It's 1972 and a military coup has rocked Anchuria. You, Angela Burnes, are trapped in the metropolitan capital of San Bavón. Your paradise has turned into a warzone. You take up a job as a housekeeper. Every week, an hour before sunset, you clean the swanky bachelor pad of the wealthy Gabriel Ortega.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews) - 41% of the 12 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (168 reviews) - 67% of the 168 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 21, 2015

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May 21

Sunset is 1!

Exactly one year ago today, our last game Sunset was released.
To celebrate its first anniversary, you can buy the game for $1 today, and only today.

Steam wouldn't allow such an extreme price drop so either get it here for $2 or get a Steam key at Itch or Humble.

Share the news with all your non-Sunset having friends!

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Reviews

“Sunset tells a story about revolution via the reflection of domesticity, an unusual and thrilling use of the video game medium, and one that expands both its scope and its definition.”
EMPFOHLEN – Eurogamer

“There is an almost novelistic weight to the details that describe this game, and the parsing of these elements gives the game an uncommon richness.”
84 – Kill Screen

“Sunset is a gift, an all too rare kind of game that focuses on people loving and hurting in mundane but almost unbearable ways.”
9.0 – Paste

About This Game

It's 1972 and a military coup has rocked Anchuria, a small country in Latin America. As a result, you, Angela Burnes, US citizen, are trapped in the metropolitan capital of San Bavón. Your paradise has turned into a warzone. To make ends meet, you take up a job as a housekeeper. Every week, an hour before sunset, you clean the swanky bachelor pad of the wealthy Gabriel Ortega. You are given a number of tasks to do, but the temptation to go through his stuff is irresistible. And what is he up to? As you get to know your mysterious absent employer better, you are sucked into a rebellious plot against the notorious dictator who rules the country with an iron fist.



“Sunset uses the routine of labour to exquisite effect as a framework to tell a story about class and political revolution.” – Simon Parkin, Eurogamer

“Sunset acts as a thoughtful, pensive walk through social themes and struggles not often explored in this medium.” – Game Spot, Josiah Renaudin

“Sunset is a wonderfully atmospheric slow burner and a valuable addition to a medium where the predominant approach to conflict is to just give you a big old gun and invite you to get stuck in.” – Philippa Warr, Rock Paper Shotgun

“The story is excellent and will draw you in, making you feel as if you truly are Angela Burnes.” – Jessica Mock, Hardcore Gamer

“Rather than focus on the explicit violence of a military coup, Sunset centers on the emotional brutality of war.” – Reid McCarter, Playboy




Sunset is a narrative-driven first-person exploration game that centers on the discovery of clues to a story that takes place as you play.

Sunset is in part inspired by action games set in a war-like context, like many first-person shooters. What life would be like for the NPCs in such games? How does it feel when war is the backdrop for your day-to-day life?

Sunset is divided into 44 play sessions that each take a fictional hour: until the sun sets. Each time you get a list of tasks that you are requested to do. But there is more to do in the apartment than just work. There are other activities, such as going through the owner's possessions in search of information, and interacting with his 1970s-era technological gadgets.




Angela Burnes, is not an empty vessel. She has a personality of her own and you discover her thoughts while playing. As a US citizen at the end of the sixties, she is inspired by the Black Power and civil rights movements. In an effort to learn more about egality, she travels to the then socialist republic of Anchuria. During her visit, a US-backed military coup happens and she is disallowed from leaving the country. Her university degree is not recognized by the new regime and she is forced to work as a housekeeper to sustain herself.

Angela's younger brother, David, who had followed her to Anchuria ends up joining an underground resistance movement. And Angela must worry about what happens to him when the war begins in earnest.

Gabriel Ortega is a lover of the arts. Through his work as a curator he met Maria Luisa of the wealthy Veleta family. Thanks to the money from their families, Gabriel became a much celebrated benefactor of the arts. When the coup happened, theaters and museums were closed. The new government offered affluent citizens safety and positions of power. Gabriel's wife, and most of her family and their friends, were happy to accept but Gabriel refused. Rising tensions between the couple ultimately lead to a separation.

The story of Sunset begins when Gabriel Ortega moves into a new penthouse apartment in the capital city of San Bavón. It is in this apartment that Angela Burnes finds employment.



