Sunset Road review
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Sunset Road review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on October 3rd, 2019
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CAR TALK
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Sunset Road is a strange, short game about the idle chatter that happens on road trips.

Developer: Klappanome

Price: Free
Version: 2.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone XR

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Most of the time, when you play a game, there’s some specific objective you’re supposed to complete. Whether it’s games that give you a literal checklist to move through or more sandbox-type games where you “make your own fun,” there’s some kind of mission driving things forward. This isn’t exactly the case with Sunset Road, though, which is why I find it so intriguing. This short adventure game feels as aimless and banal as the road trip it’s about, and somehow this works in its favor.

Riding together

Sunset Road is a piece of interactive fiction about a young couple on a road trip. This trip isn’t particularly dramatic or exciting, though. It’s a route the man has driven many times before, and the woman riding along remarks about how long the trip is and how she hopes it will end soon.

Although this sounds like a typical setup for a plot that then gets more exciting and dynamic, no such thing happens in Sunset Road. You just tap through dialogue between the couple, and make some decisions about what to say or when to stop. By the game’s end, the trip is over, and not a whole lot has happened beyond some casual conversation.

Travel talk

The real meat of Sunset Road is the dialogue itself. It’s not a particularly immaculate script (in fact, it seems to have some translation errors), but it creates a unique tone that you don’t usually get to see or interact with in a game. You talk about things like the weather, or whether your little brother likes your significant other.

None of this actually leads to any impactful conclusions, but it is oddly compelling to read through. Every once in a while, things come of the rails a bit where dialogue doesn’t quite fit your dialogue choices, but in general, it’s fun to just let the conversation take you where it takes you.

Keep cruisin’

As you hold this conversation, you also make stops in your trip. The woman in the car is a photographer, it turns out, and there are various points in the trip where she wants to take some photos. After just a few of these stops though (and about 10 minutes of play), the game ends.

Upon reaching the end, Sunset Road then reveals that your dialogue choices can lead to different photographs being taken, and the game encourages you to go back and try to collect them all. This seems mostly to be a ploy to add longevity to such a brief game, and I’m not really sure it needs it. Sunset Road is completely free (no ads or IAPS, either), so I don’t mind having the short journey and then moving on.

The bottom line

There’s not much to Sunset Road, but it’s aware of that fact so is careful not to overstay its welcome. An experience about a road trip full of mundane conversation doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it’s perfectly enjoyable over the short runtime of the game.

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