A Space for the Unbound Review – Creativity Meets Passion

A Space for the Unbound proves you don't need a million-dollar budget to deliver an incredible narrative.

A Space for the Unbound Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

A Space for the Unbound is one of the best Indie Games to grace us these past few years, and it is not something you would want to sleep on.

Pros

  • Beautiful And intriguing story
  • Gorgeous Art style
  • Melodious Soundtrack
  • Interesting puzzles

Cons

  • Backtracking
  • Too much Handholding

In a world where AAA developers are pumping out titles that are fundamentally the same but with a new splash of paint, there seems to be a drought in the passion and creativity department of the gaming industry. And in these dire times, some people still work day and night to put out a product that supports the notion that Yes! Videogames can be considered art.

Key Takeaways
  • Developers: Mojiken
  • Publishers: Toge Productions and Chorus Worldwide
  • Release Date: January 19, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X|S
  • Game Length: 9.5 Hours
  • Time Played: 12 Hours
  • Editor’s Note: We thoroughly tested Like A Space for the Unbound on PC, putting about 12 hours into its completion.

A Space for the Unbound is one of these titles. It is a piece of media that can only be made when creativity meets passion. And although it released smack in the middle of some highly anticipated AAA titles, this is an experience you do not want to miss out on.

Story And Setting

A Space for the Unbound Review Story and Setting
Story And Setting. (Image taken by eXputer)

The game takes us all the way to Southeast Asia in a small 2-D version of a backwater town in Indonesia. What could befall this small, peaceful town, you may ask? Well, it has something to do with two high school lovers whose lives spiraled with the supernatural world and cats, a lot of them.

The story follows Atma, a young high school boy, and his girlfriend Raya of the same age. The duo is about to graduate high school and is making a list of plans for their summer break, but most of those plans would see fruition very late as both Atma and Raya realize that they have supernatural abilities that are shaking up the peaceful town they are living in.

This title is pretty narrative-heavy and while the start might seem slow for some, the stakes get higher as the story progresses.

Atma has a red magic book that allows him to enter another person’s mind and solve their mental problems. Whether it concerns regaining the memory of a loved one or helping someone decide between two difficult choices, Atma undertakes a journey of people’s minds to help them while simultaneously discovering their cheerful or sometimes traumatic past.

Raya, on the other hand, has more reality-bending powers that can alter space and time itself. However, there is a catch. Each time Raya uses her powers, several supernatural phenomena start to occur in this small town. These problems get worse and, as Atma realizes, can potentially destroy the world.

This title is pretty narrative-heavy, and while the start might seem slow for some, the stakes get higher as the story progresses. The dialogue is also well-written most of the time, making the interactions with NPCs engaging and fun. This is further elevated by the intriguing backstories some of them possess, which can be experienced firsthand by diving into their minds.

Gameplay

Combat
Combat. (Image taken by eXputer)

Since the main focus of this game is the narrative and the meaningful interactions with other people, the gameplay here is minimalistic. The majority of it is centered around exploring this beautiful town, solving puzzles, and a little bit of combat. The world has more incentives to explore apart from its beautiful art style.

Talking to NPCs can give you hints about different items that may be used to solve the puzzles in this game. These puzzles are accessed by space-diving into a person’s mind and looking for ways to help that person. The puzzles themselves are varied and very fun. I wish they were more challenging, but their easy difficulty does not take away from the game’s fun.

A handful of NPCs, however, give you fetch quests, which can get cumbersome and boring. Some backtracking is involved in these quests, which can make the experience unpleasant for some. A major problem plaguing this game is the hand-holding in all of the quests.

Overall, despite its simplicity, the gameplay succeeds in making the experience more enjoyable.

When people ask you to fetch an item, they indirectly also tell you where you might find it, which completely removes the depth from some of these quests. Looking for items is fun when you have to use your mind and make a logical guess about where they might be, not when the game spells it out for you. 

Combat sequences break up this puzzle-solving. The combat is simple as it only revolves around pressing specific buttons in a specified time window to execute some combos, but its simplicity does not hamper the overall experience because the major focus of this title is the narrative, as mentioned before in our A Space for the Unbound Review.

Some quick time events are also present here that further complement the experience. Overall, despite its simplicity, the gameplay succeeds in making the experience more enjoyable. And for those cat lovers out there: Yes, You can pet every cat in the game!

Visuals And Performance

A Space for the Unbound Review Visuals
Visuals.

The best part of A Space for the Unbound and the one which will cause many people to flock towards it is the visually appealing art style. It articulately blends the 90s jagged-edged style with modern anime visuals and style. Combining that with the unique Indonesian setting, we have a style that is a pleasure to look at and which will certainly keep me coming back for more.

The beautiful art style also made the backtracking somewhat bearable. Not just in the actual game world, but the environments present in other people’s minds are also beautifully designed and tell their own stories. 

It articulately blends the 90s jagged-edged style with modern anime visuals and style.

The characters are also exceptionally well designed, with varied facial expressions that convey what they are thinking or how they feel when you perform a certain task. This helps breathe life into the world and makes exploring the town even more interesting.

The beauty of this art style is that it is not even demanding. This is a tile that can run at its fullest potential on even low-end PCs. I, however, tested it on a GTX 1060 6GB with a Core i7 6700 which is a fairly mid-range PC but showing its age, but did not run into performance problems. The game also is free from any game-breaking bugs or performance hiccups, or at least I did not run into any of them.

Verdict

A Person's Mind
A Person’s Mind. (Image taken by eXputer)

This title has a deep and interesting story that is delivered beautifully. The puzzles are interesting, and the gameplay is simple but nicely adds to the story. While some quests can involve back-tracking, the overall experience is alleviated due to the gorgeous art style and the interesting environments.

The only gripe I have with the game is that it assists the players too much when looking for specific items to solve a puzzle or deliver them somewhere by indirectly mentioning how to obtain them and removing the critical thinking on the player’s part.

A Space for the Unbound is one of the best Indie Games to grace us these past few years, and it is not something you would want to sleep on. It is a Labor of Love and one that comes to fruition when passion and creative ideas are allowed to flourish.

This has been our A Space for the Unbound Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

This is box title
Get This Game
If narrative-driven indie games with intricate puzzles, simplistic combat, and retro-like themes fit your style.
Dont Get This Game
If you want an action-packed title that prioritizes gameplay over most other things.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, the core objective of A Space for the Unbound was to deliver an impactful story which it executes beautifully without sacrificing the other mechanics or elements.
Alternative Narrative-Focused Indie Games
  • Forgotton Anne
  • Dream Alone
  • Planet Alpha
  • Prologue
  • Recursive Rain
Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.


Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly covers Game Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

Related Articles