A story of greed, corruption, and real estate in 1920s Miami.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (118 reviews) - 72% of the 118 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 9, 2014

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Reviews

“There's incredible attention to detail and a contagious enthusiasm running through the entire experience.”
Cubed 3

“It handles its plot and historical references impressively, while simultaneously remaining a masterfully crafted and great adventure game.”
Indie Games dot com

“A Golden Wake is something you need to play this fall.”
Creative Gaming

About This Game

The Roaring Twenties: a bygone era of glitz, glamour, and promise. Nowhere is this more apparent than Coral Gables, Florida. The real estate market is booming and even an ordinary guy like Alfie Banks has a chance to strike it rich.

But with the mob on his back, the Great Depression on the horizon, and the Sunshine State’s idyllic waterfront only a hurricane away from total devastation, Alfie finds much more than he bargained for.

Based on actual events and featuring real life locations and historical figures, you must guide Alfie on his journey to reach the top of the real estate game as he deals with shady salesmen, cutthroat bootleggers, corrupt politicians, and much more, all while swept up in the events surrounding the inception of Coral Gables, The City Beautiful.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows ME or higher
    • Processor: Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 64 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 640x400, 32-bit colour: 700 Mhz system minimum
    • DirectX: Version 5.2
    • Storage: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: All DirectX-compatible sound cards
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows ME or higher
    • Processor: Pentium or higher
    • Graphics: 640x400, 32-bit colour: 700 Mhz system minimum
    • DirectX: Version 5.2
    • Storage: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: All DirectX-compatible sound cards
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (118 reviews)
Recently Posted
wecame2party
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
Wadjet eye make some great games. But not this one. It sucks bad. I was bored numb playing it. Not the standard of their usual work. If you like classic point and and click check out their other brilliant games Gemini Rue, Primordia and resonance which are all fantastic.
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kamzukowski
( 5.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
6/10

disadvantages
- too linear story
- very closed world
- short story
- unintuitive use of items

advantages
+ game requires using your brain
+ interesting story
+ atmosphere (pixel graphics, digital music)
+ interesting period and place

Did you think about going into real estate market? Sure you did! That is why you're reading those reviews. A great adventure game in atmosphere of games created in 80s and 90s. See for yourself! See ya in Miami in 1920s.
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badhairqueen
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 6
Read all those reviews saying this game is boring.
They are right. Unless the topic of the 1920s Florida land boom heavily interests you, stay far far away from this one. Nearly an hour into this game, I found myself bored to tears by:
1) the extremely dry way the topic was presented;
2) nothing exciting happening;
3) the lack of drama/mystery;
4) the complete lack of connection to the game's lead and any of its other characters.
I don't usually last this long in such a monotonous game (I view my time as being very precious and if a game doesn't manage to hook me within the first 15 minutes of play, into the trash it goes); the reason I did so here was because I've liked many Wadjet Eye games so far, and hoped this one would be similar in style, pacing and drama. Well, it wasn't.

The low-res graphics suck.
I'm playing on a 1920 x 1080 screen and they look extremely murky and overly stretched out. People and other small objects look like blobs of paint.

Plays more like a visual novel.
It may seem like a "game", but for much of what happens (up till the point I stopped playing), I found myself merely executing commands the game wanted me to. For instance, at the start of the game, you must go in and talk to your boss, then check the leads chart, then sit at your table, then wait for your coworkers to cheat you out of your job... YEAH. Cheat you out of your job?! you say? Yes. And you can see the trick they're pulling on you coming from a mile away, yet you still have to follow through with it and be cheated, just because the game doesn't give you any other option. So basically, your character is just like a puppet following "orders" from the game.

No real choice.
See above point.

So this game is not recommend by any measure. I couldn't find even a single good thing to say about it. Wouldn't touch it even if it were free.
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LozzimusPrime
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
So far, Im enjoying the game :) I havent been playing it long but I know this is one I will end up completing.