  • first-person exploration with familiar controls (WASD + mouselook), or customize for your comfort
  • atmospheric: cool 1972 style, reflections, sunset glow, stillness, tension of war, time passing
  • influence the relationship between the two protagonists, emotional narrative arc happens as you play
  • suspenseful story-driven gameplay: interact to explore the fiction
  • responsive environment (light switches, record players, electronic gadgets, etc.)
  • no fail state – this isn’t a game you can win or lose, only influence
  • anywhere from 90 minutes to 22 hours of gameplay, depending on your approach
  • soundtrack by the award-winning Austin Wintory (Journey, The Banner Saga, Monaco)
  • retro early 1970s style
  • explosions!





  • Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn have dedicated their lives to the exploration of videogames as an artistic expressive medium. They are the creators of The Endless Forest, The Path, The Graveyard, Fatale, Bientôt l'été, Vanitas and IGF Nuovo winner Luxuria Superbia. With Sunset they have applied their decade of experience to a more accessible title, with the purpose of sharing the beauty of videogames with a wider audience.
  • Austin Wintory composed the music for Sunset. A Grammy and BAFTA award winner, he is one of the foremost composers of videogame soundtracks. His work includes music for flOw, Journey, Monaco and Gorogoa.
  • Tina Marie Murray has acted the voice of Angela.
  • Laura Raines Smith has animated the main character (and the occasional helicopter) as she has done on all of Tale of Tales' games so far.
  • Kris Force is a sound designer whose work you can hear in The Graveyard, The Path, Fatale and Bientôt l'été.
  • Theresa Schlag has modeled the architecture in Bientôt l'été and will do so again in Sunset, together with Niklas Roth.
  • Jospeh Silverman, Lucie Viatge and Señorita Y, who wishes to remain anonymous, have modeled many of the artworks and objects in the game.
  • Jurie Horneman and Alex Mouton have helped us with programming.
  • Leigh Alexander & Ste Curran, Agency gave project direction advice.
  • The text was written in collaboration with the anonymous writer dear Señor X.

Sunset was created with Unity for PC, Mac and Linux.
Production was supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund and a whole bunch of Kickstarter backers.



Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/taleoftales
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/taleoftales
Look at the trailer: http://sunset-game.com
Visit the game's website: http://Tale-of-Tales.com/Sunset
Visit the developers' website: http://Tale-of-Tales.com
Come to Anchuria: http://sunset.voyage
Read the dev log: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=39393
Read about the making of Sunset: http://tale-of-tales.com/Sunset/blog/

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP 32-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6970 (1 GB VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
    Recommended:
    • OS: 8.1 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6970 (1 GB VRAM)
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.9
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M295X (4 GB VRAM)
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
    Minimum:
    • Processor: Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6970 (1 GB VRAM)
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB VRAM)
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: IntelHD Integrated Graphics Chips may work but are not supported
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (168 reviews)
Recently Posted
run-isha-run
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
I really appreciate what they were trying to do, but I just got sick of cleaning someone else's flat in my free time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rogermorse
( 8.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 13
This game is one of the worst walking simulator I played. The 'walking simulator' genre is one of my favourite (actually maybe my favourite) and I play most of them. I had heard from some friends that this game was no masterpiece, but when I saw it in a bundle for 1$ I decided I would take the risk.

Well, the game first of all runs horribly. Given that the graphics are far from beautiful, the performance has no reason to be this low.
Other than that, the game mechanics are quite boring. In a 'walking simulator' the atmosphere is what counts, you have to be involved somehow in the story, in the environment. It is a 'walking simulator' (not meant negatively, for lack of a better word) so there is no action, there is nothing to shoot at, and of course if you don't deliver a thick atmosphere and great voice acting or good lore, you are not offering much to the players.
The 'plot' is barely there and the whole apartment / city / civil war thing, which could have been a great basis for a good involvement in the atmosphere/environment doesn't deliver. You don't feel it, and the little lore you can get about the protagonist's life by sitting on a chair and letting her writing her diary is naive, simplistic.

