In 2012, a cute story about a little helicopter robot’s struggle to escape a cave full of machinery came out for the PC, specifically Windows. It was called Unmechanical and started as a student project using Unreal Engine 3. It was a success, garnering awards at the end of 2012 and being released for the iOS in early 2013.
Recently, its developers – Talawa Games and Teotl Studios – partnered with Grip Games to develop and release Unmechanical: Extended, the original game with an additional content and puzzles. It also comes with a new storyline, complete with its own puzzles. It was released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3.
The little helicopter robot is stuck in a mechanical cave.
The PS4 version of the original game is exactly the same content of the PC and iOS versions that can be enjoyed in a larger screen such as a 52-inch TV. The controls are very simple; the control pad/joystick to move around and two buttons: one for hints and another to use the grappling beam. Technically, without the hint button, the controls are really two things.
The grappling beam is a very useful tool.
The simplistic controls is not a testament to say that Unmechanical: Extended is not a fun game. The developers created puzzles that will test one’s wits. The puzzles range from memory to reflexive games. Using the grappling beam and some visual cues, the little helicopter robot can manipulate the environment, such as moving mirrors to reflect laser beams to conjuring a bomb. Manipulating the environment is required to progress through the story.
The puzzles range from memory games to reflexive games like this one using magnets.
One gripe I have about Unmechanical: Extended is the fact that it is a story-based puzzle game. Most puzzle games on the market are level-based, meaning if a puzzle seems to be challenging, one can easily skip that and advance to the next one. In Unmechanical: Extended, the little helicopter is faced with back-to-back unrelated puzzles: at one point, it is faced with a memory game using lights followed with a reflexive game guiding a bomb. If a player is struggling with a certain puzzle, they are pretty much stuck in that point of the story. They can use the hint button for a depiction of the solution, but sometimes those may not help, especially with the memory games.
In the new content, the protagonists gets a new buddy.
It is hard not to like the cute little helicopter robot. In the new storyline, the little one has found a buddy and, in the midst of exploring a forest, both helicopter robots fall into another cave. The hero of the original game must find his buddy and get out of the cave alive. To do that, it must solve a slew of puzzles yet again by using its grappling beam and the environment.
Besides the new puzzles, the new extended edition’s gameplay is not at all different from the original. There are a few new elements, such as a brief period where the helicopter robot has limited vertical mobility, but nothing truly out of the ordinary. The new content gives the game around an additional hour (if solutions are found online).
Ultimately, Unmechanical: Extended is a game for those who love puzzle games, especially ones who will not give up until a puzzle is solved. Patience and focus are the keys for those who may struggle in a particular puzzle, and a little rest from it will not hurt. Those who have played the original game for the PC and/or iOS may find the additional content an incentive for paying full retail price to play it again on a next-generation console, though you might want to wait for a sale.
Hovering Helicopter Puzzler
Gameplay - 8/10
Plot - 8/10
Design - 8/10
+Simple controls with challenging puzzles
+Cute protagonist design
+New storyline and content
-Puzzles cannot be skipped
-Hints may be unreliable