London party

Sunday Gold Review: A Point-A-Click RPG Set in Dystopian London

Your name is Franck; too old for that, a bloodshot-eyed, mohawk-wearing, cigar-biting asshole living on the dystopian streets of London’s black hell. You got kicked out of the Jolly Hangman pub and you deserved it.

The rain is falling as you look up from the neon-soaked sidewalk. The connected driveway echoes the bloody sound of someone behind on their payments. You also owe a lot of money; the alley is silent – he will come and pick you up next.

Down, but not out, you’re tasked with getting Frank back on his feet. It’s been two years since the failed heist left him here, and it’s time to form a new gang in classic criminal fashion.

Sunday Gold is a turn-based, point-and-click RPG home to an eclectic cast of characters who have absolutely nothing to lose. Accomplices include Sally, the mastermind and brawn of the operation, and Gavin, a nervous, sometimes hallucinogenic and tech-savvy genius.

Gavin has a score to settle with his ex-employer Hogan Industries, and that’s where it all begins. What could go wrong?

Life in the slums: the aesthetics of Sunday Gold

It’s all bad, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bright moments in such a dark and hopeless world. The team at BKOM Studios have lovingly crafted one of the most beautiful games of the year, with art direction so well done that it sits alongside cult classics like Max Payne and Disco Elysium.

The storyboard-style comic book aesthetic is filled with onomatopoeia and elegantly animated scenes that will leave you speechless throughout its 25 hours of playtime.

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If you have an OLED or HDR-capable screen handy, that’s how you’ll want to experience Sunday Gold. Contrasting colors pop and seep through every shadow and dimly lit piece of scenery to full effect, bringing a beautifully ugly cohesiveness to the setting and story.

On an RTX 3080ti the game runs at a consistent 110-120 fps at 4K with maximum settings, and while this kind of game doesn’t need to push that many frames to be enjoyable, it’s a welcome addition considering most modern PC games. are plagued with performance issues.

Exploring the World of Gold Sunday

Sunday Gold’s point-and-click gameplay is essentially an ode to ’90s exploration and puzzle-solving. You will enter an area and have several options; search for objects, explore other rooms, and use specific characters to interact with computers, locked doors, or other environmental objects that need to be destroyed or moved.

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Unique Frank, Sally, or Gavin-related interactions will initiate one of three mini-games that you must complete to get special items or advance to the next area. Most interactive actions require Action Points (AP) to execute; once you run out of AP, you will need to end your turn, which replenishes your party’s AP.

Each time you end your turn, a random event may increase or decrease the alert meter, spawn enemies, or do nothing at all. Over time, the alert meter will inevitably fill up, and in turn, the difficulty and enemy encounter rate will increase.

Golden Sunday Gameplay

Combat in Sunday Gold will be familiar to those who have played a turn-based RPG. You will have your team of three on the opposite side from left to right, from one to four enemies. The proven rock, paper, scissors formula is present here with weaknesses and resistances to be exploited.

Once per turn, a character can move in order of their “initiative” stat, and you’ll choose from a wide variety of unique attacks and skills that can be unlocked through each character’s skill tree . Each skill-based attack is once again complemented by visual flair that’s oozing with style and just as satisfying as the effort you put into creating the character in the first place.

Sally is the tank/medic, Frank the DPS/support, and Gavin the debuff/cybernetics specialist; however, you can shape each character to fit many different roles as you see fit. Luckily, if you royally screw up a party member’s skill tree, you can reassign the entire build between chapters to the pub. It’s something I would encourage.

Fight-min gameplay

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Recommended items

Each party member can hold two weapons, one melee and one ranged, which can be replaced with more powerful weapons you find as you progress. Additionally, a slot for armor, gear, and ammo will complete your skill tree for each member.

This is where things get interesting. Each time a party member attacks or uses a skill in battle, they use AP; by using “guard”, a character can replenish his AP. At the end of the combat encounter, the remaining APs are transferred to the exploration part of the game.

If you leave combat weapons on, you’ll have no choice but to burn a turn out of combat to replenish AP for interactions, increasing the difficulty of subsequent enemy encounters.

But wait, there’s more. The party members have something called “cold blood,” which will be quite familiar to those who’ve played Darkest Dungeon. There are three levels of composure, and as it decreases through exploration and combat, each character becomes less sane.

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The downsides can quickly become debilitating as party members begin self-talk, hallucinate, attack each other, attack others, suffer massive debuffs, and disobey commands. The effects of composure are not just statistical deviations; exploration will become a visual journey, minigames will turn into a confusing hallucinated nightmare, and the darkest workings of the group’s mind will surface.

Luckily, there are several ways to regain your composure with the consumable meds you can find throughout the game.

What?

Did you think these good members of society would eat fruit snacks to feel better?

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It should be noted how excellent the voiceover work of Frank, Sally and Gavin is. It sounds so good that someone at BKOM studios had to pull the cast from the entire Peaky Blinders and put them into the game. It’s pure ear candy that suits every character, the raspy smoking voice of Frank, the nervous stutter of Gavin, the calm confidence of Sally. Each performance in turn steals the show.

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The OST is also to be commended, ranging from mystery-inspired backing tracks to dark synthwave that help drive the narrative forward. Of course, even the best performance can’t mitigate lousy writing. Luckily, the scripted banter between our heroes is about as good as it gets and ranges from consistently hilarious to compelling.

The narrative presented here could sit comfortably somewhere between mystery, detective, and horror, and while the ending might be a little cliched for some, that doesn’t detract from the whole package.

What I didn’t like about Golden Sunday

During my time with the Sunday Gold preview, I encountered a few small issues and bugs throughout my game.

I couldn’t find an option to disable closed captions during cutscenes, nor found a way to disable or hide the “skip” notification applied to all cutscenes and dialogue. Scrolling with a mouse wheel feels too slow, and the UI can be a bit clunky when switching items between characters.

As for bugs, sometimes the skin color or appearance of the enemy portrait does not match the enemy on the battlefield. Sometimes the speech bubbles did not contain any dialogue or did not match the dialogue in the VO.

Other times, main quests can be buggy and not update correctly. In one instance, I gathered all the pieces needed to create an essential item before being prompted to do so in the quest log, effectively locking my reading and forcing me to revert to an older save. I spent an hour trying to solve a puzzle until I realized something was wrong.

Issues aside, none of these things spoiled my experience and will likely be resolved before or shortly after release.

Final Thoughts

Sunday Gold is something special. There’s a certain level of cohesion between the art direction, the exploration, the combat, the voiceover work, and the soundtrack that merge together in a way that I can’t recommend to all fans of turn-based RPGs. round.

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The puzzles won’t hold your hand, forcing you to spit your gum out and pay attention. Each chapter will expect you to build on what you’ve learned before, increasing complexity and requiring thought both in and out of combat. Every game action has consequences as you balance on a tightrope deciding whether to sprint or run a marathon to avoid falling. These are the knees of the bee.

Sunday gold is golden.