Take a walk on the thin line between hope and despair in Actual Sunlight: A short interactive story about love, depression and the corporation.
User reviews: Very Positive (188 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 3, 2014
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“The Biggest Challenge In This Game Is Preventing Your Character From Committing Suicide”

“Actual Sunlight Is The Hardest Hitting Game About Depression I’ve Ever Played”

“Actual Sunlight is a brutal depiction of a man’s life self-destructing, and it’s a game whose central character can only find hope in his own death.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

About This Game

“I know what you’re thinking: Why keep getting up, day in and day out, even though your life is going nowhere?”

Notorious: Widely considered to be one of the bleakest and best-written experiences in indie gaming, Actual Sunlight challenges you to confront the life of Evan Winter: An overweight, lonely and severely depressed young professional.

Fear the words, not the reading: Presented almost entirely in text, a mixture of sharp observation and pitch black humor captures your interest from provocative beginning to shattering conclusion.

Prepare yourself: Actual Sunlight is a uniquely unforgettable adventure that will etch itself into you as one of the most difficult, haunting and beautiful experiences you have ever had as a gamer.

Key Features

  • An intense, heartbreaking story with themes of video game addiction, unsatisfying work and miserable solitude.
  • Beautiful, original pixel and CG artwork invokes the streets, offices and sanctuaries of Toronto, Canada.
  • Dark and moody original music sets a proper tone for the brutal indifference of real life.

Important Notice

Due to explicit language, Actual Sunlight is not appropriate for players under the age of 18.

It also deals with extremely mature themes, including depression and thoughts of suicide. Similar to other forms of art that tackle these issues, Actual Sunlight can be an extremely powerful emotional experience – before downloading it, please first consider what your reaction to a book, film or piece of music in a similar vein might be.

For immediate updates on the game, please follow Will O'Neill on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/willoneill

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 98, XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 High Color +
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
83 of 91 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
For anyone who has ever suffered through the many stages of depression or felt like the world was crumbling around them while you just sat there and watched. This is the game for you. It's also for the people that have friends going through this.
The game is very text heavy, there is no gameplay as such. It's more an interactive story on social commentary, past events and life as some people know it. It's a work of art. And no, not that 'Dear Esther' kind of art.

It will be different things for different people, but if you relate at all to the subjects this game covers you can expect it to deliver in spades.

Thank you so much for sharing Will O'Neill. :)
Posted: April 3
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70 of 78 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
As a person that suffers greatly from depression, this game was highly relatable. Feeling like no one understands you or bothers to even care about your issues. Kind of having deep conversations with yourself, and fighting with yourself. Depression is terrible and I wouldn't wish that on anyone...so to see this kind of scenario actually laid before me in such a well written manner was refreshing..but also saddening. Although I wouldn't handle most of my situations like the main character did, I could still empathize and actually feel care towards the character. In my opinion this game is something everyone should play and give a thought to..even if its only just once. There's a bunch of reading..well its basically an "interactive story", but it was well worth the read.The author makes valid points towards the current state of society, how we treat our fellow man, and things that most people wouldn't publicly say. I honestly hope whoever reads this will pick this game up and see for themselves.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Right..?
Posted: April 17
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49 of 55 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Depression can be incredibly destructive. Some of you know really well how it makes everything worse. You don't enjoy things you liked. You don't want to do anything, it doesn't make any sense to you. In some cases you want to die to run away from your depression.

This game... or an interactive story... is about this.

Don't go to the roof. Life is cool.
Posted: April 9
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
An out-of-character message from the developer in-game states that "This game is not a game. It is a portrait." The person it portrays is perhaps relevant to many who read this review - but it is in no way supporting of morbid things such as suicide (one doesn't have to relate to appreciate the Actual Sunlight experience, but someone interested in psychology and / or mental illnesses will probably be intrigued by Actual Sunlight.)

The out-of-character message was added to explain his concern for who comes across the game and possible negative reactions (or triggers, if you prefer) - and to switch and say out-of-character "That ain't you. So don't. Don't you ♥♥♥♥ing dare." (Here you have to remember what the game deals with - i.e. suicide.)

I agree with the reviews shown on the shop page that are taken from other sources than Steam reviews. It's a powerful portrait, perhaps because the developer refers to himself in the out-of-character message.

I recommend it to people who are not searching for the common perception of "video game", but a psychological experience. It would also have to be someone willing to pay its worth (base price 5 EUR / USD) for a short amount of game time. Few people will spend hours on it (including those who do several playthroughs, even though there's not really replayability), and most may just spend minutes on it before they complete the story and catch the point.

However, before considering buying, follow the trigger warnings. How do you react to powerful depression- and suicide-themed novels, music, real-life stories or whatever?

Actual Sunlight deals with serious topics, and I'm not sure how much courage it took the developer to create this. All-in-all I appreciate the developer sharing this portrait and do not regret my 4.49 Euro spent on it, but rather would do it again and will look for other interestingly-named titles from Will O'Neill.
Posted: April 4
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
After playing this for a while, first let me just say, I feel for this dev. Second, buy this. It is a lesson in empathy. If you have friends prone to depression and you could never really get inside their heads and understand what they were thinking, buy this.
Posted: April 5
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