This is an experience that will stay with you.
A Space for the Unbound is an adventure game with an incredible narrative. This game is heart warming and heart wrenching. The story delves deep into a fantastical world with creatures that feel like they come from the mind of Guillermo del Toro. Like a Guillermo del Toro story this game takes you through the wringer of grief, and the lengths one will go to in avoiding the feelings associated with it. From gripping twists and turns you become enthralled with the characters, the townspeople and the small town.
The heart of this story surrounds Atma, and Raya, two high school sweethearts as they question their futures when asked to write them down for school. Instead of taking it seriously they chose to make a bucket list of simple things to do first. Before they can really get into the bucket list, they are met with supernatural powers. Atma finds he can “space dive” into peoples minds, much like Inception, where Atma can fix the mentality of a character by helping their inner thoughts find their peace of mind. Raya’s power is much more powerful and can alter the state of reality. They both see the consequences of their powers, although Raya finds herself easily abusing her powers. It becomes a race against time as they must use their powers to stop the supernatural power that is threatening the world. To save the world they will need to help the townspeople, and in turn themselves.
The narrative will stay with you and still there is so much to love about this game. The townspeople all enrich the story, and meeting them through the different time periods you experience lets you see each charter’s growth. The pixel art in this game shines, there is so much character and personality given in such a simple art style. I love the music, it’s another example of this game going the extra mile. All of these things serve to make this game an instant classic, one that won’t be dated even if you are playing it thirty years from now.
In the first couple of chapters the game felt like an easy going adventure game, no real challenge or head scratchers. Well, that changed during the second half of the game where there are a couple of puzzles that require some thinking. The same goes with the combat. The combat is rhythm based inputs that are simple at first, but ramp up substantially. This was notably hard when trying to complete a bucket list item. For the most part I respect the increase in difficulty, it felt like the game was always able to keep you on your toes, and it never felt tiring. This game would have been amazing even without the combat, and collectables.. now I feel like it would be great to see in more adventure titles. Unlike most adventure games this is not a bite sized game it is rather lengthy, somewhere around ten to twenty hours to completion.
Every year there is a film I typically champion for the year that people should see, one that I adore and want more people to experience. A Space for the Unbound is that game I will be talking about for the rest of the year for audiences that appreciate a game like this. This game would make for an incredible twelve episode Anime or similar show. Overall, this is a game that should not be missed.
Available now on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC.