Thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid nature, many companies are rushing to support it with smaller indie games. This has largely paid off for both the developers and the gamers, especially since many times these types of video games aren’t as taxing in the GPU and CPU departments – making for an ideal portable and on TV experience. One of my all-time favorite genres, the point and click adventure, has seen a bit of a resurgence over the past few years. That’s why I was more than happy to give Dead Synchronicity a try. While it does an admirable job in some areas, it falls short in others. It won’t appeal to everyone out there, but some are sure to really enjoy what’s offered.
Unlike many games in this genre, Dead Synchronicity tells a very serious tale. You won’t find quirky humor and bizarre puzzles here. Instead, the story focuses on a world that has seemingly gone to shit. This post-apocalyptic landscape has created concentration camps where refugees now live out their lives. You play a man named Michael; well at least that’s what you think your name is, since of course your character has amnesia. Despite the forced cliché, it does help to set the narrative of an outsider looking in – trying to unravel what’s happened to the world and solve other mysteries that pop up along the way.
The most immediate thing that stuck out to me with the game is its dark and somewhat bleak story. The graphics are highly stylized, somewhat similar to what’s seen in games like The Walking Dead, and equally so, this title doesn’t hold back on some of the more brutal aspects one might to expect in this world. The exposition unfolds slowly at first, but does a good job of drawing you in and holding your attention. The plot moves along through talking to characters, many of which have multiple questions that can be asked. As is usual fare, you’ll want to exhaust all lines of questioning to hear the full background of what’s going on and what you’ll need to do next.
You do have an inventory, so be on the look out for objects that might be useful. The puzzles are integrated into the story fairly well here, although I really didn’t encounter too much trouble in figuring out what to do next. This is probably a result of me playing this style of game for decades and decades, but I found it to be easier and less convoluted than the recent Thimbleweed Park. Still, if you do get stuck, you’ll just need to try every item with other items until something works.
The game runs well in both portable and TV modes. The voice acting is passable, but honestly I wasn’t that impressed with the overall presentation. Sometimes I began to tire of all of the different questions I could ask each character and most games allow you to opt out of asking every line, but here it seemed essential. Perhaps the story didn’t grab me as much as I’d have liked, but it’s one of those games where the subject matter might appeal to one person over another. As it stands, I’d buy Thimbleweed Park before this one, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’ve already went through the other adventure games on the Switch or are looking for something with a more mature and unsettling story.
Dead Synchronicity was reviewed using a final retail Nintendo Switch download code provided by the publisher.