Honestly I didn't find anything good in the game. The house (apartment?) itself is very badly designed, the proportions are weird, of course it's meant to be a big modernist expensive house with lots of big rooms, but the result is that it looks incredibly empty and out of proportions compared to the character. If you do more or less everything, the game will last around 5 or 6 hours. If you can resist that long and don't get bored after the first hour. Definitely in my worst 5 in the genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Casey
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 1
Sunset has a beautiful aesthetic which makes you feel like you really are in the 70's. The game starts off simple, but don't let that fool you; the game's story is deep and emotional. The game took longer to finish than I expected, but it was worth every minute I spent on it. By the end you'll really feel at home in that apartment. Don't play/buy this game if you expect action. This game is a beautiful story of two people who fall in love despite never meeting face to face. Or not, because you can make decisions that influence the story. It's worth it playing this game at least twice to see all the differences in the story. I heartily recommend Sunset if you like more than just shooters.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Spectral
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Product received for free
"Back in college we had heated debates about the merits of depicting nudes in art.
Some saw it as another form of exploitation, and those discussions invariably centered around the objectification of women."
...
"But somehow the missing pieces render it more sensual. Without shame, it draws attention to its center.
My eyes trace the lines again, down the chest to the tender genitals."
...
"At least that statuette is beautiful, as opposed to what people do with gold nowadays:
Melt it down into bricks and hide those away in vaults, where no one can see them. [...]
Makes you wonder what the point is."
...
"Racial equality still seems like an unachievable utopian mirage in the States."
...
"It wasn't enough to steal African bodies.
They had to leech away the spiritual and aesthetic ideas too."
...
"I wonder if Gabriel Ortega prefers men. [...]
I mean, the apartment has all these statues of men, naked and gorgeous."
...
"Do we secretly hate art because we know it's going to survive us?"
...
"Every battle, every unfair trial, every lynching, every räpe, all lead to my existence."
Helpful? Yes No Funny
God, owner of the universe
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Got this at 90% off (->2€) and asked for a refund. (Most of the 31 minutes game time were spent changing options and contacting the devs via their website.)

Sunset might be a great creation somehow, but the devs failed the interface TOO HARD for me to try to find out. So I rather chose to not force my self through this, instead chose to "send them a message".

What's wrong with the interface:

Mouse speed depends on frame rate (so, even depends on where you look). If you look up and pull the mouse down quickly, you end up in the middle, but if you do it slowly, you end up at the bottom, and this is absolutely framerate related, not a mouse acceleration issue.

The horz/vert mouse speed options do take effect, but it all ultimately hinges on the framerate, so it's not remotely a fix.

Another problem: In the optional very cool 2.5D mode which prevents converging vertical lines (Photographers know what I mean.) which I would really like to use, the vertical mouse speed is at max setting while standing still, but is at whatever I decided while walking around.

The game otherwise looks very good, has FOV slider with wide range, etc. - it seems all good, but the interface is PRIMARY, it's what connects me to (or keeps me away from) the game world, and it's just TOO broken in this case.

That's why I suggest not to buy the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Harlequin of Hate
( 6.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
For a dollar (at the Humble Store) I got to play as Foxxy Cleopatra while cleaning up and decorating some dudes penthouse suite. I think she secretly wet her pants in his bed each day. I might become a maid and interior decorator in real life now. Oh, and I got to grease his telescope.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rose Blue Sky
( 24.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 26
Beautiful story, in a setting and with characters that we don't normally get to see in games. I really loved how gently the narrative reveals itself and how intricately the relationship between the characters develops.

The story, setting and characters in this game have stayed with me long after finishing it. I'd recommend it to everyone who likes these story driven impactful narratives.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
symptote
( 20.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 23
Sunset has a few gameplay issues (yes, sometimes Angela doesn't always go exactly where you want her to, yes, there's very little indication of what you're supposed to do at the beginning...there's probably a lot of nitpicking to do) but it makes a perfect use of the music, the -thoroughly researched- aesthetic and the general atmosphere of 70's Latin America to create a lasting experience.
I don't believe this game has a message (it lets us peek into Angela's mind, who has a lot of opinions, as a well-rounded character should, but doesn't try to force them on the player) but rather that it tries to create a place for the player to reflect - on war, art, love. The strength of the narrative is not the journal excerpts, as interesting as they might be; it is the fact that every detail of the gameplay and the surroundings has been designed to help carry it forward. In that sense, it is much more of a "real game" than those who have to beat you over the head with what they're trying to say.
It's certainly possible to be unmoved by Sunset - it is a peculiar game. Personally speaking, I think the strongest game experience I ever had was watching San Bavon slowly burning because of me while letting a requiem fill the air of the penthouse.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
j_mag94
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 19
Sunset is a beautiful game that I can only accurately describe as unique and singular in its experience. It has its issues, but it's a good game, especially on sale. Keep in mind, it's basically a walking simulator, so it isn't for everyone.
Essentially, you play a young woman who is hired to clean a man's apartment for one hour each week while he is not there. You have a list each day of what chores to do, which you can choose to fulfill or not. You can also explore the space, examining objects, playing records, unlocking diary entries, and doing other tasks that can affect how the story unfolds. As each day progresses, you are engrossed in a story about the corrupt government of Anchuria and the struggle of the rebel forces to overthrow it. Strangely enough, your choices will influence your involvement with the rebels and decide how the story plays out (supposedly - I've only played through it once, so I haven't tested other choices).

