Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today Game Poster Image
Mature episodic apocalyptic adventure has abrupt ending.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Major themes are violence, loss, survival at any cost.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character appears to be a good guy. He defends weak, helps those in need, expresses outrage at violence. But he has amnesia; the more he finds out about who he was, the more it seems he's not so good.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn. Cleverly designed puzzles.

Violence

Though graphics are flat, illustrative, multiple instances of violence, from people being shot to having their faces melted off with acid. Blood accompanies graphically depicted situations.

Sex

Sex isn't pictured, but a young girl is held captive, pimped by thugs. She mentions how men "hurt her," has clearly suffered psychological damage.

Language

Characters use words "goddamn" and "s--thead."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters shown drinking in a bar, taking drugs such as morphine when suffering a terrible illness. Main character's flashbacks indicate he was once an alcoholic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a mature downloadable adventure game focusing on gritty adult themes. It features frequent scenes of violence (or the aftermath of it). Players will see characters who are shot or have their faces melted off with acid, with blood accompanying this. Also expect images of the gruesome effects of a devastating disease. Characters will sometimes use words such as "goddamn" or "s--thead," and there's imagery of drinking and morphine usage. Though sexual activity isn't shown, a character is being trafficked by men and clearly has suffered psychological distress.

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What's it about?

DEAD SYNCHRONICITY: TOMORROW COMES TODAY is an apocalyptic noir-style story about a man who's lost his memory. This man -- Michael -- wakes in a world he doesn't recognize, to an identity he doesn't remember, and finds humanity in the throes of a two-fold catastrophe: a bizarre cosmic occurrence called the Great Wave and a merciless disease that turns people into mush. If he isn't able to regain his memory or figure out what's happening to the world, humanity (or what's left of it) will be destroyed.

Is it any good?

Story is key for adventure games, and in this tale, it's expertly conveyed through good writing and interesting dialogue. Thanks to this and good vocal casting, conversations are both moving and message-heavy (in a good way) while also being well-supported by the simple, angular artwork. Cranking the emotional aspect even higher is the dramatic musical score from Spanish rock band Kovalski.

Though some puzzle solutions might require more thought, all are interesting and none contrived. This makes it easy to get on board with the game's troubling and emotional narrative, which makes it particularly irritating when it unceremoniously dumps you off. For a first installment, Tomorrow Comes Today is surprisingly long at around three or four hours. The pacing throughout is great, and it's easy to get sucked in by the rich, multilayered story, but just as things are really getting juicy, they're done. This is meant to be the first of multiple episodes, but a better balance between cliffhanger and resolution could be struck. Even with this disappointment, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is a very worthwhile adventure game. Its mature concepts, well-written dialogue, and singular artwork make it a good example of the narrative complexity that can be achieved within the point-and-click genre.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Would this story have been any more effective if there weren't the same kind of blood or gore shown?

  • Talk about the importance of memory. How important is memory in making us who we are?

  • Discuss the idea of time travel. If you could travel to any place and time, where and when would you go?

  • Think about what life would be like without modern conveniences. What would you miss the most?

Game details

  • Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
  • Price: $17.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (This is only the first part of a multi-part game. Subsequent parts will be sold separately.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Fictiorama Studios
  • Release date: April 10, 2015
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Description

Themes & Topics

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