Imagine a world where you wake up to find everything you remember has been destroyed, and you have no memory of who you are. This is the situation Dead Synchronicity’s Michael finds himself in after waking in an old trailer, to find a world that is quickly falling apart. This point and click adventure pits players in a dystopian environment, where the new rule to live by is you have to do whatever you can to survive. This darker, more mature entry to the genre has promise, but it isn’t without its issues.
The most striking thing about Dead Synchronicity is its art style, which sets out to look unique amongst other games. In a way it reminded me of the design of cartoons from the 1980’s though sharper and more modern. There’s quite an array of colours on show but even the lighter pinks add to an atmosphere that is incredibly depressing. Every scene reflects the hopelessness that the inhabitants of this new world face, as the remnants of the old crumble away.
The main story revolves around Michael who is a blankhead, a person who has forgotten things from before the event that rendered the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. That event itself is called the Great Wave and it has brought with it a crack in the sky as well as a new disease whose sufferers are called the Dissolved. In this new world these sufferers are feared and the Army hunts them down, hurting anyone that dares to harbour one of them. This dreary world has no time for trials or justice, as the armed forces shoot first and will perhaps ask questions later.
That isn’t even the worst of the situations Michael will find himself in, and individual character arc’s seem to thrive in misery. In this world Michael tries to help quite a few people, and to do so you need to complete puzzles. Generally in a point and click title there has to be some logic to the world, and while Dead Synchronicity generally sticks to real world logic there are times when you’ll find yourself frustrated.
One prime example is when you need a light to navigate a dark area. In the very first room of the game is a lit, portable oil lamp and logic would dictate you could go get that. That logic is wrong as Michael refuses to take the light out of the room, otherwise it will be dark in there. A room he will not be in if he just took the light. Instead you have to go through a procession of puzzles before finally getting a light.
There are a lot of times where Dead Synchronicity is at odds with the real world logic you expect from it. There are a number of puzzles that could have been bypassed if Michael simply asked people about an item and showed them it. Instead he states he isn’t giving anyone anything as he won’t have it anymore, which leaves you wandering through the scenes trying to find the item you actually need to continue. Some puzzles do make sense though and you’ll find yourself moving relatively smoothly through the game, despite stumbling upon a few roadblocks.
The voice acting is fantastic overall with the weakest link being a character called Hunter. He is supposed to be an imposing character who rules the refugee camp with an iron fist, but sounds like Jeremy from Peep Show trying to sound tough. The fact Hunter says the word dude over and over makes his implied threats seem laughable instead of menacing. Michael sounds like a man struggling to come to terms with the new world, and his emotional outbursts sound like that of a man in anguish.
Before you consider buying Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today it must be stressed that it’s the first half of a two part series, and as such the game ends rather abruptly with quite a lot of cliffhangers and unresolved situations. It is unclear when the second part will be out, whether it will be released as a free part, or if the second part will cost more.
Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a game that is quite hard to judge. On the one hand the art style, atmosphere, and interesting story premise are things that are worth experiencing. However the pacing of the puzzles can be frustrating, especially when what would appear to be the obvious solutions don’t work in a world where regular logic usually applies. It is a very well crafted title and the effort of the team can be seen. At the same time the puzzles are as infuriating as the atmosphere is brilliant.