PROs:
+ voice acting: Angela has a warm voice that can add such depth to the simplest of dialog. Great talent here.
+ visual style: the retro colors and modern architecture make the space very surreal
+ story: a young woman's role in possibly overthrowing the government of a wartorn country, all determined by what she does for her faceless employer? Sounds weird, but I'm into it.
+ achievements: you can get a number of achivements in how you approach the relationship with Gabriel and what tasks you do (or don't do) around the house
+ atmosphere: sounds and visuals go very well together, as well as optional information you can find by examining book covers, sitting in the covered chair to access diary entries, etc. Playing records while explosions rock the city is also oddly charming.
+ drama: the events unfolding around you and the surrounding city makes for a tense, exciting atmosphere despite your confines to the apartment

CONs:
- performance: I have a gaming laptop and there were still framerate issues on lower quality settings, which was somewhat frustrating.
- clarity: the tasks you are given for each day are sometimes vague to the point it's unclear how to carry them out. (ie. "organize papers". What papers and in which room?) You'll likely waste a good amount of time trying to find out how to do the tasks rather than exploring.
- shallow decisions: while you do get to choose how you do your chores, as well as what all you do, the results seem to be very subtle, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
- gameplay mechanics: having only an in-game hour to accomplish everything AND explore is near impossible at times, especially when faced with the confusion of how to do everything on the task list. Navigation is also a pain, as I kept having to find my way around invisible barriers that made moving around a real nuisance.
- price: with the technical issues present, I wouldn't say this game warrants more than $10, maybe $15.

All in all, it's up to you whether you get this game or not. I got it on sale for $5 on the Humble Bundle store, and I enjoy it thoroughly. It has its shortcomings, but if you want a unique experience, this would be a good game to get on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
satie-san
( 18.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 18
Sunset is a game that will either bore you, or move you deeply. Personally, it has become one of my favourite games, thanks to the subtlety and beauty it displays.
Sunset encapsulates one year of the life of Angela Burnes, an educated and ingenious African-American woman who emigrated from the US to the imaginary South American country of Anchuria in hopes of finding another, different if not better, life, and got trapped in a civil war. She now has has to work as a housekeeper in the apartment of Gabriel Ortega, a rich citizen and lover of the arts. For the player, this translates as having to accomplish some mundane tasks, such as dusting statues or setting the table for dinner. However, it is barely the focus of the game, which is based upon a narrative that can be accessed through Angela's thoughts (namely the diary she keeps, her reflexions in the elevator and her remarks when she interacts with some objects in the apartment).
Coming to know, little by little, who our protagonist is, what her thoughts are, is a beautiful experience, and it can be magnified by the relationship the player chooses to make her have with Ortega: while some may argue that a romantic relationship issuing from written notes between two people who never meet each other is a stretch, I reckon the game makes it work. And if the player doesn't want to go in that direction, a more neutral, friendship-based approach is possible. The political intrigue also adds a layer of oppression in the atmosphere of the game and plays an important part in understanding Angela's story. As the action is set in a context of civil war, violence always lingers in the background, visible to us only through the pillars of smoke that can be seen from the windows and the oppressive whirring of helicopters.
The art itself is absolutely gorgeous. While Angela's gestures can be a little contorted, the apartment itself is a joy to the eyes, and art lovers can entertain themselves by finding the multiple references to various painters or sculptors that are visible through Ortega's possessions (Braque, Calder, Mondrian, to name a few). The lighting and shading changes constantly over the hour that Angela spends in the flat and sets a breathtaking ambiance. The writing of Angela's diary is good, and the plot unfolds slowly, but surely, leading to an ending that I personally found pleasant and quite unexpected.
The world building is also impressive: we can see that the developers took time to research South American history (there is a strong parallel with the 70s in Chile) and culture, and enjoyed revisiting decades of design and architecture. The soundtrack, composed by Austin Wintory with numerous collaborations from fans that helped raise funds in the Kickstarter, is diverse and ranks from jazz to traditional folk songs, and even includes an entire requiem by an imaginary Anchurian composer that is inspired by Bach's work. From my point of view, it really did play a key role in creating this peculiar, enthralling atmosphere.
I didn't experience many technical problems, only a few glitches when Angela has to choose between warm and neutral actions, and some difficulties with the Steam overlay. Unfortunately, I doubt Tale of Tales will release a patch to correct these malfunctions since they are now working on other projects than video games.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend Sunset if you don't like games that take their time and are very character-driven. On the other hand, if you enjoy admiring art and subtle characterization, then I would advise you to let yourself sink in the atmosphere of this admirable game. It is worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
I really appreciate what they were trying to do, but I just got sick of cleaning someone else's flat in my free time.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
614 of 673 people (91%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2015
I'm only two hours in.,.. I don't know where the game ends but so far after a dozen or more apartment visits it feels like a whole lot of nothing going on. The character ruminates on events happening outside of her control, but I don't know if there is a challenge or fail state. It just keeps moving forward, even without completing all the apartment work. So I'm not getting much out of this right now. You do only two things: Look around and "Click 'x' to sympathize", to borrow from Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. And the looking around is excruciating because for a game with little environmental scenery this game moves like a sloth. Even on lowest graphic settings it has the same frame rate drops as the highest setting. It's clear that this game needs graphical performance tuning.

