When does humor start to be funny, especially in “Sunrise – The Game”?

After reading some reviews with mixed ratings (bad and even worse) and hearing/reading a lot about its desperate attempt to appeal to a young “hip” audience with its super-cool characters and alternative rock music, I more or less gave up hope to find a decent game. But I still bought it because one thing intrigued me: the use of youth language.

I came across the slang young people (at school) supposedly use to communicate with via some small dictionary books which were just hilarious to read. First because I never ever heard expressions like those, secondly because they were so inventive and over-the-top-silly to pure genius that I HAD to try out this game.

And yes, even though the characters in “Sunrise – The Game” are not kids, but more or less adults (between 20 and 30), they really used all kinds of expressions you could have found in those fun little dictionary slang books. It’s hard to quote anything and translate it into English (even though in the books they have equivalents in other languages). Suffice it to say that the game plays like a youth slang dictionary, something I haven’t come across in my 20-years-gaming experience. So it was kind of a novum.

Of course you ask yourself when the novelty will wear off. Strangely it doesn’t because those exaggerated expressions come up when you least expect them. So for instance the characters start calling themselves names. With everyday language it would have been pretty boring, and it is still a bit annoying (as the whole story and characters aren’t that interesting, or the gameplay for that matter… which is a topic of its own). But I don’t seem to remember any other game, let alone a German adventure game, in which the humor was more than your standard toilet humor. To be fair, there’s not a lot of substance behind the dialogues, but it’s a guilty pleasure nevertheless.

A guilty pleasure just like those old 70ies movie translations of Rainer Brandt who came up with some of the best lines ever (even if they didn’t make much sense with the rest of the flick). So if you’re interested in how such language works in a game do yourself a favor and check out “Sunrise – The Game”.

Here are just a few examples of what you can expect (with an attempt to translate them):

Kartenleser: Pincode-Gedächtnisleser (card reader: pincode-memory-reader), Plug & Pray = how a computer works, i.e. praying that the hardware works with the software, Mützenkosaken=Polizisten (cap cossacks: police men), Blaumeisenappartment=Polizei (blue tit appartment=police), Zappelhalle=Disco (flounder hall=disco), 5-Finger-Discount=Diebstahl (five-finger-discount=theft) etc.

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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3 Responses to When does humor start to be funny, especially in “Sunrise – The Game”?

  1. Michael Stein says:

    This blog gets more and more interesting…

    Sunrise was great stuff… if one understands it. Let’s wait a few years. Maybe someday people remember it and declare it as some sort of cult. Anyway, it was a nice attempt to bring in some sort of new dialogue (or monologue) elements. In the end it didn’t really work for the common audience, but who cares? They tried.

    • nufafitc says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback ;). I’ll try to do it differently than just reviewing games, movies or whatever. It’s more subjective and maybe sometimes spontaneous rambling… but usually the spontaneous writing brings up interesting ideas and concepts.

      Yeah, if you get around the annoying bits and pieces of Sunrise, it has some really innovative ideas. Unfortunately the developers didn’t use them to their full extent and rather concentrated on selling it to a young audience. I don’t even think the young audience finds all the youth slang really appealing. And of course the story and characters are not that well fleshed out. On the other hand the idea of a parallel dimension was not so bad and I’ve played much worse (or I try to forget).

      lexis numériques games are really something special. I might try to get my hands on the “Experience 112” game myself I guess, although I cant’ decide which version to buy. I usually go for the English versions, but as the original is French, I dunno. The new project sounds very intriguing. But I guess the market hasn’t been good for this new kind of gameplay. At least I don’t remember them selling a lot of the other games. Still they deserve all the praise they can get in trying something new (although I’m not sure “Sunrise” will be one of the things they will be remembered, which is a shame).

  2. axelkothe says:

    I found the constant use of that kind of language rather stupid and tacked on after about 30 minutes into the game. I startet to hate the game for it. Also the constant bickering of the main character. And the gameplay itself 🙂

    On the other hand, I rather enjoyed the story and the idea behind it. That kept me going til the end.

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