Sunday Gold PC Review

A violent, crass, corporation-hating point-and-click/turn-based RPG hybrid

By LCLupus, Posted 12 Sep 2022

Sunday Gold is the latest game by BKOM Studios, and it’s important that we get something out of the way early because some have likened this game to Disco Elysium. However, while there are some thematic similarities, such as a focus on capitalist exploitation and working people, Sunday Gold is not a Disco Elysium-like. This game is a point-and-click game mixed with a turn-based RPG, and it does not have much of a dialogue system.

This is not to say that Sunday Gold isn’t good; it’s only to say that it isn’t Disco Elysium. So, what is it then? Sunday Gold is a strange, blended experience where you spend most of it in a more typical point-and-click setup, with rooms to move through and items to find, but this otherwise environmental puzzle game is often broken up into highly stylized turn-based RPG combat segments that are pretty great to play.

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First and foremost, Sunday Gold is an adventure game, though, and it’s the standard fare you’ll typically find in other similar entries. You enter a level and need to find your way through it using various items you find. And seeing as your characters are a bunch of criminals, you’re actually sneaking around these areas, but don’t worry, it’s not a stealth game. The infiltration aspect comes into play when it gets to the alert system, but we’ll discuss that soon enough.

The puzzles that Sunday Gold throws at you are not the kind of thing you’ll find in a LucasArts-style point-and-click adventure. Instead, the puzzles are very understandable. A door is powered down, so you need to find a way to turn then power back on, but the generator is missing a component, so you need to find that component. Because of this, the game can often feel like a hidden object game. Which is one thing that can make it a little annoying because it can be easy to miss some small thing you should have noticed and then end up spending way longer in a room than you need to. It doesn’t help that there’s no way to highlight interactable objects in the world without using one of the character’s abilities and that ability using action points, so you usually don’t want to waste them.

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However, besides that mild irritation, Sunday Gold is not a challenging game in terms of puzzles. No moon logic here. Just good old-fashioned, simple puzzles backed up by a great world and cast of characters. However, there is one other bit of annoyance to be found. The game has minigames where you’d expect. Each of the three characters has a special skill. One can pick locks, one can use her strength to move or break things, and the other can hack computers.

Each minigame is different. The lockpicking and strength tests are effectively the same kind of minigame, where you need to match a moving indicator to something you can control. For instance, lockpicking involves a spinning indicator that you have to activate at a specific point in its circular journey. These are tedious minigames, as all minigames are. However, if you struggle with them or don’t like them, you can use an accessibility feature that makes them easier and less annoying.

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The hacking is altogether different, though. The hacking is basically numerical Wordle. You need to input four numbers, and it will indicate if they’re incorrect, correct but in the wrong position, or correct and in the right position. However, it doesn’t tell you which of these indicates which number. So, it becomes a chore. If you input 1234, and it tells you that two of them are completely correct and two are in the wrong position, it doesn’t tell you which are which. So, you could run out your maximum number of tries in an attempt to configure them. It would have been better if it was more like an actual Wordle.

But enough about the minigames; they’re a small part of the game, even if they are a thorn in its side. Sunday Gold uses these puzzle and minigame systems as you explore its levels, and these levels are places your characters technically aren’t supposed to be. You’re breaking in. And because you’re breaking into the offices, warehouses, etc. of very rich people, they’re probably going to send security after you. And this is where the Alert System comes into place. The longer you’re in a level, the higher the chance that your next turn will lead to combat.

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You see, the adventure game portions also use action points for various tasks. So, if you need to pick a lock, it will make you less effective if a fight breaks out in the next turn. It makes Sunday Gold into something like a survival game because you’re constantly working against the clock, trying to do everything in as few turns as possible. You’re doing this while also trying to search every bin, drawer, and cabinet you can because you never know where people will leave the painkillers and adrenaline shots you’ll need in a fight!

And then you get to the fights themselves. Sunday Gold is a turn-based RPG when it comes to combat. You always have your three characters, and they have their own unique abilities. One starts with heavy melee weapons, another with a rifle, and the last with her knuckle-duster fists. You can change what weapons they use, but you’re incentivized to use certain weapons because each character has a unique skill tree.

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So, you have the hacker character who can make improvised bombs and hit people with a cricket bat, the shady conman type with his switchblade and rifle, and the heavyset bruiser type who acts as a tank and support; she can punch hard but can also heal her friends. You can also invest in special skills to make these characters better, such as an aimed shot that deals extra damage but takes an extra turn to charge up.

These are all very standard turn-based RPG mechanics, but they’re executed with immense comic book style. Flashy animations and highly stylized poses. It sometimes visually feels like Killer7. A whole lot of style and some snappy dialogue.

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Sunday Gold is a game with style in its visual presentation but also in its narrative. Every character sounds like a Guy Ritchie character, so if you struggle with thick British working-class accents, this game may be a struggle for you! But it’s great, and it also isn’t something you see all that often. Characters with those accents don’t usually have games made about them, and the near-dystopian London setting offers a lot of charm.

Sadly, there isn’t much in the way of exploration. You essentially split time between your missions and the hub area, which is also a pub, so it’s a pub hub. The missions involve infiltrating the businesses of cruel capitalists experimenting on dog hybrids that murder each other. It’s rather brutal and violent, but then this game isn’t going for a family-friendly aesthetic. This is made even more obvious by the inclusion of excessive swearing, but it also feels authentic to the working-class vibe Sunday Gold is going for.

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So, this game is inherently political. It paints certain groups as the definite, unambiguous bad guys, and the main characters, who are all murderous criminals, are painted more as antiheroes. The likes of which you may find in similarly themed games like Shadowrun, although with less overt political discussion, seeing as the dialogue system does not involve branching or anything similar.

That’s one other thing that may have suited the setting better: if the characters could actually talk to each other a bit more. If you could have in-depth conversations at your leisure. But Sunday Gold is going for a faster-paced vibe than all that. It may be a turn-based point-and-click adventure, but it never feels like a slow game.

It’s also worth noting and praising because the developers were clearly working within a certain budget. After all, the game hardly has any animations in regular gameplay. The characters never walk to where you click and instead appear next to whatever you tell them to interact with. It means that the animation budget could be spent on the stylized scenes instead, and this is a fantastic choice. It gives Sunday Gold a vibe quite unlike any other games out there.

So, in the end, Sunday Gold is a fun, if occasionally frustrating, point-and-click adventure game with a visceral and effective, if simple, turn-based combat system and a working-class narrative about the corporations being the bad guys. It’s not Disco Elysium, but it also wasn’t trying to be. So, go into Sunday Gold for what it is, not what it may seem like on the surface.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Sunday Gold


Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Team17
Developer(s): BKOM Studios
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Adventure, Role-Playing, Turn-Based Tactics
Release Date: 2022-09-13

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