Point-and-click adventure games are part of an underappreciated niche of gaming. All things considered, the idea of playing through a game by pointing, clicking, and reading is not intuitively fun. However, hidden behind these games is something of a mystery/puzzle element that ultimately makes these seemingly boring concepts actually quite enjoyable.
Dead Synchronicty: Tomorrow Comes Today is a 2D Point-and-Click, Dystopian Adventure game developed by Fictiorama Studios currently in production for PC, Mac, and iOS. The unique appeal of this game versus others in this genre is the dark and mature tone that the game takes. Indeed, Fictiorama describes the game as an “Old-school 2D graphic adventure game featuring space-time distortions, a dystopian atmosphere…and a dark, bloodstained plot.” And they certainly do not stretch the truth with that description.It really is a dark, mature game.
Players will assume the role of Michael, a man who has been asleep for quite a long time while the world around him was torn asunder by a catastrophic event referred to as the Great Wave. Moreover, a pandemic is infecting all of humanity, turning them into the Dissolved, a disease that grants its victims “supernatural cognitive powers” but also leads them towards an unsightly death. After awakening from the couch of the kind man who took care of him while he was asleep, Michael decides to not only help out the man who has been so generous to him, but to recollect his memories and identity, and discover what exactly has been going on with the world. And he must hurry as dead synchronicity, when time itself dissolves, is quickly approaching. And so the story begins.
Dead Synchronicity sets up an incredibly interesting atmosphere. This may be something reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic world, but the interesting part is that the world is not dead yet. No, instead, it is in the process of dying, which is a far more interesting take on this trope, as players get to peer into life that is fading, angry, mistrusting, hostile, and remiss of hope. While it may not be the first time this type of world is presented in a game, it is certainly one among a small population that allows for some interesting character dynamics. Indeed, the world that Dead Synchronicity presents is without a doubt its greatest appeal. Nonetheless, I did find two (minor) flaws with it.
The primary issue I sensed from my time spent with the demo is that there is little direction given to the player. Now, a point-and-click adventure should never explicitly tell you what you need to do, but there were certainly times when the next objective or goal wasn’t particularly clear. This is related to map design in the game. In one particular instance, the map extends far more to the left and to the right of what is visible to players upon entering the area. And, truth be told, there is very little way to realize that there is more to the map unless you go on a clicking rampage to see what may turn up. Still, this was only the demo and noted in one particular situation. This may very well have been a one-shot occurrence that will be improved upon in the final product.
The other hilarious flaw with Dead Synchronicity was the weird music that would play during cutscenes. While some tunes were more fitting than others, players will often came across random showtunes-inspired music tinged with some jazzy electronica. At other times, there would be some more alternative rock songs accompanying the cutscenes. While none of the music was bad by any means, how fitting they are was curious. As with the aforementioned issue, the demo was a limited experience of the game, so Dead Synchronicity‘s interesting music choices might just grow on players with greater context.The space-time distortion you see here is a pretty accurate representation of just how bizzarro the game feels.
Overall, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today seems to be an incredible example of what fun and interesting things that indie developers like Fictiorama Studios have in store. Such a mature point-and-click adventure is both refreshing and intriguing. While it appears to have some minor drawbacks, it is definitely worth checking out thus far; I know I can’t wait to see its full release. If you want to check out the demo, it is available for download on their Kickstarter page. And if you find yourself particularly enamored with their work, be sure to back them up and vote for them on Steam Greenlight!