Sally, Frank, and Gavin from left to right posing in front of a dramatic, pinkish red and yellow background.

Sunday Gold Review

Sunday Gold Review


need to know

what is it? A fantastic mix of JRPG and point-and-click adventure in the near future of the 70s
Expected payment: Not applicable
release date: October 13
Developer: BKOM
Publisher: 17 teams
Comment on: Intel i5 12600K, Nvidia RTX 3070, 32GB RAM
multiplayer game? Do not
Association: Steam Page(opens in a new tab)

The trend in newer RPGs (I’m thinking Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin 2) is to have you regain full health between battles so you can focus on the tactical details of each battle. Gold will have none of that on Sunday. Its three-chapter heist is a war of attrition. You’ll manage party members’ health, stress, action points, and consumables, solve classic point-and-click adventure item collection puzzles, and battle corporate security without any real disruption. It’s like someone stuffed an old-school hardcore RPG into a Sierra adventure. While the combat itself isn’t bad, the puzzle-solving benefits from limiting and increasing the intensity of managing dwindling resources.

The story is very Final Fantasy 7: you let the corporate overlord and his secret lab destroy an over-industrialized city, the tattered organization of freedom fighters – including disaffected loners and savage ladies with a heart of gold – and a Secret base that can be returned under the dive bar. This is red meat, classic video game content in a new 70s sci-fi setting.

I love comic art, but it’s this relentless game of attrition that really makes Sunday Gold so exciting. Your character uses the same pool of Action Points (AP) in exploration mode and combat. Ending an exploration round triggers a chance for a random encounter.This means it is possible to enter a loop where you finish the fight without AP, end your exploration round early to refresh those points, then trigger immediately other random encounter.

man fighting

This decorated penthouse is more interesting than the bland office below. (Image credit: Bkom, Team 17)

JRPG-style combat is otherwise typical: there’s a rock-paper-scissors resistance system where you have to deplete enemy armor and time your best attack, as well as things like “bleed” (damage over time) and “broken bones” (Slower AP) Such status effects regen) for you and your opponent. Sustained health and AP between combat and exploration add a long-term strategic element to each battle that improves overall. I’ve found that the timing of ending the fight with max health and AP in the next exploration phase is better than ending the fight as soon as possible. Costly victories don’t work – ending a fight with low health or AP will give me a complete breakdown for the rest of my exploration rounds.

The sense of scarcity and pressure that Sunday Gold adds to the classic adventure gameplay is refreshing in the current field. It shares similar innovations with the 2022 adventure/RPG Citizen Sleeper, whose mission is to let you make the most of your daily dice roll to live your best life on the space station. These two games provide another avenue for PC Gamer’s perennial favorite, Disco Elysium, which blends the genres of RPG and adventure. In contrast to Disco Elysium’s embrace of build craftsmanship and skill checks, both Sunday Gold and Citizen Sleeper are about thinking about and effectively managing these scarce resources.

The result is something very special: hardcore RPG resource management like you’d find in Baldur’s Gate or single-digit Final Fantasy, but in a point-and-click adventure. I can’t just click around and try every action cue at my disposal until something new happens like I did in Monkey Island games as a kid because my team would run out of action points and be torn apart by random encounters. Instead of relying on brute force, I had to think through the puzzles and weigh each move.

There’s about two-thirds of the fixed segment that embodies a tense, tense puzzle-solving process. Your party is stuck in a classic Star Wars trash compactor situation and you must find four keys hidden in the room. You’ll get a shared pool of around 25 action points to wipe out your team before the trap hits, but there’s a lot to do and problems to solve. The key itself is on a high shelf or locked behind a power door. This room also contains valuable optional loot, such as your DPSer Frank’s Shotgun. However, there is also some trashy behavior, like shoulder-checking the door or futilely shooting at the door. On my first try, I threw everything at it and it failed. Being punished, I reloaded and really figured out how to solve the puzzle.

When I searched for a dead body early in the game for ID, Sunday Gold really took control of my gamer instincts. My greedy impulse was to loot every pocket for a health potion, but touching a corpse would understandably drain my character’s morale gauge (too low would result in deliberate interface glitches and strict time constraints on combat decisions). Furthermore, it turns out that this brutally assassinated corporate lackey doesn’t have any small keys, natural armor talismans, or enchanted daggers to keep morale down. Once I’ve found the keycards that are critical to the plot, I should just ignore those completionist instincts and move on. Sunday Gold beat me, shook a carrot, and patted my hand as I reached for it, you know? I deserve it.

My personal Waterloo. (Image credit: Bkom, Team 17) (Opens in a new tab)

Some of Sunday Gold’s puzzles do have some old Sierra lunar logic to its detriment. There’s an adventure game’s main mech that has a missing valve that you have to collect from somewhere else before you can screw it in for valve-y purpose – seriously, who screwed those in other than where they screwed in Stuff kept anywhere? When a puzzle is limited to a single room, and when you may have to backtrack to collect the necessary components, it doesn’t always map out well, leaving some scenes for me to click through a series of rooms, Until something, um, clicks — just that behavior Sunday Gold is at its best when discouraged by its AP system.

The occasional clutter makes me think the only glitch I’ve had that’s holding back progress is actually my inability to solve the puzzle myself. This sluggish sequence involving lasers and coolant tanks sent me into a hell of a point-and-click adventure satire: I did everything right, exhausted all options, but the last piece of the puzzle malfunctioned. When I try to shoot the damn thing on demand, my character will utter “I can’t do that right now”. I thought I was missing some gadget or Bubba to complete the puzzle and the LucasArts gods weren’t happy with me, but after clicking everything in the room five times, I reloaded a save and found it was just bugged.

style point

“We have the Seventh Heaven in Final Fantasy 7 at home.” Photo: Seventh Heaven at home. (Image credit: Bkom, Team 17)

Sunday Gold’s expressive Impressionist character designs and ’70s dialogue pit future were what really attracted me at first. This style is a bit of a waste in the first two acts of the game, the corporate office building and the Umbrella corp secret lab where the catalog is straight, but your dive bar base and the Knives Out novelty mansion in the final act make better use of the setting. I think that orange has a lot of juice in it.

Sunday Gold’s writing average is almost perfectly neutral to me. There are some great bits throughout the game, like the creepy evil corporate motivational posters scattered throughout the office chapters, and the world building is cheeky and funny. The game takes place in a brutally brutal future London, obsessed with zombie dog competitions, and featuring a “visionary” billionaire who looks like a 70s Hollywood producer. However, the conversation is completely room temperature. The images of smug liar Frank, radical violent Sally, and hypertensive anarchist hacker Gavin are brilliant, striking prototypes with impressive visual designs, but they do so in prosaic ways or Direct information dumps are communicated. A cool visual style can only carry so much.

Storytelling aside, Sunday Gold is a successful proof-of-concept that effectively brings the two genres together to create something new, and in some ways better. It doesn’t have the emotional or philosophical weight of Citizen Sleeper or Disco Elysium, but it’s what really matters: menu-based tactical combat.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.