[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]ack during the campaign for Fictiorama Studios’ post-apocalyptic adventure Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today they offered as a $5 add-on a text adventure prequel to the game. And those of us who decided to give to the cause got the download code before it was released to the public (free of charge). I played through this short but oh so satisfying game and here’s what I thought of it.
Dead Synchronicity: The Longest Night is a text adventure, or “interactive fiction” as it’s also known. The main difference between this and, say Infocom’s outings, is that this one uses graphics. Anyway, Dead Synchronicity: The Longest Night is a direct prequel to what transpires in Tomorrow Comes Today and deals with Michael’s story up to blacking out and finding himself in the refugee camp. Of course, taking a cue from the classics it’s all told in the second person using “you” and such to make it feel like you’re in his shoes the entire way.
Here’s the thing. You don’t need to have played Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today to enjoy The Longest Night and it certainly works in the opposite. By now most people would have played the main game already so a lot of what you see in the text adventure should be familiar. For instance, you’ll see the formation of the rip in the sky that’s so prevalent in Tomorrow Comes Today but still not get any clue as to how or why.
Dead Synchronicity: The Longest Night starts off in a rather surreal (and somewhat haunting) dreamscape. You’re facing a giant floating eye with a clock as its iris. As it’s ticking, and as you move from room to room, you’ll start to hear noises coming from it and it gets louder as time passes. True to the style of its forebears you have no idea what you’re supposed to do or how to go about doing it. It took me some trial and error to get through this first part and I’ve been playing text adventures since I was a kid.
That said, once you wake up you find yourself on a plane that has landed rather unceremoniously on the tarmac of an airport. The military is there to try to keep order and it’s up to you to find a way out of the terminal. This one was very tricky but I managed to get through it without too much difficulty. Others unfamiliar with this style of gameplay might find it rather daunting, though. A fair warning.
Dead Synchronicity: The Longest Night is, in a nutshell, a very satisfying experience for fans of interactive fiction. Even if it is on the short side. I’d have loved it to be a tad bit longer, but I loved the imagery and what Michael had to go through before finding out that he no longer remembers anything. I highly recommend trying this one out, especially if you enjoyed Tomorrow Comes Today. It still leaves plenty of questions left unanswered, but I like it that way. Plus, it’s free. You can’t argue with the price.