Description official description
Sunset is a first-person exploration game where the player controls Angela Burnes. The game is set in the fictional Latin American country Anchuria ruled by the dictator Generalísimo Ricardo Miraflores. Angela studied for five years in the US to become an engineer, but she is unable to find a job and leaves Baltimore for Anchuria. Her job prospects do not improve there as unrest leads to a civil war and she becomes a housekeeper for a man called Gabriel Ortega in the city of San Bavón. The game takes place over several non-consecutive days between 1972 and 1973 and it is set in a single environment, Ortega's luxurious penthouse apartment. Angela goes to the apartment between 5 PM and 6 PM (sunset) to do chores for Ortega.
Each working day starts in the elevator leading up to the apartment where the tasks for the day are shown on a list. Angela has one hour to complete them before she needs to go home. Once inside, the apartment can be explored freely and Angela can interact with different objects in various ways. She can walk around, zoom in on objects to trigger a response or interact with them. There are a large number of choices and consequences that influence the story and the narrative is often shaped by the player by fitting the different pieces together in a coherent way. One of them is Angela's stance towards Ortega. She can either stick to her job, perform the tasks and leave, or snoop around and ignore them. Tasks are completed automatically by interacting with items or equipment in the correct location. Once done, the task is scratched off the list. Tasks include cleaning the windows, cooking diner, ironing, emptying ashtrays, watering plants etc. They require time to complete and Angela only has a single hour, so the player often has to choose between sticking strictly to the job or exploring instead. The remaining time is shown through visual cues in the light as the sun sets, but it can also be seen in a menu. When it's 6 PM Angela can still explore the apartment, but many interactions are no longer possible.
Angela's brother is involved with a rebel group that wants to overthrow Miraflores and Ortega often has information lying around on his desk that can help her. The player chooses what to do with the information and this leads to different types of events. As the game always takes place inside the apartment, consequences are only experienced by looking outside the window, reading newspapers, listening to the radio etc. Next to the tasks Angela can form a relationship with Ortega by interacting with optional items. Interactions often have two choices, a warm, flirty one or a neutral action. The same applies to actions without the choice. She can either help unpack Ortega's boxes or leave them, arrange pictures is a playful way or stick to a rigid pattern etc. Ortega sometimes leaves behind notes Angela can respond to in the same way. She can also sit down in one of the many rooms or chairs and then the player can see her thoughts, which are collected in a diary.
Through other types of optional interactions Angela can learn to play different songs on a piano, she can inspect the books and pictures in art books he is reading and put on vinyl discs to play Ortega's music. Even though the environment is always the same, each day at the apartment is slightly different as new objects and items appear, traces of previous nights remain, some rooms are open or locked, important revelations or events take place and so on.
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 69% (based on 13 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)
Atmosphere (early 1970s period piece, how could you resist?)
Music ( A fine variety!)
Visual style (it's stylish, alright)
Voice-over (fits the purpose)
Story development (Who could've known?)
Graphics (don't look through the windows!)
Gameplay (it's really not there)
Lags (Unity - 'nuff said)
The Bottom Line
The sun lazily sets in, casting rays at a penthouse at the tall building near the city center. Outside of windows are traffic, occasional gunshots, the moaning of sirens, the buzz of helicopters flying by. The situation in the country goes downhill fast. But all of that is not as important – the world here is different from the world there, here everything is upscale both in the number of floors and the contents - apartments are stoked with pieces of art and every day the secret museum's collection grows. Inside there's a place of quiet, calm refuge and high technologies. Sometimes of a good taste, and also it's impeccably clean. The latter is because of you.
While the most famous video game janitor Roger Wilco was used to slacking at his job, and as a result his adventures stretched to a long series, here a strict compliance with your duties is expected. A checklist of things to be done awaits you every day, and some effort must be applied to complete them. Moreover, the dark-skinned housecleaner only has an hour to do so before the sunset. While performing your daily duties, you could notice, quite in real-time, how the rays clear out off the sky, and as they leave you should vacate the premises as well.
And while observing how the rays majestically glide on the floor, the eye takes a quick glance at the street – and there's a kingdom of the same monochromatic milk cartons. Yes, we get that there were only a few of you and that's Unity, but you shouldn't scare us like that. And the fact that a whole lot of everything has made its way into a game: papers and notes that you can actually read (a dream in games 15 years ago), some characteristic objects of interior and design, sculptures and paintings, couldn't explain why some textures are so abysmally bad that it hurts.
