Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today Review
Cool world design
Weak character designs
Amateur voice acting and sound design
Fictiorama Studio’s new point-and-click, sci-fi adventure Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today sends players into a post-apocalyptic fever dream of a tale. Without giving anything away, the story mixes themes of altered reality, amnesia, disease, quarantine, class systems, and conspiracy and it does so rather well. While the game’s conclusion only gives it an episodic feel, the game is short enough and the final twist strong enough that asking players to sit through a sequel or trilogy isn’t too much.
The game’s dialogue is generally well-written and voice-over, though amateur in many regards, is quite fitting to the game’s strange aesthetic. Exchanges between characters sound as though they’re cued line by line from a library rather than complete performances. The dialogue typeface is particularly ugly and could’ve used some more intentional design to integrate it with the overall presentation. As is, subtitles are presented as a free-floating, yellow font, like an early implementation of closed captions.
The game’s creepy aesthetic hints at disturbing themes without directly exposing them to us, extremely reminiscent of Courage, the Cowardly Dog. It does a great job of keeping expectations weary. Certain color changes that blast players with turquoise and aqua served as powerful climax tools that enhanced the impact of different scenes. By this method, developers were able to create “a lot” with “a little.” The mere use of color, still images, filters, and visual distortion during pinnacle moments wonderfully portrayed panic, fear, and confusion, without the need for complex animations.
While easily distinguishable, faces are mostly expressionless. Mouths are well animated to match conversations but character faces are are just generally plain if not ugly. For example, I’d best describe our hero as generic white male, lacking in remarkable facial or body features. Even his costume is just form-fitting white shirt, jeans, and greasy hair. Good luck getting recognized while cosplaying.
Music performances and production are somewhat sloppy. While they often feature cool sounds and experiments – I particularly enjoyed the synths, most background music sounds like a poorly mastered collection of noodling pianos, drones, and guitar pedals. Some music does serve to enhance the drama of certain scenes, reinforcing tension or driving a revelatory conversation into a panic.
Despite my reservations regarding its production values, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is pure proof that video games can be much more than the sum of their parts. The music, voice acting, and highly stylized visuals are all come together to form a uniquely stylized piece that’s wholly memorable and full of character.