Im a lover of anything from the 1920s period and point-n-click adventures, plus the game was at a reduced price. It was a no brainer for me! The art style, music, voice acting are great.

However, I have noticed that sometimes when I click to investigate something, the infomation box disappers very quickly. Meaning I have to save, quit and start again. Sadly reloading the safe does nothing, you have to quit out completely.
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Demodulated
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 26
A very good traditional point-and-click adventure game with great writing, a historical setting, excellent art depicting real locations, and a great variety of activities. What I like best about this game is that there's no antagonist - it's a rare example of man-versus-himself conflict. I highly recommend this one to anyone interested in history.
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Befraia
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
I'm an old school gamer, so much used to this kind of adventures games from back in the 90ies. What makes AGW special is the love for detail, the story, the music. I am impressed that ideas like AGW exists... I hope to play some more soon.
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lewrker
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
Don't get discouraged by the incredibly lazy (insultingly so) introduction, it does get significantly better than that. None of those AGS games are much of a challenge, but they make up for it with good story and interesting characters.
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rjazz2
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 12
It's like the point and click version of the Untouchables. But not really.
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Tenchuu Khan
( 11.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 7
While the game starts out nicely with the usual Wadjet Eye Games quality of voice acting and music, it soon turns out to be a non-story non-game.

In A Golden Wake you play a real estate salesman moving from New York to Miami to get a piece of the boom.
And, that's basically the story, with some turns later on but there's no mystery or crime to solve or anything along those lines.

Gameflow is pretty straight forward with maybe 3 puzzles and some 4 persuasion games where you need to get someone on your side by going through a 5-step multiple choice minigame.

Occasionally you need to combine items but for a point and click adventure that rarely happens as well.
And there's one hidden object game.



What's good about the game?
It's not bad. Storytelling isn't bad per se, the story is simply boring.
Gameplay isn't bad per so, it's just too straight forward without anything to do really but following the, rather boring, story.
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Hechss
( 7.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 5
Not the best of Wadjet Eye's games, but surely a solid one. I'd get it if:
a) You enjoyed other Wadjet Eye games. You'll like that one too.
b) You'd like to enter the 20s' boom and the great crash. In fact, the atmosphere is fantastic.

Otherwise, I'd go for the Blackwell series or Gemini Rue instead. Voice acting and music are greeeat but the story itself is better sketch up on those than in A Golden Wake, to which I'd give a 7,5.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
That's a very nice little adventure game that has its unique features (and some limitations as well). Recommended to all lovers of classic-style point-&-click adventure games!

Pros:
- The protagonist. Alfie Banks is not your average all-good/all-bad hero: he is quite an interesting character in himself.
- The setting. 1920's in all their glory - not many games deal with that time period now. If you love 'edutainment' genre, you would be delighted to meet many historical persons and listen to the author's elaborate commentaries. If not - just enjoy the time travel.
- The ending. Why, the plot has many surprises for you! And I would not spoil them here.

Cons:
- The game is very linear. You may have a choice as for which one of 'The Three Tasks'(TM) you do first, but almost none of your actions have any impact on the course of the events (besides a couple of extra achievements).
- It is definitely the most easy game published by WadjetEye. You never have to wonder what to do next, and different puzzles you meet are very simple ones. Not that it is a huge disadvantage or something, but it is rather strange to see that after 'Resonance' or 'Primordia'.
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30 of 39 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
A Golden Wake is an old-school point-and-click adventure game developed by a small group of individuals and published by the renowned Wadjet Eye Games; famous for similar types of games developed in the AGS engine such as the Blackwell franchise.

Firstly, A Golden Wake is set in a rather unique setting which is hardly ever used in video games; and that is in the state of Florida, all the way back in the 1920s. The choice of setting is due to the story revolving around at the height of the period’s Land Boom. In fact, the story is based on real-life events with a few deliberate artistic emancipations here and there. Right from the start, this aspect of the game already makes it quite appealing as its setting is very refreshing.