Nearly all work in Sunset requires some time to finish and is performed automatically as you choose the action at the hot spots, the clock hands advance automatically. Besides those, the flow of time there is such as at this side of the screen. Launder the shirts, clean the floors, hang the pictures, sort the contents of the box, make the supper, oriental style – that's the list of chores that the mysterious employer makes to keep Angela busy. It's hard to say how had she winded up in Anchuria, one of the South American republics in the early 70s. Maybe she got tired of the capitalistic schemes in the homeland, could be that she decided to try her luck abroad in a different climate, or perhaps it all boils down to that her brother is a part of local revolutionary cell.
The person of Gabriel Ortega who rents the luscious double-floor apartment and keeps Angela on the payroll is unknown. Who is he? A businessman, an official in the ministry of culture, or a criminal? Where does he get the money for all that?
Every time she returns to the same place on the eleventh floor in the center of the city. Every time a small sticky paper with a to-do list with things she should complete in an hour awaits her there. But every time there's something new: fine details, sometimes a new door gets open, which are by the way controlled by a cutting edge electronic security system. Sometimes it is the new art objects and emigre housekeeper always have something to mumble about.
And while it is a walking simulator in its' core, or how certain tight-lipped public would say interactive storytelling or narrative adventure, there are actually some interactive elements in here. First, you can choose to perform your duties or not perform them, and besides those there are more things to clean in the house, even those you weren't asked about. Even the attitude towards the most menial tasks could vary: warm or cool, by the book or more homely. Second, after some time Gabriel starts to leave handwritten notes all over the flat with some commentaries and you could reply to them too – playfully or straight-faced.
Sunset is quite rich in its soundscapes – almost every couple of days, and the game goes for about forty, there will appear new vinyl recordings in the house, and you could even make a tape mix (which though, won't fit into a Walkman). Tale of Tales have also tried to bring the atmosphere of unique life and the era another way- through the music. A whole twenty eight tracks could be heard here, and the majority of those have been recorded specially for the game (should we believe ads). You can find variations on folk music, jazz, local ballads about Jesus, some symphonic sketches, a bit of soul that two designers are so excited about. Among more interesting pieces there's "Switched-On Pieto" – an answer to one of the earliest popular albums of popular electronic music Switched On Bach by Wendy Carlos. The author or rather the compilator of the soundtrack is Austin Wintory, who also did the work for Banner Saga, flow, Assassin Creed Syndicate and Journey.
Besides the music, every week there will be a new book in the penthouse, however there's no meaningful purpose beyond that, aside from showing that the employer is extremely well-read. They are just lying about – and that's it. It's commendable that the authors compiled such a shortlist, but there's not much to it, though achievement-junkies would stay happy. Who knows maybe they will remember a title or two and actually read something.
Every time authors play with the same variables, adding new values, while removing old ones. There's one goal – to get to the workplace and do what needs to be done. Straightforward and dumb. The only choice is how you perform it – follow it to the t, or show some initiative. By inducing such a stage-worthy atmosphere even some minor occurrences affect micro-world, and when designers meaningly remove some familiar parts of the puzzle, changing the existing rhythm... Even the broken window sparks a wide range of emotions and questions for the inner dialogue.
Sunset is free of the usual fluff: there are no locations, hit-points, inventory or puzzles. Only a meager set of decisions per day and familiar walls, more feeling like episodes of a TV-show or chapters of some book. Because of that it would appeal to those who don't consider themselves a gamer. It doesn't imply that Sunset is not a game – there's just a very direct way to affect the narrative structure, without a need to crack some puzzle or collect some virtual points. That makes it closer to some more tightly directed genre like perhaps interactive drama. But not all walking simulators have place for such thin personal relationship that continue to grow throughout the whole thing and where you can't be sure that him, the other person is real, and that sometimes you would be able too meet
Windows · by Virgil (8569) · 2016
|How should I scan/photograph the USB release?||Evolyzer (20981)||Nov 7th, 2016|
- MobyGames ID: 72948
- Steam App: 287600
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Game added by Sciere.
Game added May 26th, 2015. Last modified July 16th, 2023.