I’ve been to London once and loved being immersed in the history and culture, from the cobblestone streets to Regent’s Park, to a little diner that served a full English breakfast, which I somehow managed to consume in one sitting. Even with the charm of this city, it’s no stranger to overcast days and some grim history; like the executions at the Tower of London. With this being said, it’s no surprise that the game I most recently had the pleasure of trying out emphasizes the darker and grittier side of London.
Sunday Gold is a point-and-click, turn-based, adventure game that follows a trio of criminals who use their unique abilities to expose and destroy an evil billionaire. From the moment I started the game, I knew this would be a good one as the introduction began with a rich narrative and interesting characters. It also beautifully melded film noir and comic book-style art to create a dystopian atmosphere. The stylized character design is gorgeous and the cutscenes showcase the attention to detail from the character’s expressions to their street style.
Speaking of characters, the voice actors are excellent and there were times I almost felt like I was watching a TV show because I felt so immersed in their missions. The game is a bit of a slow burner since you have to first learn the abilities of Sally, Frank, and Gavin by solving puzzles, searching for clues, and confronting enemies before working together as a team. I think this is really effective because I felt more prepared in combat knowing my strengths and weaknesses and understanding what each character brings to the table. I’m also a big fan of the turn-based combat in Sunday Gold (similar to other games we’ve explored this year like Stones Keeper: King Aurelius and Phobies). There’s less pressure and you don’t have to be amazing at fighting mechanics since you regain full health once combat has ended, which balances the story and puzzle-solving aspects of the game.
As you explore different areas, there are weapons to find, mini-games to complete, and items to add to your inventory, but each turn must be completed in a specific order as certain equipment can only be obtained if you have something to exchange, such as money. This adds to the realism of Sunday Gold as well as an extra layer of problem-solving skills for those who like sleuthing challenges. At times, this could get a bit frustrating as certain interactions with characters or objects have no impact on story progression, but that’s part of the challenge, figuring out the best and most efficient path to take.
Sunday Gold is fairly linear without many opportunities to branch out and explore this fictional, dystopian version of London. Since this is not a true RPG, I can forgive this aspect of the game. The exploration side of Sunday Gold takes center stage as well as the animations. I think this is truly a work of art that more people need to check out. There’s a little bit of something for everyone and it’s a really well-developed, creative, and fresh indie game.
You can purchase Sunday Goldon Steam for $21.99 if you’re looking for something that’ll keep you on your toes and sharpen your critical thinking skills. This game is gold in my book!
This review was based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Plot / Writing - 8.5/10
Design / Visuals - 9/10
Pros + beautiful stylized art with comic book influence + dreary London setting (think ragtag Sherlock Holmes) + Perfect mix of puzzle-solving and combat
Cons – combat can become a bit repetitive – puzzles can become a little tedious
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