(ADDENDUM, June 22): It turns out that I'm missing half of the ideas in the game just by doing the chores alone. Angela expresses her thoughts in a the form of a diary and the way to see that is to sit down in the one lounge chair with a sheet over it. There are a lot of striking ideas being expressed in this moment that it is a shame if you miss it... And it's easy to miss because if you're out of time then you won't sit.


(FINAL UPDATE, JUNE 24): Finished the game. There is an intellectualism in the writing, but the game is boring and frustrating. I enjoyed playing the vinyl records because they broke up the otherwise dire soundscape. Moving around was always a problem and on more than one occasion I found a chore item impossible to do: Thoroughly scoured the apartment but didn't find the objective. I appreciate the idea of trying new things in gaming, and there is one crucial diary entry that illuminated why this game exists, but otherwise the game was thematically all over the place and full of mood swings. It felt more like a gaming transposition of someone's blog than an actual story. In that regard I felt as though I had been tricked into someone else's indulgence.
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381 of 422 people (90%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2015
This isn't a good game, even when you come at it with an open mind. As a hidden object Gone Home-like, it fails on many parts due to its poor communication/UI and limited, shallow level. As a narrative experience, I'm finding myself constantly confused by the flip-flopping protagonist and the seemingly random thoughts that don't have much of a link to what's happening outside the window. Coupled with some very long and grating diary entries and a LOT of filler content to artificially increase its length, this isn't going to get recommended.

At its full retail price it's insanely overpriced, even on a 50% sale it was overpriced. The quality is just not good enough.

As a side note, when you look at the developer's dev diary and subsequent Twitter reactions to comments about it, I just can't support Tale of Tales no matter how much they've apparently 'given' to the indie scene with their pioneering art games. They disrespect an entire medium and audience because their game flopped. It flopped because it's a poor quality game and the marketing was abysmal (a significant amount of comments say they didn't know it was out).
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412 of 460 people (90%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2015
http://mousenjoypad.com/reviews/pc/sunset-review/
Sunset is an overall disappointment to anyone who enjoys immersive, interactive fiction. The game meanders around, providing more style than substance, and offers nothing new or engaging to experienced players. Not only does it feel like a slog to get through, but it hangs around far too long after it’s worn out its welcome. It’s hard getting immersed in such an innocuous and boring character, which makes it all the more disappointing that she’s supposed to be the one thing we’re to latch onto.

Slow, immersive games may be one of my favourite types to play. Something character driven with an engaging story, and a level of immersion that makes me forget who I am for a while. When I first saw the trailer for Sunset, a game set during the 1970’s rebellion in Central America, I was beyond excited. The game had the interesting premise of being set in one apartment; you’re a housekeeper overlooking the destruction of your home from the penthouse of a socialite. Some may dislike these types of games, but I would argue that narrative-focused games like Gone Home can be a low-cost and effective means to telling a story, and living an alternate life.

However, my experience with this game ranged from being downright bored, to slamming my head in frustration.

The game follows the day to day work of housekeeper Angela Burnes, a young African-American woman living in Central America, inside the wealthy home of Gabriel Ortega. Gabriel is never home, and asks Angela to come by every scheduled night right before sunset to complete a chores list. You have one hour a night to get in, complete the list, and maybe find some spare time to write in your journal. As the game progress, so does the revolution inside of the country, one that can be seen from all sides of the high-rise apartment.

