Puzzle solving robot.
As soon as I heard the description of Unmechanical Extended, a 2.5D side scrolling puzzle game, I immediately thought “Oh, boy. Another one of those games.” Then I decided to boot it up and give it a shot. Much to my surprise, I found myself addicted to this little game the entire time, and while it is a shorter experience than what I had hoped for, I found Unmechanical to be a rather fun and interesting game.
Players take control of a little robot with a propeller on his head. It is taken away from its fellow robots and pulled underground into a mysterious factory and laboratory. In order for it to escape, it must explore the mysterious place while solving puzzles to find a way out.
My CPU is a neural net processor.
Players will navigate corridors and caves with the little robot, while always coming to a room or series of rooms that require them to solve a puzzle. The robot has a tractor beam that allows it to grab and pull things like levers or pick up things like rocks and other objects that aren’t too heavy. One of the strongest parts of Unmechanical is the variation of the puzzles. One may be all about weight distribution on scales, while another would have me trying to bounce lasers off mirrors to activate a switch. I never ran into the same puzzle twice. Since the robot can only grab things, I always knew it had something to do with placement or movement. The simplicity of it really made the game accessible.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PS3
Price I’d pay: $9.99
One of the reasons I never ran into a duplicate puzzle was due to the fact that the game only lasts around two and a half hours. Now, this is the extended cut of the original 2012 game, so it comes with an extra side of puzzles to try out that can last players maybe an hour and a half. So, with a grand total of maybe five hours, I was hoping for just a little more since I enjoyed what I played so much.
Due to the game being physics-based, there are a few hitches here and there, it’s never too bad, but on more than one occasion I was stuck trying to move something through pipes or in a narrow corridor and had to reload the checkpoint because I couldn’t get it unstuck.
I found the visual style very appealing. The lighting effects were especially well done, and the overall look of the game was interesting. Seeing small things in the background while doing certain puzzles just added to the charm of the game, and kept me invested throughout.
Unmechanical took me by surprise. Sure, we’ve all seen 2.5D puzzle games before, but this one really did a great job with the variety of the puzzles while keeping the main game simplistic enough to never keep me guessing for too long. The pacing is fantastic and the visual style is superb. While it may be on the short side, I still highly recommend picking up Unmechanical Extended. Like me, you may have a really fun time with it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Played both version to completion for review.