[dropcap size=big]”Y[/dropcap]ou gotta do what you gotta do.” That seems to be the motto in every post-apocalyptic wasteland tale since the dawn of the genre, but this mantra is beat into you throughout Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today, a dark point-and-click adventure game set in the near-ish future by Fictiorama Studios. If you’re looking for a humorous look into our bleak existence then look elsewhere. This one has you questioning not just society but your own morality too. There’s no black or white here, just several shades of grey.
Dead Synchronicity doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to how things can become in a land filled with strife and pain. Sometime in the future, a worldwide catastrophe known only as the “Great Wave” shakes the very foundation of civilization and topples it like a house of cards. Those in power struggle to remain in control as all hell is broken loose upon the populace. Enter the military and its all-too-trigger happy thugs. They say that power corrupts, and the situation we find ourselves in certainly corrupts absolutely.
In Dead Synchronicity there’s a huge disparity between the “rats”, as the homeless and destitute are so lovingly called, and those who have the “might makes right” mentality. Usually those who have power, connections, or the firepower to stand on top of the trash heap of what once was. Sounds like a charming place to live, no?
Added to the misery of existence everyone finds themselves in is the phenomenon that brought about “the Dissolved”, a disease that eventually causes a person to have visions and eventually die in the most horrible way imaginable. In the end, the body’s cellular structure collapses and they literally dissolve during a massive series of spasms that is incredibly horrific to look at.
We’ve seen this same tale woven many a time over in many different ways, but the end result is the same. People gotta do what they gotta do to survive. Even if that means playing loose with the rules of conduct that no longer apply when the world has gone to…well, fecal matter. There are several times in Dead Synchronicity where Michael, our for lack of a better term “hero”, has to decide between staying true to a morality long since stripped from humanity or to follow the pattern and just do what he needs to do.
Which takes me to perhaps one of the most galvanizing parts of Dead Synchronicity for me: the puzzles. If you want a good challenge in the vein of the older point-and-click games you’ll definitely find it here. There are plenty of head-scratchingly hard sections of the game that really make you sit back and think about what needs to be done. There were a few that I kept banging my head against until I figured out the solution. But, in the end, I do like a challenge. If you want to have an experience where you don’t have to think this is not a game for you.
Dead Synchronicity is hardcore in its treatment of not only human nature but how circumstances beyond our control can leave us in a feral state no better than rabid animals. I’ve been a fan of these types of tales ever since I read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in high school and it’s most certainly a macabre look into what could be. When I became aware of the campaign I couldn’t back it fast enough. And the experience doesn’t disappoint. There are plenty of moral questioning instances that had me cringing in what I had to do to survive. But, as they say, you gotta do what you gotta do.