The premise seemed interesting to me, and perhaps it did on paper as well- however playing this experience turned out being much more of a chore than I anticipated, even knowing I would be a housekeeper. Nothing about the game engages- there are very few exciting incidents, huge revelations or even puzzles to solve or challenges to complete.

Doing chores is simply a matter of walking over and pushing a button; the camera pans to a shot of the city, and then back with less time and the chore completed. I get that participating, or even watching as you complete these chores would’ve been boring, but cutting away and showing nothing completely undermines the whole nature of trading shoes. Even though I hated how unengaged we were with her profession, sometimes her boss leaves her requests like “stamp and mail letter” or “hang picture”, leaving you running around the house looking for where this task is. After starting a new day, when a task says ‘water plants’, and you complete it in five seconds, it really undermines the wait between new information.

Obviously, the chores don’t matter- it’s the story that you’ve came for, but unfortunately it’s just not very interesting. You start out the first few days with barely any interaction; just you walking over to boxes, clicking the button, and then seeing the completed work. When you do start to gets mysterious notes from the boss, they’re mind boggling simple- just something for Angela to write a semi-flirtatious message back on. This is the majority of character building you experience.

Sure, there’s also inner monologue delivered, but even that’s fumbled. The main character speaks out loud thoughts to herself, but then some are restricted to just lettering on the screen. Sunset is rife with poor grammar, so those sensitive to that should run for the hills. If two forms of narration wasn’t already enough, we also have a diary that fills in any gaps- but there won’t be many considering how condensed the story is. Instead, you’ll get moments of her writing about The Doors, Jim Morrison’s death and describing the origin of blues; you waiting for the slow transition between handwritten passages to finish so you can move on.

I don’t even understand why the diary is needed in this story. On your ride up to the penthouse, she fills you in on what’s happened since her last visit. Because of this, the diary is filled in with time filling fluff that makes me like Angela less as she exposes boring ideas and thoughts that could only impress kids in a lunchroom. Her vapidness is on full display here, with thoughts like “mobs frighten me,” or talking about “the absurdity of explosions”.

Hector is an interesting character as well. Like Angela, this curiosity comes from how they fail to act like real human beings in normal situations. Hector leaves notes lying around, saying the most random things. They’re usually presented as a thought he had, and not a direct note to anyone in particular. Later he stages a war room right in the middle of his living room, after having the place ransacked by government agents. His complete disregard for his or Angela’s safety makes him look incredibly foolish, and makes her seem all the worst because of it.

There is some smart game design going on though. The apartment does feel alive, changing through the years, more so than any of the characters. Plants grow, special events leave messes and billboards outside of the windows change. The apartment feels used, and arcs in its own right, almost feeling more like a character than either of the two. It’s genuinely disheartening to come into a mess, and gaining satisfaction from making it right.

The experience is a slow one, but the game does start to get interesting towards the middle. Hector is unable to get back into the country, Angela’s brother is being held as a terrorist and the back patio needs its weeds pulled. There was one moment of sheer heart stopping fear I experienced, when a window was broken, as gunfire filled the neighbourhood. After that, the game forgets what a climax is, and the game just starts drifting; lazily and to the left. I think I went several months, certain I was at the end of a thoroughly unsatisfying conclusion, but it just kept going. The game wouldn’t end- and when it finally did, it was so upsettingly bad, I threw my headphones off and decided I would give it some time before I started writing.

I wish I could say this was the end of my complaints, but it isn’t. I had severe frame rate issues and graphical hiccups that I had to contend with. The game froze on me several times, and reading through forums, this isn’t an isolated incident. Angela’s voice actress is beyond awful- she sounds like she read her lines in between sips of tea, washing down handfuls of Xanax. I’ve never heard someone talk about war atrocities like it were a bad customer service experience.

In fact, some of the pleasure I did take out of the game was making huge boxes in the house dance by constantly zooming in and out, which for some reasons caused every box in the house to rotate or move for no apparent reason. This became distractingly enjoyable as Angela would sit in the only chair she can journal in, comparing herself to Thing from The Addams Family. Overall, this is a boring war story, a bad interactive narrative and one of the buggier games I’ve played in a while, and I would suggest fans of this genre move onto greener pastures.
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298 of 342 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2015
Perhaps you heard of Sunset, even backed it on Kickstarter, and imagined life as a houseworker in a hot climate with fierce political tensions. You'd work for this man, cleaning his house, making many choices and experiencing a riveting narrative throughout. You will be disappointed.

