A lot of research goes into what games to cover at Gaming Daze but sometimes it’s an easy task if you happen to stumble across a game that stands out with an in depth artistic approach. One glimpse at Unbound: Worlds Apart was enough of a hook to lure me into reading up about the game and make me want to crack open the demo and find out how well it plays. Being a sucker for a good puzzle game as well as being a total sucker for a decent platformer, I hoped Unbound wasn’t going to be another game that had the looks but not a lot else. The demo albeit a fairly short experience, but it’s enough of an experience for me to be able to tell that there is more than what meets the eye with Unbound and we could have another Indie gem in the making. Let’s have a closer inspection on what the game has to offer as well as my take on the demo.
The first thing I noticed during my first playthrough was how this hand-crafted world looks, the art style really sets the tone and makes you want to explore it further. Combine this with the serene and ambient sound track that is playing really gives the game a tranquil yet mysterious feel to it. Any lover of an artistic approach in game development will feel right at home with Unbound and I can assure you that even myself with barely an artistic bone in my body appreciated the style this game has to offer. How does it play though? Using my Xbox One controller I was able to walk, jump, grab objects in order to push or pull them and use my main ability which we will get into shortly. So not an overly complex set of commands to learn in Unbound and no actual combat button, but the beauty of the game lies within how to bypass enemies and obstacles without actually fighting them as such.
You play as a rather cute little wizard type guy with the ability to open up a portal around him to an alternate dimension. In doing so will change the area around you to whatever lies within the alternate dimension which enables you to manipulate what is going on around you in your own dimension. For example, you might come across an immovable wall which you cannot get passed and by using your portal ability you could bypass the wall as it is not present within the alternate dimension in your portal. I really hope that makes sense. The reality is, that this ability opens up countless ways of being able to solve puzzles and bypass enemies without the need for combat and I’m sure developer Sergiu Craitoiu had a lot of fun creating them. I was able to bypass an ugly looking monster by using my ability near him which turned him into a crate in the alternate dimension then pulling the crate over to a higher ledge and using the crate to jump on and reach the higher ledge.
That is not all the portal ability does, in other areas of the world the alternate dimension you create might contain diverse physics like the gravitational pull might be reversed for example. This came as a bit of a surprise when I first got to this part as it pulled me towards the ceiling which I was now able to walk on. This opens up another trove of puzzle ideas and I found myself having to master the art of bypassing obstacles by bending the laws of gravity to my will. If you take a look at Unbounds Kickstarter page you will be able to read up on what other types of abilities Soli will unlock in the full game which is scheduled for release in May 2020 such as a dash ability and a super strength ability. You will also notice that the Kickstarter campaign was a complete success and the game was able to smash a few stretch goals including a Nintendo Switch release! So we will be able to enjoy Unbound not only on PC, Mac and Linux but on the Switch as well. Although the closing date for the Kickstarter campaign has been and gone you can still pledge donations here if you are feeling the love for the game and want to be of any help you can be in the games success.
During the latter areas of the demo I was able to see in extremely dark places using Soli’s ability to use night vision although this did not require any button to trigger it, it’s activated automatically as long as you are standing still but disappears once you start moving. I found this a little fiddly at times because I needed to see a big spider ahead of me so that I could try to jump over it but every time I took a run up and jumped the night vision would disappear making it difficult to determine when to jump and where I would land. The developer told me during my live stream of Unbound that he had already reworked certain areas so I am hoping this issue I had gets ironed out in time for the games full release. The night vision ability looks very cool though, omitting a bright white background with all objects and creatures being a very contrasting black. Apart from my one minor handling issue of the night vision ability, I am pleased to inform that the rest of the game handles extremely well on an Xbox One controller which I would advise anyone who wants to give Unbound a try to use.
Without giving too much away about the story, all I will say is that it is up to Soli to rid the evil that has descended upon his world by the use of the portal ability which is entrusted to him as he is the only one who can look evil in the eye without being tainted. What I would advise for now is to give the demo a try which can be downloaded and added to your wish list on Steam. If Unbound: Worlds Apart sounds even slightly interesting to you then I am sure you will enjoy the demo as much as I did. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, so drop a comment down below if you can spare the time. Thanks for reading!
Written by Sammy J on 27th July 2019