Point-and-click adventure games are something of a rarity nowadays, but they still have their fans and there’s certainly a gap in the Switch eShop library for that niche. Fictiorama Studios’ Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today aims to fill in that gap, providing players with a dark sci-fi story that depicts the fall of mankind. Though it isn’t perfect by any means, Dead Synchronicity is still a fun ride for those that have the patience for it; it’s quite unlike anything else on the eShop at the present.
Dead Synchronicity is a fairly standard point and click adventure game; progress will primarily be made by figuring out how to solve logic puzzles by using environmental clues and collected items. It’s a bit like working through a novel in some respects; the focus is primarily placed on the narrative, with parts of it coming into focus as you progress and meet new characters.
Storytelling is mostly top-notch, delivering a dark and gritty look at what seems to be a post-apocalyptic world. You play the role of Michael — an amnesiac man who wakes up in a dirty trailer, supposedly after having slept for months — and are soon tasked with acquiring a highly sought-after drug that cures a mysterious disease, the victims of which are referred to as “The Dissolved”. Much of this takes place within a concentration camp, filled with mountains of junk and desperate individuals.
Dead Synchronicity certainly doesn’t shy away from depicting some horrifying things; some scenes are straight out of a horror movie, and others are horrifying in theme with some challenging and mature examples. Though there is room for a fair bit of exploration and non-linear progress, it’s a tightly focused narrative that moves at a good clip; you’ll likely be firmly hooked into this one until it’s over.
This is supplemented by the puzzle and gameplay design, which does a great job of funneling the player down the right paths without too much handholding. The cursor can either be freely controlled by the analogue stick or moved directly between interactive objects with the d-pad buttons (no touch screen controls), while all interactive objects on-screen can be highlighted with a tap of one of the shoulder buttons. Though there are a few puzzles that inevitably will lead to some frustrating trial and error and wandering, most have intuitive solutions and are hinted at by characters in conversations. All of this combines for an accessible experience that still makes you work for your success, but it rarely comes off as being unfair or unreasonable.
The graphics are quite nice, creating an engaging, oppressive atmosphere that is seldom interrupted. Environments are dirty and decrepit, and the people that populate them look just as downtrodden and beaten. Though there isn’t a whole lot of colour to the visuals, it’s mostly browns and reds here, the palette does a good job of matching the tone and conveying emotion. Some of the stills are truly beautiful, too; there were a few times where we entered a new area and took a few seconds to just take in all the details.
The sound design isn’t nearly as impressive, but it still gets the job done. Voice acting is rather uneven, Michael (who sounds uncannily like Kevin Conroy) and most of the other main supporting cast members do a fine job, but there’s a notion that some of the characters aren’t strictly having a conversation. Delivery of lines can be monotone or unfitting to the situation the character is in, and this can tend to bring one out of the experience a bit. It’s nothing deal-breaking, but this is an area that could’ve been improved.
One other complaint that bears mentioning is the length. Though the time it takes you to clear will ultimately depend on your puzzle solving prowess, there’s definitely a feeling of the narrative ending much too soon. Just when things are starting to get good, it’s over. What’s more is that the ending is wholly unsatisfying and leaves far too many questions. So, while the ride may be great while it lasts, just be aware that it may be a bit shorter and less satisfying than expected.
All told, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a fun, worthwhile point-and-click adventure that tells an engaging story. Though there are some issues with voice acting and length, this is a tightly driven narrative that you’ll want to see through to the end, and ultimately be glad that you did. We’d give this one a recommendation to anyone who’s interested in this niche genre of games. Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today isn't the game that’s going to win over those who don’t have much interest in this more deliberate kind of experience, but it’s still a strong example of the genre and is certainly worth the price of admission.