Sun Dogs (PC) Review

By Athanasios 19.08.2016

Review for Sun Dogs on PC

It has been said again and again: the indie side of the gaming arena will always be the one that will give birth to the most original of ideas. A common problem, though, is that in order for a great idea to shine, an equally great execution is required. Take Sun Dogs, for instance; a true labour of love that simple labels like "adventure," "RPG," and the like, feel inadequate to describe it, and yet, its actual gameplay leaves a bitter taste.

The left side of the light grey screen has a few tiny, simple words, representing the skills of the "main character," and some other equally tiny, simple words, which are the available actions that can be chosen. As for the background, a few coloured circles of varying sizes orbit around a small dot in the very centre of it all. This boring MS Paint-like minimalistic scene, along with the ambient music that plays in the background, is nothing more than our very own solar system. The time? The distant future!

Mankind has reached a point where fast solar system-wide travel has become a reality, but, instead of terraforming, man decided that it would be best to change his body, and the result is that "We are no longer born, and do not die. Identity became fluid, flesh became alien, we are something beyond human." In other words, since the body of the protagonist is nothing more than a shell that hosts an "implanted" mind, death is just the small gap between the destruction of such a shell, and the creation of a new one.

Screenshot for Sun Dogs on PC

The "protagonist" of this era of transhumanism can move to any adjacent celestial body in non-linear fashion, interact with the environment, and partake in various missions - and if death arrives, no biggie! The "ghost in the machine" will simply be uploaded to a new body, ready to explore this corner of the cosmos once more. Unfortunately, this is just a façade; a façade behind of which lies a terrible excuse for a gameplay.

In practice, everything mentioned so far goes something like this: the main character visits someplace, examines it, and, hopefully, a random event occurs… Just be sure to replace 'event' with 'small generic sci-fi paragraph.' Why generic? Mainly, because these tiny pieces of narrative don't manage to connect to each other, create a believable game world, and thus, be immersive. Furthermore, after a few minutes into the game, the player is left examining the same places over and over again, and receiving the same unexciting briefing.

The worst thing, though, is the lack of things to do. Quests, for example, usually require going from planet A to B, and then just clicking the examine button, or having to choose between two actions, like "Pick this up/Leave it here" and so on. Finally, the fact that everything - from what will happen while visiting or examining an area, to which set of skills a respawned "shell" will start with - is randomised, and actually hurts the whole process instead of adding to it by destroying what little sense of progress and interaction there is, and the same happens with the non-existence of an end goal.

Screenshot for Sun Dogs on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Sun Dogs has many flaws. The main one, however, is that this isn't a game - it's an unfinished, badly written sci-fi tale. Actually, it isn't even that! A tale has a beginning, middle, and end. This is just a series of semi-randomised, and very disjointed, pieces of Arthur C. Clark-esque text. Apologies to the late great futurist!

Developer

Royal Polygon

Publisher

Royal Polygon

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

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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