Already spotted on the indie scene for productions like Divination Or When The Past Was Around, mojiken was expected at the turn for A Space for the Unbounda new adventure based on science fiction and pixel art. The title has been available on PC and Nintendo Switch for a few days. Is it worth the detour? The answer in our test.
A colorful and deliberately imperfect pixel art style that offers a unique and memorable aesthetic.
A Space for the Unbound takes us to rural Indonesia at the end of the 90s, to make us embody a certain Atma. Subject to strange dreams in which the young author and designer appears Nirmalahe will have to live his life as a young high school student, in love with a certain Raya. Everything will quickly change when a mysterious supernatural force begins to act on the city, and his girlfriend seems no stranger to these events…
This scenario filled with mysteries will give rise to many questions about the identity of our heroes, touching twists on the links they have forged with the people of their villages, strangeness worthy of the best Asian animated films, and gripping side stories. Quickly endowed with a magic red book allowing him to space dive in the hearts of characters in difficulty, Atma will indeed be able to explore the depths of the anxieties of his fellow citizens to heal themas more and more oddities begin to touch his reality.
Several interesting secondary characters will thus cross our path, while the great red thread becomes tangled, for a long time, before unraveling in a last act rich in emotions, understandable and perhaps even more striking than what it foreshadowed. . Expect strong and well-produced messages on eclectic themes such as parenting, creativity and even depression and difficulty finding the path to happiness. There would be fault on certain narrative angles or reaction of the characters which can surprise, or very talkative dialogues which could weaken the implication of the player, but difficult to blame a project with so much goodwill.
This story managed to enthrall us during its ten-hour runtime, despite some softer passages in terms of story and gameplay, which could have been shortened or even removed. The game mechanics of A Space for the Unbound are generally quite simple: they areA point and click pure and hard, with displacements in side view. We spend most of our time exploring our village, its school and its surroundings up and down, for scenes that are often repeated, but evolve at the end of the adventure. The discussions we have with the locals highlight our objectives, to be completed by going in search of objects of all kinds.
An exciting story.
Classic, but not (often) boring: apart from rare moments with quests FEDEX sluggish requiring tiresome back and forth, there is enough rhythm and variety in the dialogues, the decorations and the actions to be entertained. Many basic mini-games are indeed inserted (such as QTY for fights or rhythmic juggling), some additional challenges (like petting cats) force us to dig deeper than the end of our noses, and environmental puzzles regularly tickle our brains, even forcing us to take out our notebook. These puzzles are of varying difficulty, but never inaccessible, we just regret that some are a little too out of step with the story, simply asking us to assemble clues that are certainly clear, but without a direct link to the universe.
The art direction also serves this feeling of variety. We don’t spend all our time in this endearing little town in the countryside of Indonesiabut also have the opportunity to appreciate more supernatural settings thanks to the space diving, or while the scenario gains in oddity. A great job has also been done on the animations, which bring these not-so-static environments to life. And mojiken has succeeded, thanks to a style pixel art colorful and deliberately imperfect that offers a unique and memorable aesthetic. There is therefore always something to occupy the eyes, but also the ears, thanks to effective ambient melodies and some engaging musical interludes: special mentions to the sung themes, superb and which clearly deserve to be listened to again.
Let’s end on a snag, all the same, which may put some people off: A Space for the Unbound has not been translated into French, and is therefore fully playable with English texts (and without dubbed dialogues). If you have a little command of Shakespeare’s language, nothing insurmountable, the Indonesian developers do not use the most convoluted turns of phrase in history, but it is possible that you will have to get out a translation tool from time to time, to your personal culture or to better understand an enigma.
You would have understood it, A Space for the Unbound seduced us. Endowed with a charm that has nothing to envy to a Your Name or one The Crossing of Time, as much in terms of its narration as its visuals or its soundtrack, it offers an exciting story, which could have done without a few forced round trips and some of its less significant passages to gain even more intensity. Its eccentricities against a background of fantasy and science fiction, coupled with neat humanist morals make it a pleasant adventure almost at all times, whose simplicity of gameplay and the rare soft shots will not make us forget the universe and the splendid last arc.
A Space for the Unbound is available on Steam and the eShop for €19.99: you can get it via Nintendo gift cards available at Amazon.fr.
- A charm worthy of Asian animation cinema
- The successful soundtrack enhanced by memorable pieces
- Enjoyable environmental puzzles and slight gameplay variety
- A fast-paced experience with a consistent lifespan
- The long and grand finale, thrilling and satisfying
- Repetitive back and forth and some passages that could have been removed
- The gameplay is quite basic
|Favorite editor of your favorite editor since 2009, passionate about music that makes boom boom, follower of comic series of all kinds. I’ve played a little too much Pokémon in my life.|
|Follow me :|