Creators always have to think of the best medium for any creation, be it music, art, games, fiction. In this respect, Sunset's a token videogame. It should have been a web app or mobile game. You walk through a 3D environment and click your buttons just like a videogame, but the connection is so minimal that it's clear you're here for the story: which is just only passable. You're expected to search the apartment for clues as to what's going on, but the process of doing so just isn't enjoyable.

I set my walk speed to high so I could breeze through the chores. This renders Angela as a high-speed automaton responding binarily (two choices) to each action -- and this wasn't even communicated well. Where you'd expect to hover over an object and hit Y or N, (yes or no for positive/negative? sure!) you apparently have to move your cursor north and south of the object? Anyway, it took me a good few minutes to figure out how to water the plants one Day. I'd prefer to just tick an optional setting of, "highlight all important objects" so we can do away with the illusion that the game should be immersive.

The 1970's filter over the screen held charm for about 30 seconds. It's annoying in the day. At night, the apartment can become hard to see, and damn if I'm going to waste my precious (and pointlessly timed) minutes turning on each light so I can see. Another optional toggle for the filter would be appreciated, and I have a suspicion that it's cause of a few performance issues people have.

On that note, it is presently a little jittery in regards to performance. War games employ explosions, many NPCs everywhere, intense calculations, reflections, etc. and they still run better than Sunset, which takes place in a single apartment.

I will await a patch for further play. But no patch will avert the reality: they could have dedicated significantly more time to writing more options for these notes and other choices in the game, if only Sunset weren't a videogame. It plays like a web app could.
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245 of 278 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2015
Sunset is one of the games I most wanted to love this year, but somehow am finding it impossible to. It's revolutionary in many ways, exploring what a game can be, and I love that about it. But nearly everything else about it is frustrating. The user interface is one of the worst I've used. Your character has some kind of neck issue which prevents her from looking more than about 30 degrees off the horizontal, and as such, if you want to look at something that's on the floor or on a low table, you have to back way up and look at it from about 10 feet away. There's a zoom function, but it doesn't help much, and it's still completely counter-intuitive. You'll spend a lot of time walking up to things then slowly backing away until you can see it, then backing away a little more until your character considers doing something with it. The elevator button controls aren't always intuitive, and I found myself sometimes giving my employer the big middle finger by accidentally just skipping an entire day's work when I didn't intend to. The faded retro vintage visual filter is MADDENING. It's supposed to set a certain tone, but the majority of what it does is make it impossible to see anything. Turning on lights usually makes it worse rather than better. There are copious adjustment settings, but most of them make the situation worse, and there's no way to return to the default settings short of having written them all down before you messed with them and then putting them all back to the original settings based on your notes. Also, the visual options panel covers the screen, so there's no way to see what effect your adjustments are really having other than guessing from the tiny strip that remains visible and then jumping out, seeing if it helps, and then going back in, which is a really tedious process. The game's soundtrack is really touted, but as far as I'd played so far there isn't any music at all, other than if you go find the stereo and start it playing every time. Your workload varies by day, but so does the amount of the house that's accessible, so on light workload days you don't get to spend the slack time by exploring the house, because most of it will be closed to you. You also can't take care of tasks that need doing that you never have time for, because often the ways to trigger those tasks are closed off. Which takes me to one of the worst parts of the game: The bewildering job of performing tasks! You'll get a task like, "Wash the windows," and then it's pixel hunting on the grandest of scales to figure out what specific thing will give you the window washing option. Standing in front of the windows? No. Going to the broom closet and standing in front of the bucket that has cleaning supplies, a squeegee, etc.? No. No, you have to find a lone bucket with no tools sitting half covered by a newspaper. Wow, thanks. I only wasted like five minutes of my hour trying to figure out what would give me a related option. Also, the beginning of the game tells you that sitting down will prompt your character to ruminate or write in her journal, and I gather that this is where a lot of your character's development is supposed to happen. However, it never worked for me. Any time I sat in any chair all that happens is my character just sits.

I haven't finished the game yet, and I'm interested to see how it pans out by the end and whether the story is so compelling as to erase these irritations. Maybe I"ll update my review at that time.
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211 of 240 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24, 2015
The positive: Really interesting premise, setting and art style. I was invested in the story despite its unusual presentation. I appreciated that it wasn't about aliens or zombies or hitmen. When the game started and I realized I would be doing chores I was skeptical, but it won me over pretty quickly.