You take the role of Alfred Banks (also simply called Alfie), a young real-estate agent trying to follow in his father’s footsteps and make his name big in this market. Initially working in New York, he eventually relocates in Miami the moment he hears the news about this real-estate boom taking place there and so begins taking part in the new Coral Gables project. Throughout the story split into chapters, you see Alfie’s life turning into a rollercoaster as he discovers both the ups and down of the market (subsequently his job) and how badly corruption can affect even your closest friends and family members. Although the game is very short in length, some of the narrative manages to make the player feel some sort of sympathy for Alfie by the end of it all in a very condensed time.

As far as old-school adventure games are concerned, A Golden Wake is graphically adequate and as expected from a game developed using the AGS engine, even though some of the drawn backgrounds can lack finer details. But they can be very colourful and the game does a good job in capturing the time period quite nicely. The soundtrack, much like the game’s aesthetics, is another aspect which the game does superbly well in emulating that authentic jazzy feeling of the ‘20s.

And that is as much praise the game can receive up to this point as the rest of it is sadly riddled with many flaws ranging from lacklustre design choices to uninteresting writing. While the premise of the story is in actual fact interesting, the narrative eventually becomes, for a lack of a better word, dull -- even justifiably sloppy. This is partly due to the lack of engaging dialogues and fleshed out support characters as Alfie is the only character you would ever care about or feel attached to throughout the game’s story. But even then, through all the troubles he has to face, some of the actions written for him by the developers can seem occasionally implausible or inconsistent. In fact, Alfie is without a shadow of a doubt the best character and in turn the best part of the plot, although that is not saying much in a relatively depthless storyline. From start to finish, you will be able to see how certain events change his life forever, even if you sort of end up "watching" these said events rather than directly causing them in the process. And that latter part is another problem tied to the writing quality in general. It just is not on par with other adventure games and simply puts forward nothing new in a way to at least make itself stand out to some degree.

But perhaps the most obvious flaw in the game is the design of the “puzzles”. Their solutions are very obvious, arbitrary and even somewhat insulting to seasoned fans of the genre. It can be argued that these so called “puzzles” should not even be called puzzles. Then what is the point of playing a point-and-click adventure game when neither the game’s plot nor narrative is its strongest aspect to at least compensate for this puzzle design? Not only that, but a few fairly inventive puzzle mechanics such as when you attempt to make a sales pitch to a crowd are either used only once throughout the entire game or were implemented in a uninspiring way.

And that leads to the next flaw: linearity. Indeed, it is true that the point-and-click genre is infamous for being linear thanks to being a more of story-driven medium, but that does not mean that some form of variety, or choices, should not be included. While the game does manage to offer some moments where you seem to be able to approach things in different orders, even as an illusion, these are very few in between. Going to A, B, C and then D is sufficient in completing a chapter in the game’s story. It basically works just like that. The problem here is clearly that it feels too blatantly linear than it should be.

Then the voice acting can also be hit-and-miss in places, although full credit has to be given to Alfie’s voice actor who singlehandedly put on a stellar performance; he simply overshadowed everyone else.

In conclusion, A Golden Wake is a very casual adventure game. It ends up offering an interesting premise with a great soundtrack and nice looking old-school aesthetics, but with lots of potential wasted due to mindboggling easy “puzzles” (or simply lack of actual puzzles), a strict linearity and a story which starts slowly, gets bland halfway through and ends too soon. Not much backbone in there really. At the end of the day, it is a by-the-numbers adventure game with nothing ambitious about it. At its current price, it misses a recommendation. Even on a Steam sale I would be cautious recommending this unless you like supporting the indie scene. It is easily the weakest game published by Wadjet Eye which produced far superior and more striving adventure games than this game could ever offer. If there is one word to summarise the game as a whole that would be “mundane”, almost to a point where I would fall asleep on my chair.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
The Gilberts know how to make adventure games and know how to pick 'em to publish and A Golden Wake is no exception to the latter. A Golden Wake is a historical fiction adventure game set in the Roaring 20's in Miami. Alfie Banks is a realtor from New York that decides to move to Miami to take part in the land boom that caused Miami to become a major city. Along the way he runs into some real people in the area as he tries to gain that Gatsby-esque self made man dream. Though just like Gatsby found out, getting wealth has its price...

