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 (306 reviews) - 81% of the 306 user reviews for this game are positive.
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
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
bretty gud
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
4 Stars - Confronting game around dealing with depression

This was a touching insight to some aspects of depression in the modern world. Play through the story getting a deeper understanding of the hero, his world and the relationship between the two.

The game is short and the value is in the story-telling which is impactful, well written and gives you plenty to think about.

Overall, this game gave me the chance to take another look at how I consider depression in real life.

Pros -

Cons -
RPG Maker
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
A Succint Review:
Very short.
He clearly doesn't like Alan Wake.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2015
"It's cool to be sad"

"No, it isn't. It's just sad."

Actual Sunlight is best described as an interactive short story portraying a man fighting a losing battle with depression; as the protagonist's dark thoughts get the best of him his hate for himself and his own life send him down an ever darker spiral.
There's not much of a game here but its strong narrative, great writing and rarely touched subject matter make Actual Sunlight an experience worth considering for those strong enough to face its bleak, hopeless nature.


-top notch writing creates a great, mature narrative

-the few artwork pieces used in the game are simple yet beautiful

-good soundtrack

-holds no punches when it comes to subjects such as depression, suicide, self-hatred, abuse etc...

-will easily evoke strong emotions and/ or provide some food for thought


-the themes presented will be too much for some, the game is crude and bleak and could easily cause discomfort to gamers who are either too sensitive or too close to the subject matter


-some phrases can feel a tad too stereotypical

-very short, you'll be done in an hour

-little to no player input is required


Actual Sunlight is an experience...a bleak, raw, thought-provoking, emotional journey that is sure to stir strong emotions in its audience. There's basically no light or hope here, the story goes on and meticulously chronicles the feel of desperation, self-loathing and hopelessness that many people fightning with depression face every day. There can be a few bitter laughs here and there though, if you're a cynic like yours truly, when the game provides some social commentary on how relationships or job seeking work nowadays.

Evan Winter, the game's protagonist, is on the far end of the depression spectrum but there's no denying that many people will feel familiar with at least a few of his thoughts, actions and feelings: hereby lies Actual Sunlight's true strength as the game lets you project your own uncertainty and discomfort onto the tale being told.

Is this story one for you? It's honestly hard to say...I was deeply touched by Actual Sunlight and personally feel it'd be experienced by basically everyone at least once, provided you won't be upset or disgusted by its themes. I must also warn you though, just as the dev does ingame, that this story could also push you further down a dark path if you're having issues yourself so tread accordingly.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2015
Actual Sunlight is basically a walking simulator in the shell provided by RPGMAKER, it plays like a movie, and you move sequences along by moving the character around the environment. There are no puzzles to speak of rather than rarely figuring out which object or npcs need to be interacted with in which sequence for the story to progress. This game have very few environments, i can think of four off the top of my head, and they are all very small environments. There is no replay value to speak of either. So why am I recommending this, and , I really do, play this game. The quality of the writing is very high, and its very rewarding to find that quite a lot of the environment objects trigger a few screens of biting dialogue to enjoy. I live in Toronto Canada where the game`s protagonist lives which probably helped with immersion quite a lot. So to summarize this is a must play, but only if you feel prepared to read alot, and are comfortable with delving with more serious themes like deterministic fatalism, existiential crisis, the effects of consumerist modernity on mental health, and self worth and self esteem issues in people struggling with depression, It lasts about as long as a movie when you do all the reading so you should factor how much money to invest to acquire this title based on how much entertainment you think that is worth. Also be aware that this is not a solutions-providing game, so if you need that feel good-save-everything-from-being-bad story arc in your entertainment you will be left feeling betrayed
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