“A superior man understands what is right, and an inferior man understands what will sell” – Confucius
Developer: BKOM Studios
Released: 13th October 2022
Platforms: PC (Windows)
Available on: Steam
- Superb gameplay formula that equally blends point-n-click exploration, varied puzzles, team management and turn-based RPG-style combat.
- Excellent world-building: each character is well-developed, and the dystopian ‘future UK’ setting is grimly plausible… considering the times we live in.
- Engaging progression that rewards exploration with a constant influx of unique weapons and gear, while leveling characters unlocks unique, well-diversified abilities steadily.
- Clever management mechanics that encourage efficiency / resource management, but at the same time don’t result in frustration and give the right amount of leeway.
- Challenging boss fights that require an understanding of patterns, correct timing of abilities and using each hero’s feats in a smart way to win.
- Characters don’t have their own dialog lines for examining items, all use the same ones instead in most cases. This makes the heroes feel less unique.
- A few quality-of-life blunders: clunky / unresponsive interface, absence of status effect duration in turns in combat, no detailed stats on damage scaling from passive abilities.
- Some combinations of gear and skills can lead to overpowered results, especially in late-game, thus reducing the effective challenge.
Bugs & Issues
- A few missing lines of text in dialogues or item descriptions.
- 1440p interface scaling may rarely obstruct clickable interactions.
- 32GB RAM
Content & Replay Value
It took me around 17 hours to complete Sunday Gold, taking extra time to explore all areas accurately and clear secondary content when possible. A little replay value may be found in a few minor branching choices, but since the majority of the content is linear, there isn’t really a point in replaying.
Is It Worth Buying?
Definitely. Given its excellent overall quality and duration, the price of 21.99€ is entirely fair, so i can recommend buying it without discounts.
Innovative, engaging and varied, Sunday Gold pulls no punches in trying to stand out from the crowd and bring a high-quality experience unlike anything else around.
Sunday Gold – In-Depth Analysis
Premise, Setting & Writing
In a dystopic future UK where cyber-surveillance peaks and corporations reign supreme, grizzled lowlife Frank, always broke, is desperately looking for the next heist to cash in (and pay his outrageous pub tab while he’s at it). His friend Sally, animal caretaker by day and underground boxer at night, proposes to him a job involving corporate espionage – of course, he accepts. Alongside the latest entry, the disgruntled and easily-shaken IT worker Gavin, the trio of anti-heroes sets off to get rich or die trying in a big corporate shakedown.
This is a world where animal cyber-engineering is commonplace, and the next step up the chain is not too far off either. Climate change flooded most of London, the UK brought to its knees by degenerating geopolitics, economic crashes and crime. Sounds familiar? The portrayal of such a setting is well-depicted and plausible, as SG doesn’t spare high amounts of gore, blood and general brutality on a regular basis.
The trio isn’t depicted as heroes nor should they; rather, they’re lowlifes trying to get by and that don’t shy from murdering and conning for that end. The writing of each protagonist is excellent, as they react coherently with their character and stay consistent for the whole adventure.
Each map is divided into a series of rooms, most of which are inaccessible at first, depicted as a static 2D background with your 3D characters being able to explore them in a point-n-click fashion. Many objects can be examined, used, opened, picked up and so forth – but beware, in most cases, such actions will cost Action Points (AP), which will eventually run out and need a Turn to pass to be recovered, or the usage of consumables such as drugs if you have any.
At each passing turn the global Alert Level may increase or decrease, and also enemies may spawn to hinder your advance (on top of the regular, predetermined ones). All characters have unique skills to solve problems; for instance, only Frank can lockpick closed containers. In more than a few instances your team may get separated, so you may also have to find a way to reunite them in order to progress.
Other than ‘mandatory’ exploration, there is a plethora of optional puzzles and secrets that often hold useful gear and consumables, but also require more time to deal with – and you’re always on the clock. Some elements of the environment or events may increase or decrease the characters’ composure, which is basically their mental stability, that gives de-buffs and hallucinogenic effects if it gets too low, but can be restored with items and certain skills.
Plays out in a turn-based fashion, with each character having their own turn with unlimited time – unless their Composure gets too low, in that case you’ll be on a short timer to decide what actions to take. Attacking enemies costs just 1AP, while using the numerous offensive, defensive and support skills of each will cost usually more. There’s a variety of status effects both you and enemies may inflict like Stunned, Bleeding and so on, each ability has different buffs and/or de-buffs it may grant to one or more characters; some consumables also have a chance of inflicting de-buffs. Enemies may be resistant or weak to one of the four damage types (Slash, Pierce, Blunt, Tech) so equipping your team with a flexible loadout to take advantage of such weaknesses is very important – special ammo and some gear pieces may also alter the damage type of weapons.
Puzzles & Mini-games
Most puzzles have an investigative or logical tone and involve collecting files to extrapolate the correct sequence in machinery, deduct the correct item to pick based on the info at hand, or using a series of items in the correct order in order to obtain a key allowing you to progress. They are varied, fun and never frustrating – some could be better explained, but overall pretty good. Minigames are logic or reflex-based segments: Sally’s power checks will involve balancing a needle in a given area, Frank’s lockpicking is about clicking with the right timing, and Gavin’s hacking is about deducting a numerical sequence by trial and error.
Characters Progression & Management
Equipped gear and levels are the two means of progression. Each character can hold two weapons depending on their specialties, several gear pieces that grant passive improvements, and also unlimited consumables that are free to use out of combat but cost a turn in a fight. With a level cap of 10 and two skill points per level, with respec options in-between chapters as well, you’ll be able to experiment with the various abilities and build the three to your liking – possibly breaking the balance in the process, since some combinations are really too strong for their own good.
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