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: Mostly Positive (111 reviews) - 72% of the 111 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 21, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"Sunset is a beautiful game which operates on a very human and emotional scale."
Read the full review here.

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November 18

Last hours for Cathedral-in-the-Clouds!

The Kickstarter for our new project has not achieved its goal yet. Please help if and how you can!

Cathedral-in-the-Clouds is not a game. It's a series of virtual dioramas intended for contemplation to be distributed for free on many different platforms. To gather the dioramas, we are building a cathedral in VR.

It's a challenging project because it is explicitly inspired by medieval Christian art (the Flemish Primitives worked in our town 500 years ago) and we're actually atheists. Exploring this is very exciting to us but probably a bit difficult to stomach for the masses. Luckily we only need a small group of believers. Will you be one of them? Be quick!

Thanks you.

Michaël Samyn.

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October 27

Reflections of a Housekeeper, by Angela Burnes, week 44

Yes, we did it! Miraflores is stepping down and Anchuria is free! Throw that dictator in prison. Let him take my sweet brother's place. Oh, David, are you safe? Did you survive this hell?

Tonight I'll meet Gabriel.

We've known each other for a year, but we've never met. What should I call him? Good evening, señor Ortega. No. It'll be Gabriel. Inhabiting his space, I feel like I know him already, better than anyone else. What he will think of me? Or should I remain a mystery...just leave? I'm sure I'll be able to go home soon anyway. So what's the point of staying here?

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“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.

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System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
457 of 505 people (90%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
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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217 of 248 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
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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200 of 233 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
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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180 of 219 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
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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117 of 137 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
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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