wakes up in this world with no recollection of his past. Yeah…. This is an amnesic character, which has basically become a cliche in recent years. It feels a little like a cop out to have such an interesting and dark world only to have its main character have no memories. It feels like lazy writing and definitely felt like a let down.
When it comes to point and click adventure games, there isn’t too much that can be said about the gameplay. You progress through the world by interacting with objects and people in order to solve puzzles and progress the story. You collect items which are kept in your inventory until their appropriate time and it is up to you to solve the complex puzzles with typically minimal clues. I will admit though that some of the puzzles and interactions weren’t as complicated as I have come to expect from the genre, but that might be because I was playing through an earlier section of the game.
Since the gameplay is relatively simple, I wanted to spend some time talking about the aesthetics of Synchronicity. In its own way, it is absolutely stunning. I’m not kidding when I say that the visuals look like something out of a cool little indie comic-book. The colour pallet is all drab and dull and really sets off the tone of the game perfectly, while the thin outlines really give Dead Synchronicity a really unique look.
While the visuals are stunning, there were a few quirks that really took me out of the moment. The biggest offender was the fact that when two characters were conversing with one another, the same animations and facial gestures would play on a loop. Not only that, but the animations were only a few frames long so the repetition became very noticeable. It is things like this that really take me out of the world that I would otherwise be hugely invested in.
I’m usually a bit skeptical of games that were funded through Kickstarter (or anything that’s been crowdfunded, to be honest) but Dead Synchronicity has me intrigued. While there are still a few hurdles for the developers to overcome before the full release date, there is definitely a solid, enjoyable and mature game here.