Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Game Controls Rating:
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Unmechanical is an immediately endearing puzzle game, so endearing that it’s quite easy to overlook the sometimes fiddly controls and slow loading times.
Players control a small helicopter robot as he finds himself trapped in a mysterious world. The story and general setting isn’t laid out through dialogue or text boxes, it’s simply there for others to explore and discover. Assuming that the player is intelligent enough to figure stuff out is a wise move, as it makes it all the more satisfying to be left alone to understand things. That’s not to say there aren’t hints, but these are conducted through pictograms that aren’t always as clear as they could be.
The little robot’s main way of interacting is through a tractor beam style mechanism that enables him to lift and carry things across the screen. Exploring a myriad of caves, at first, rocks are the main thing to collect but this mechanic is used for more than just ferrying stuff across the screen. One early puzzle involves pulling switches up to complete a Simon Says style puzzle, before moving onto the next sequence. Other, later puzzles, span various challenges from physics or speed based obstacles, to more lateral thinking. It’s suitably clever stuff, all the more so given how grabbing can be used for such a wide variety of uses. Some upgrades might exist, such as the use of a swimsuit, but the fundamental ways to solve the puzzles frequently remain the same while still being used in an original manner. It’s a delightful twist of imagination.
Some flaws do emerge, though. While I’m convinced that I should have unlocked achievements through Game Center, they don’t seem to be showing. More importantly, the default controls are a little fiddly. Players drag the robot around with their finger, with a tap on it to activate the mechanism. At times, it’s all too easy to accidentally turn it on or off, which can turn frustrating when transporting an item a short distance. Fortunately, there’s a joystick method of control but it does detract from the bleak visuals a little. Neither of these issues is enough to discourage players from enjoying the game but it is something to bear in mind. Despite such gripes, Unmechanical remains a very imaginative and enjoyable puzzle game.
Tagged with: $2.99, adventure, physics, puzzles, robots, Teotl Studios, Unmechanical