Cor, Blimey – A Sunday Gold Review

Mate, this Sunday Gold game is a corker. Point and click, RPG, turn-based combat and lots of claret? It's a winner if you ask me... out now.

Not only did I have to play Sunday Gold twice, but rewrite this review twice. Mate, this is a blinkin’ carry-on, innit? Two issues for one review? Besides having my knackers clipped for not delivering Team17‘s latest, was it worth redoing? Yes. However, just as I was about to post this, there was an announcement that the game would be delayed until the 13th of October. Just so you know.

Today is Sunday, and this game is mostly gold. That’s not me trying to be clever, but I’m in a bit of a panic to catch up with it, based on the above. In short, I played Sunday Gold on the Steam Deck, and it worked perfectly. The only issue was the savegame got corrupted, and I had to start afresh. Rewriting the review was unrelated. My notes were on another file I’ve since found. Muppet.

You’ll note the lame cockney talk to complement this, and I’m sure it stands out. That’s how the dialogue was for me in the game – a standout, but in the dodgy sense. Y’see, it seemed to try too hard at times, like the same Guy Ritchie who wooed us with Lock, Stock, then Snatch. The voice acting is terrific, but it’s a bit cliche.

Sunday Gold Review

Sunday Gold Review - Go on, Sal
Go on, Sal! Source: Steam

I knew what to expect on my second play and got used to it, but this is my only reservation about Sunday Gold – it’s bloody good fun. First of all, it’s a point and click. No – it’s a turn-based strategy game. But wait: what are all these QTEs, and what’s with the storytelling? Yeah, this is one game that mashes up a bundle of genres but does it exceptionally well.

You play a crew of three scallywags. Frank, the leader, is a hard-talking, no-nonsense thief and fearless. His partner in crime is Sally – a tank who smashes the faces of enemies with her knuckle duster, then doubles up as the team medic. Finally, there’s Gavin – a neurotic IT nerd who shares a few psychopathic traits with GTA V‘s Trevor. It’s essentially a heist plot where they’ve picked a target that’s more than they can chew.

Sunday Gold is set in a dystopian 2070. The core gameplay resembles a point and click; only the characters don’t walk in the conventional sense but will ‘glitch’ to points of interest in a fixed-point scene. Movement is free, but when locating something worth exploring, they will use up action points (AP), renewed by pressing the spacebar, and await the enemy’s turn – should they be in the vicinity.

Give Me A Break!

Typically AP will mean searching an area but can trigger a hacking minigame for Gavin, a meditative brawl for Sally, and lockpicking with Frank. Some are tricky to play with the keyboard and mouse, but there’s the option to dumb it down a bit if you need to.

But this is only half of it, as there’s the combat between exploring. It’s turn-based, using AP that’s restored through guarding. There are the standard attack options of using melee and ranged items, skills that can be used such as rushing one enemy, taunting to have them attack Sally the tank, item usage (drug use to restore health and composure), and guarding to retrieve AP and reduce incoming damage.

Pack in various buffs like evasion techniques and debuffs like blood loss or quick-decisive techniques due to panic, and you have some quality fisticuffs. A quick note on composure: it’ll drop through the stresses of a heist, and if it goes low enough, you may find some of your party attacking you, doing their own thing, or bizarrely, improving their skills. It’s truly unique and certainly works well.

It Even Makes Your Tea For You

AND… there’s the RPG element as well. Through each battle and key scene, your Sunday Gold squad will level up, earning new skills and abilities; plus, you can swap out weapons and armour. There is so much crammed into one game, but it works like a well-oiled machine with Guy Ritchie at the helm.

Yes, mentioning him again as there are elements of parody here, to some extent. That said, the presentation was amazing. It has a Disco Elysium vibe but is more accessible. To use ‘that said’ in quick succession, Sunday Gold is challenging – both with the puzzles and combat. A Norse mythology-related puzzle was easy for me due to my interests, but reverse engineering some puzzles took time (a good thing), and the frequency of battles requires a tactical approach as there are only so many APs and tranquillizer options.

Not that I want you to feel sorry for me, but redoing the game and review twice was tough, though worth it. Sunday Gold was worth the attention – one of the best crime-related games I’ve played of late and perhaps will feature in my 2022’s GOTY. Again, the dialogue can be a bit in your face, but that’s massively outweighed by some entertaining gameplay, an interesting, if somewhat predictable story, and thoroughly engaging puzzles. Highly recommended.