Overall A Golden Wake is a quality written game with some real research behind it. The atmosphere is great and the soundtrack is comprised of old timey jazz tunes that really add to the game. The puzzles are also pretty good. They're not difficult but they mostly gel with with what's going on, which I always think is more important in an adventure game. I definitely recommend the game to adventure game fans.
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29 of 41 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Had me laughing hysterically when I inadvertently had Jeremiah Miller knocked out by an old drunk. This game does well to bring back the magic of the adventure games of old. Do yourself a favor and pick it up, and support more indie gems like this to be developed.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2015
How come I've never reviewed this fantastic game from Grundislav Games and published by Wadjet Eyes Games? How come I've never told you that after the excellent Ben Jordan series, Grundislav came back with another universe?

A Golden Wake puts you in the shoes of a young man, trying his luck during the '20 in Florida, in the real estate market, under Georges Merrick and during his apogee before falling into another universe.

It's a point-&-click adventure, reminiscent of the age of pixelated games, with AGS engine. But here, you have some twists: if you want to be the perfect guy (in other words, unlock achievements), you have to convince people to listen to you and to comply to your requests. If not, well, it's up to you to find another way around. Some puzzles are also included. As far as I know, I enjoyed the plot.

Surrounded by characters that really existed, if you activate comments, you'll have some pieces of history, making it also a learning game for everyone interested in that matter. Yeah, it's in English but who cares? You can have subtitles, no voice acting, etc.. And the voice acting is very good anyway.

The soundtrack is really fitting the '20. Dam dam dam dam dam damdam.... ups, sorry, I was singing some charleston.

I can only recommend it. Not because I love Grundislav's style since Ben Jordan (ah Ben, Simon, Alice, Percival....) - they're free, people, the original games or the deluxe edition for the two first adventures. But because it's a very enjoyable game. Very very enjoyable game.

Do yourself a favor. Buy A Golden Wake, buy the Blackwell series, download the Ben Jordan series and the Chzo Mythose quadrilogy. You'll understand why they are considered as gems.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
NOTE: I've played through a DRM free version of this game, so my review is based on the four hours that took me to complete and not the few minutes I've spent on the Steam version.

The game features a mix of minigames and dialogue puzzles. One of my favourite puzzles was an action minigame where you have to help a wing walker get onto a flying biplane using your car. Another involved uncovering a secret passage and a third was a whole mission in the swamp. At one point early in the game you're given a choice between a sales pitch dialogue puzzle and a minigame where you have to find the right future home for five prospective homeowners based on their preferences and the house descriptions. If you fail the puzzle you get to redeem yourself by solving a traditional item puzzle. The sales pitch is used a couple of times later in the game as well and is always accompanied by an optional personality analysis to make solving it easier. It's a bit of a shame that there isn't more complexity in most of the classic puzzles though, as I would have enjoyed some more roadblocks on my way through the story.

Where the game really shines is in its story and atmosphere. It explores a time and setting I don't think I've seen in a game of its kind. The carefully created backgrounds, the jazzy soundtrack and the writing together does a bang-up job of creating a feeling of nostalgia for a place in history long gone. And it does so through an engaging story that had me hooked throughout. There are also a lot of background objects to interact with, which even though they don't serve any purpose in solving puzzles really add to the atmosphere of the game. The low-res pixel art is also consistently good, though with a few exceptions. Most notably the glasses of Doc Dammers' character sprite stood out as a bit jarring to me.

Overall I really enjoyed A Golden Wake. And even though I felt the traditional puzzles could have done with some more complexity, the unique additional puzzles made up for it and I really enjoyed the story.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2015
A welcome addition to the genre, and a love letter to the adventure game era, the 1920s and 1930s, the noir genre, and the real-world source material. Aesthetically bright, beautiful and compelling.

