Updating this overlooked review for an overlooked indie game. Enjoy!
Tonight’s updated review was supposed to be Bastion but I realized that review has a lot of work to be done to it. So, it’ll be done at a later date. Instead, Unmechanical gets a proper review.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Unmechanical. Cute and Short Little Physics Puzzler
- Genre: 2D Physics Puzzler.
- Developed & Published by: Talawa Games & Teotl Studios
- Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, PS4, PS3, Xbox One.
- Business Model: Cheap Base Game.
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Overall Gameplay Thoughts
Unmechanical is simply an exploration game with physics puzzles that often tie themselves together. It’s also really short, clocking in at around one to two hours. Side note, the exploration is fairly light as there’s no real dead-ends or open-ended areas you can look around in. It’s just a lot of connecting corridors. But the game doesn’t really direct where you should go or what you need to complete next. It expects you to figure it out. There isn’t much of a story to be found in Unmechanical either. Your little flying robot simply gets taken by an arm in a cutscene where it’s shot down a tube into a strange world for it to explore. The majority of the game is focused on completing the various physics puzzles. While the controls are pretty simple, it’s probably better to play this game with a controller. The controls can be a little bit frustrating otherwise.
Puzzle Difficulty and Thoughts
Puzzle difficulty is reasonably challenging. Most of the challenge will come from dealing with the physics and the slow response you’ll get from your character because of said physics. There are a few mind-benders puzzles that I had difficulty back when I first played it though I’m not sure they would confuse me again if I tried playing this game new now. I will say that this game completely lacks replayability. You’re in for the one journey and one journey only on this one.
After three years, Unmechanical gets a surprise free update to include support for Linux and Mac, as well as a new hour long campaign. I got about an hour long in my playthrough so I can’t complain. It’s a nice little addition where two little robots get sucked down and they have to work together to get out of where they are at. It’s not co-op or faux co-op though, just a fun story through another cavern filled with physics based puzzles. It definitely has a much faster pace to it and the puzzles aren’t nearly as difficult as they were in the original campaign. Apparently this edition was exclusive on consoles until recently released on PC.
PC Settings and Graphics
PC settings are ok but lacking a lot of fine control I would have preferred. You have resolution options, windowed mode on/off and a graphic setting quality slider. If you want to edit FOV, AF, AA or V-Sync, you have to go into the game’s .ini files in order to do it. While the game isn’t particularly demanding nowadays, I’d prefer to have these settings readily available. Just in case. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems with the game when I did my run. No crashing, bugs or other problems.
This was one of the first indie titles to really use the Unreal 3 engine to great effect. It’s a beautiful, atmospheric game where you explore a sculpted technological and organic world. The amount of detail and animation work that went into this game is impressive. And the soundtrack makes sure to keep you immersed though it isn’t anything special.
To me, what’s most surprising about Unmechanical is how very few people actually played it. It came out right when this type of game was all the rage and it just didn’t get a lot of attention. I can’t figure out why. You’ll only get around couple of hours out of Unmechanical and I think you’re better off getting this on sale. It’s a fun, short little game that doesn’t oversell itself. The story is threadbare but the puzzles are reasonably challenging and it’s a great looking 2D game. It’s a pity that the developers haven’t done anything since, I’d like to see what that would have been.
Thanks for reading!