Unmechanical (beta) – review

Here at That VideoGame Blog we recently received a beta copy of PC platform/puzzle game Unmechanical to review. To be perfectly honest I had never heard of the game before the beta copy was sent to us, so my expectations were based upon a trailer I first watched on YouTube. The trailer (below) looked pretty impressive so I was anxious to give the game a try. I am not typically a puzzle gamer, however I am a fan of platform games. Unmechanical is a single-player experience, so friends will have to watch.

The game comes to us from Talawa Games, who were kind enough to send us the copy. They’ve been working on the title since 2010 and it is their first release, which made the title even more intriguing to me.

The premise of the game according to the developers is “an adventure-puzzle game about an adorable but indifferent robot’s quest to find its way out of the innards of an underground beast, and to find out what happened and why.”

The first thing I noticed about the game as I booted it up was the well crafted presentation and sound design. The simple, yet trippy score was pleasing to the ears, and the introduction cut-scene was stylized and had high production value for an indie title. In the intro we find our protagonist robot being sucked into an underground world of pipes and puzzles which he must navigate to find his way back.

The game menus are simple, as there is really only a single player mode to choose from and some limited options. Graphics in the game are sharp and stylized and although they are somewhat simple, they really do look awesome in high definition. The game has a certain sense of style to it  that is quite impressive.

Gameplay in Unmechanical was surprisingly addictive, as typically puzzle games do not interest me all that much. The intuitive controls are simple enough for pretty much anyone to pick up and play. You control a tiny helicopter-like robot that is easy to fly around, and navigate through a series of underground passages and pipes. You come across a ton of puzzles, some of which will definitely require some serious thinking. The puzzles vary from remembering sequences of lights, to picking up and placing objects in the right areas, physics-like puzzles and areas that require keen observation.

As I mentioned earlier, being generally apathetic towards puzzle titles I wasn’t the greatest at the game and did struggle to complete some puzzles about an hour into the game. Either the game is quite a challenge or I just suck. I digress. The game makes clever use of the tractor-beam like ability in puzzles, and I found myself wanting to play more even if I was getting a little frustrated with the puzzles. There is a good sense of accomplishment when you finish a puzzle and there are even Steam achievements to be unlocked for many of them.

The games polish and intriguing vibe, along with the well planned puzzles were what stood out in this game the most. This game definitely deserves public attention.

Overall my experience with Unmechanical was definitely positive. The game is well thought out, features clever puzzles to ponder, and is a polished experience. If you are into puzzle games I would definitely recommend that you check this title out when it hits Steam August 8th. The game is also set for a iOS release “a few weeks later.”

Score 8.5/10