In the past, point-and-click adventures and I… well, you could say we don’t quite click (ha). While I have some super fond memories of me playing the Monkey Island games, when I reviewed Day of the Tentacle on the Vita, I found the humor and animations hadn’t really aged all that well. I thought it might just be the age of the game itself, but playing through Broken Age told me that maybe my love affair with point-and-click adventures had ended. Dead Synchronicity, however, showed me that my liking for the genre depends very much on the subject matter presented in the game, and if Tomorrow has indeed come Today, I hope it’s here to stay.
Fictiorama’s debut on the Nintendo Switch is a dark tale of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. While the whole amnesia thing is a pet peeve of mine and has been played out way too much for my taste, everything else about the writing in Dead Synchronicity is spot on. Characters in general, and Michael himself in particular, grow on you like a virus: you care about these characters, and the decisions you must make along the way can sometimes be heartbreaking… and it’s all down to the fantastic writing.
Yes, the writing does show a little bit of the fact that the developers have English as a second language, but maybe because my first language is Spanish, I didn’t mind at all. I think it added a bit of charm, actually.
Another highlight for me was the voice acting. I may be in the minority here, as I saw other outlets being a little bit on the fence about it. But I liked it. Michael specially is charming in his humanity, and I found NPCs to be usually on par.
Going right along with the presentation is the beautiful art: the game does look like you’re playing a comic book drawn by a mixture of German expressionist and Darkhorse artists. Environments feel alive (despite what the seemingly limited color palette might lead you to believe) and characters are unique. I think this is a massive advantage over 3D games, where for some reason (specially in engines like Unreal and Unity) all characters tend to end up looking similar.
I did have some issues with the game, though: controlling the game felt weird, as if the implementation of physical controls was an afterthought, and I’m not sold on having two buttons for actions and inspecting items. I know it’s a classic thing for the genre but for some reason I found it really confusing this time around.
All in all, though, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a mature breath of fresh air in the halls of point-and-click adventures. It felt a lot more like playing a Telltale game than it did a Lucascarts adventure from the 90s, and I mean that as a compliment. While somewhat hindered by weak controller implementation, Fictiorama’s debut on the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic entry into a somewhat forgotten genre, and one whose mature themes and adult characters are most, most welcome.