Thursday, September 22, 2016

GOTW6: Unbox

I can admit that I am heavily biased here. From Mario Galaxy to Ratchet & Clank, Banjo Kazooie, Sly Cooper to Jak and Daxter and everything in between, 3D platforming is one of my absolute favorite genres. I play thousands of games, but this is the one genre that I can say I probably finished 95% of every major 3D platformer in existence. In today's day and age, these games are few and far between, so anytime one comes out, I normally buy it regardless of the quality or content. I simply want to support the genre. In most cases, indie devs who try to emulate this old school genre fall short or lack the magical feeling of the classics. I am glad to say that Unbox not only found that magic, but exceeded it in many ways.

Unbox is about a living delivery service called GPS. You play as newbie, the new box. At first I was skeptical that a game with cube characters could be interesting. At a glance it felt like a cheap cop out. After playing for less than 5 min, I realized the brilliance of this design. Using such a simple design allows the world to be completely full of characters. Other base, the hub world and first area of the game has more characters doing all sorts of silly things that any other game in the genre. It has everything from a training course, to a game room to a cafeteria, a lab, ship docs, airplane runway, clothing store and more. Everwhere you look is bustling with fun characters doing silly things. As a collection junkie, this world is an absolute treat to explore. 

While it does not have the amount of levels that any of the mainstream platformers have, the levels in Unbox are massive in size with a lot of fun objectives and collectibles to find. The game is build it Unreal so it has a great look and some fun physics to play with. 

The most interesting thing about Unbox is the unique jumping mechanic. You have 6 unbox charges which each equate to a very high double jump. If using all charges in a row, you can jump incredibly high soaring through the air. It feels like a super quick jetpack boost. You can refill your charges by picking up health cubes worth one charge each or finding a mailbox checkpoint for a full charge. These are scattered everywhere so it rarely feels like you need to hold onto your charges. This system creates the most fun and fastest traversal system I have played in over a decade. 

While there is danger in the form of traps, water, and very basic enemies, Unbox is certainly not about combat. There is no leveling up system or skill tree. There are a lot of collectible cosmetic items, but they dont affect gameplay. Unbox all about exploration and collecting in a fantastic, lighthearted world full of fun characters making silly jokes and having a good time. If you enjoy exploration based 3D platformers, I absolutely recommend this game. GG!

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