It's not perfect. The pixels are a bit too big to read sometimes, and the voice acting is at best inoffensive. But a lot of work went into this game, and it shows. The story got me hooked, but it's the little touches that got me excited.

THE PUZZLES MAKE SENSE? Want to frighten something? Use a gun. Want to break something? Use a hammer. Want to steal a part? Distract the guard by having someone else talk to him, and use a wrench. The puzzles aren't taxing, but they're sensible.

Highly recommended to anyone who played 90s adventure games.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2015
This game does not live up to the expectations a Wadjet Eye game creates. You would expect rich characters, amazing story and great puzzles. You won't find any of that here. This game is so bland, it's just boring. Terrible dialog, uncharismatic characters, unimpressive locations, dumb puzzles... you name it.

The only two hits in the Wadjet trademark are the music and voice acting. Both are superb.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2015
The producer is the developer of the 5 Blackwell games. The graphic is nice for that budget and Bit-System, it could surely have a bit more details and sometimes its hard to read notes but its fine. The game length is fine for 4-5 hours maybe a bit more. The sound is good- fine, you never need to hear it long time. The story is acceptable - good, reminds me on some movies. So if you get a good discount and like that type of gaming and what you see on the shopsite then spend some few money and support the developer and enjoy it. Full steam support is for the most a nice extra. I give personaly 80 % and hope you can enjoy the game, too.
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40 of 67 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
Heya all!
Huge indie game fan here!

First I just want to thank the devs
but on that note the game.. sigh;

Pros:
The music is fantastic!
The commentary is AWESOME and funny esp the strongbad and suck a bag o... ahem well ull see
The backgrounds and arts are wonderful!
The voice acting is very nicely done
The neat little things like refection of the sun on the ocean, or a light above reflecting on the floor below are awesome additions, the snow falling etc wonderful and beautiful
The history lessons are fantastic too (without the commentary..as this dev loves to do and I THANK THEM FOR THIS) this game would rank 2/10 vs my final score of 5/10

Cons:
-The music commentary is 90% about the artist not about the game, very few commentary markers talk about the music IN this game but rather his childhood or ideals or other games he has done
-The game is REALLY short, 1-2 hours max, another 30 min or more if you listen to all commentary VERY VERY SHORT
-There are almost NO puzzles in this game whatsoever! The ones that do exist are frankly sad and pathetic
-The map and design of the game are poorly done, leaving you with 1-4 locations per time era and giving no real visual oooh and awwww! just bland bland bland
-The main character is a salesman of realestate zzzz really? urmm no.. yes ? ahh nooo
-The devs commentary goes to show that he himself knew very little about the era (one such point is making a newspaper machine vendor that took change and that wasnt invented yet and it took testers and friends to point that out)
-He also removed anything nice from the game due to it making the game to hard, such as the points to spend on persuasion, which that minigame is sad.. just save and reload and tadaaaaaa

I love this dev and publisher, I just hope that spending this much on a really bad game helps make a great game next round

bottom line:
I love to support the indie scene, with this game I had high hopes, was it fun, well yes and no.
Was it worth the 15$ .. heck no, but was it worth supporting this dev and publisher for future games YES YES YES!

Id love to give this game a neutral review but since there are more cons than pros, I have to say wait until it is on sale, unless like me you want to support the devs for a next game
Here is hoping they add more substance and better interfaces and actually have puzzles and depth in the next game!

dont buy this yet, but keep it on the wishlist for a pricedrop!

and go buy Quest for Infamy for the same price you get 60+ hours and much much better renders and bgs and animations and HUMOR oh yea and there are puzzles and paths to pick from unlike A GOLDEN WAKE which has the "ILLUSION OF CHOICE" bad move on the devs part to admit that in the commentary..

love you devs and please dont take this the wrong way, but this game, just a bad game..
felt like it coulda been a contender, but fell short on almost every mark
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