A Near Dawn (Android) Preview

By Thom Compton 09.11.2017

Review for A Near Dawn on Android

Currently on Kickstarter, A Near Dawn is a point and click adventure/visual novel all about Sam. The prologue, which is currently free on Android, gives a decent look at the game's mechanics, and sets up the full story well enough to really draw you in. However, it's also a bit too short to really gain a grasp on what the plot is actually about. While it's vague on the overarching plot, it tells all there is to know to grasp that Sam is in a lot of trouble.

At first glance, A Near Dawn looks somewhat similar to Cowcat's Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure. It manages to have a similar art style, but much more detail. Realistic lighting and small facial details do a wonderful job of fleshing - pun not intended - out the characters. Settings like Sam's apartment and a diner also have a good amount of detail, and it's clear that these were painstakingly pored over.

Sam is a lawyer, and in the prologue, we meet him as he is desperately trying to escape something - or someone. Has a demon or two to escape from, and it seems one of those demons may be more literal than Sam would prefer. It's clear the story seems to be fusing real world drama with psychological and mystical horror. During the brief playthrough, the story has a tinge of Scorsese's Cape Fear mixed with Stephen King's Secret Window to it, although it is hard to place exactly why it feels this way. It could be due to the atmosphere it paints, mixed with some really good writing.

While it makes some mistakes of game writing, like explaining obvious things or even over explaining, the approach is interesting. The beauty of A Near Dawn's writing is how it feels like a novel. The fluidity of the writing and the degree of detail aren't surprising considering how smart and thorough the developer has been elsewhere.

Screenshot for A Near Dawn on Android

This extends into choices, which seem to bare some significant weight here. While none of the decisions play out to their climax in the prologue, the dialogue seems to imply they will have some serious weight. Hopefully that doesn't change before the game's final release, because the dialogue is genuinely good, and replaying it actually feels quite a bit different the second time.

There are some drawbacks, however. The voice acting isn't well mixed, with some characters being harder to understand, sounding like they might be mumbling their lines. The lip movement of characters is slightly irritating, moving when their dialogue is comprised entirely of ellipses. Sometimes their lips will stop moving halfway through a sentence. These are minor annoyances, really, and to be perfectly honest, you probably won't even notice them.

Playing the game is really just about progressing scenes, making choices, and interacting with the environment. A Near Dawn's biggest flaw is honestly that it feels so familiar, although it manages to surpass this trivial shortcoming by being supremely well made. Hopefully, by the time it's over, it will retain this fantastic depth, because if it does, this could be an excellent addition to the visual novel realm.

Screenshot for A Near Dawn on Android

Final Thoughts

A Near Dawn is currently seeking backing on Kickstarter, and hopefully it manages to make it. The prologue may not tell an awful lot, but it manages to be a good enough cliff-hanger where the wait to see the rest of the story is going to feel long. At the very least, pick up the free prologue in the Google Play store (or on Steam), and experience what little of this story has been told. You won't regret it.

Developer

Far-off Daydream Games

Publisher

Far-off Daydream Games

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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