The negative: I'm really forgiving when it comes to clunkiness, especially in indie titles, but this one just wore me down fast. After a while I just couldn't ignore the flakey controls and poor optimization, and I opted to watch a lets play instead of actually playing it (Hence the extremely low # of hours played). If this were an Early Access game and I could expect these issues to improve I'd say absolutely give it a look, but as a finished title it's just shy of worth it. I've got to give it a thumbs down unless you're specifically into unusual game design.

I'm actually looking forward to the next game from these developers. They've convinced me that they can craft a fun experience out of unique elements. I'm hoping it's something in a similar style, just a more polished technically.

(Side note - Not really a plus or minus, just something to keep in mind if you're sensitive to motion sickness - this is the only FPS I've ever played that has made me feel nauseated. My wife couldn't watch more than a few minutes before almost throwing up. Pretty weird.)

[Edit: After writing this I checked out the developer to see what else they were up to. Turns out they've shut down. That's a damn shame.]
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264 of 314 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2015
in Brief: absolutely no gameplay, except for walking (slowly) from a point to a point in bright 70s decor. Story's dull and progresses (very slowly to the uneventful end) through text messages, paper articles and heroine's monologing. Authors should have written the book or the script for a drama.

I realy don't want to bash on artsy / indy stuff, but this "game" is plain dull, i played through it as i was doing awfully borring chore. The worst is the lack of interaction and vague consequences of actions – I didn't have the feel that I affect the story or that my presence matters. Everything you do is pushing buttons. And when the heroine said that the war is over, a huge boulder fell from my shoulders and I felt the real relief to know that this torture have ended. That's the most powerful emotion this game brought from me.

I'm sure there are slim number of people who would like the concept of it, and maby find the ideas game bombarding the player with smart and insightful, but they banal and beaten to the death since the 1st men got hit with a stick.

Also, the game performance is awful.

You want narrative driven games – try Telltale, at least, these are exciting and manage to show more than one location with only character.


P.S. I was playing in it, 'cause I was assigned to. Finished it 2 times (the most fun I got was when I was hunting for hidden books and right behind it – keeping the calendar to date).

---

UPD 06/23/15: My sincere condolences to the developers, it's always a tragedy when yet another studio goes down the drain, but they brought it on themselves: reaching for wider audience without understanding it preferences; wasting money on pr, that doesn't affect true auditory; copying others and not trying to be true to themselves.
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269 of 322 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30, 2015
Ok i did a video review, that i will post below, so ill try and just give you the cliffnotes. im going to start with the cons because thats what the majority of this "game" is made of.


CONS:
Poorly written story, with bad pacing, and amaturistice dialog
Boring and uninteresting characters, all two of them (Three if you count the brother)
The most boring and repetitive gameplay i have ever seen
Poor animations
Poor optimization (major frame rate issues)
Buggy (Lighting, clipping, and crashing are the big ones)
WAY TOO LONG (Its a boring slog that youll be forceing yourself through half way through the game)

PROS:
Good soundtrack
Interesting concept (but poorly done)
Interesting setting (70s latin america, but this wasnt taken advantage of)

so in short DONT buy this, get Gone Home. has a simmilar concept but its done so much better. yes gone home is shorter but its much more interesting.


UPDATE:
After contacting Steam, the dev, and The Humble Store directly requesting a refund from one of the three i recived a reply. The Humble Store (the only one of the three that responed) finaly responed and in less than a week i had a full refund. Please note that I made this request before Steam's new refund program.

UPDATE 2: steam did eventualy reply but told be to talk to the humble store, and like i said humble issued a refund.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAJZJ_ER9Jc&feature=youtu.be
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166 of 198 people (84%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2015
Others have done a great job outlining the faults of this game. So I'll just post what I wrote to Steam when I requested a refund:

I was on the fence about getting this game. It looked gorgeous, and seemed like it would have an interesting story with actual gameplay (like an adventure game), but Tale of Tales reputation is not very good. I took a chance and got it, played about an hour and found it...lacking. I'll never buy an "art" game again. And the next day after I bought it, the devs announce that they're shutting down! And then on Twitter they had a meltdown and wished death upon millions of people. They tweeted tons of stuff that was so offensive and hateful, I just cannot knowingly give money to people who have wished me an agonizing death and have so much hostility in their hearts. And their games suck. Good riddance.
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