Review – The Sundew
The Sundew is a dystopian cyberpunk point and click adventure which takes the player on an adventure about a cyber cop named Anna Isobe. The year is 2054 and Anna has been tasked by her boss to put a high value target to sleep. Little does she know that her actions will have major repercussions. The player must find the clues and items to progress through a well thought out story, complete with eloquent writing and a wonderful setting in futuristic Japan.
From the start, the writing style and the story behind it pulls the player in. As The Sundew progresses, the all text based story allows for deep immersion in the narrative and the tension of the day at hand. There are parts that the player will not see coming and that is where the story shines brightest. The setting of a futuristic Japan is complete with detailed artistic landscapes for each section of the story, with a vast difference in mood and colour between the sprawl of the inner cities of Japan that are dark and gloomy to the snowy forests that are cold and bright. Each character has their own unique qualities in how they are presented, and the art of this game is amazing from start to finish.
For a one-person studio, The Sundew’s art, visual and audio design is impressive. The setting of futuristic Japan shines through in every location. From the designs for the homes and the downtown markets and shops, the art is beautiful in every setting. The audio works well and keeps the atmosphere intense in key moments and light in others.
Controls for The Sundew are simple in execution. The classic point and click style allows for finding items to help along the way. Anna also has a cybernetic eye with an intercom interface that allows for her to ring friends or hire a bot-taxi to get around the world. A story quest log is also available so the player can look at what story has been unlocked previously and what tasks still need to be completed. Although, it can be a bit frustrating as times it is unclear at times what to do next and players may find themselves in need of a hint or assistance which is not available. Being stuck for upwards of an hour in a single location can kill the player’s flow during the five to six hour playthrough.
Each location requires specific items to be found to progress and The Sundew makes it a little easier to see what can be interacted with by giving the player two sets of buttons in the left and right triggers and bumpers that reveal interactive items on the map. The player will still need to collect multiple clues however to figure out where to go next. My hint to not forget to talk to everyone! Many of the characters have multiple dialogue options and most of them will lead to other talk tracks that need to be carefully read for clues.
As this is a single player game it makes for the perfect game to be able to pause or save and quit for parenting duties. Playing on the Nintendo Switch also made it so comfortable to play from anywhere. The Sundew has mild depictions of violence but is relatively harmless save for the dystopian nature of its story and could be played by most anyone that enjoys a good sci-fi novel.
Rob for One More Game
8 – Great – this is a standout game where some minor changes would make it amazing. You could easily justify your purchase of this game.
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The Sundew was reviewed on Nintendo Switch and is also available on PC.
A digital code was kindly provided by the Publisher for the purpose of this review.
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