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[Review] unExplored Unlocked Edition – Nintendo Switch

By Kieran Fifield Aug 27, 2018
dungeon

unExplored Unlocked Edition

Reviewed by KieranHappy?

Developer:  Nephilim Game Studios
Publisher: Digerati
Category: Role Playing, Adventure, Puzzle, Simulation
Release Date: 08.09.2018

Are you ready to enter the dungeon of doom?

Unexplored is a rogue like dungeon crawler on the Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review, let me explain what that means exactly.
To begin with, you create a character and enter a procedurally generated dungeon in the hope that you can make it all the way to the end in one run. You use the two analog sticks to navigate your way and the ZL and ZR triggers to use weapons and attack foes.
By making your way through the randomly created dungeon, you must make your way to the next level, with the enemies and challenges getting harder as you progress. In spite of this the weapons you acquire also improve as you progress. As is the way with rogue like games, once you die, that’s it’s. The levels are redesigned, you lose all progress and the game begins anew.
Now that we all understand the concept, the next question we need to ask is, how well does it hold up on a console that is home to the OG – The binding of Issac and the quite excellent Enter the Gungeon?
The answer to that question is very well indeed. It certainly holds its own and offers something unique.
Whereas the aforementioned titles are completely randomised, room to room, unExplored creates a link like sequence of rooms. Therefore, everything connects in a roundabout way and tries to make the game ebb and flow that little bit more.

Story

You have entered the dungeon of doom and now you must fight your way through hordes of beasts, creatures and bosses. The reason for this is simple. YOU ARE PLAYING A VIDEO GAME!!! Lighten up and enjoy the ride. The story is about as relevant as Kanye seems to be becoming. Obviously, with this game being a rogue like experience, gameplay and skill are the most relevant aspects here. In order to appreciate this game, accept that you are likely to die and lose progress, a lot.

Presentation

unExplored unlocked edition  is a fairly attractive package, if not a little rough around the edges. Everything is pleasant enough and runs very smoothly. The graphics are cutesy enough to remain easy on the eyes and the frame rate is consistently very solid. At least that was the case during the time that I spent with the game.

One of the features that the developer was very keen to promote was the adaptive soundtrack that supposedly compliments the play experience. A point overlooked, with rogue games being more than a fad and having gained actual genre status, it is surprising that more developers haven’t jumped on board with procedural music as it really does marry well to the rogue experience. Aside from this, the music is, for the most part, very good and does offer that feeling of adventure that you might associate with a Legend of Zelda or Xenoblade title.

 

Gameplay

The real bread and butter of this title, the protein of the dish if you like, is the gameplay. After all, how that holds up is paramount to an enjoyable roguelike/lite. Fortunately for  unExplored unlocked edition everything falls into place quite nicely. From the inception of your character to your inevitable perma-death, perusing the dungeon of doom is a smooth experience. By duel wielding the analog sticks and using both shoulder triggers to attack, playing the game is about as relaxed an affair as is possible for a rogue dungeon crawler. That being said it is at times tense, edgy and often quite unforgiving. As any good rogue game should be I suppose.

There are multiple difficulty levels to chose from, all of which can be accessed right from the off on the main menu. Accordingly, you will encounter more enemies and loot on higher difficulty levels, in comparison to lower levels, when you will be offered a much lighter experience. To put it another way, higher risk, higher reward.

Verdict

unExplored unlocked edition is a solid entry in the rogue genre. It’s release on Nintendo Switch puts it in the esteemed company of some absolute behemoths of the genre, however it is to unExplored’s great credit that it manages to distinguish itself so credibly from its competition. No small feat considering the quality of the opposition. With a seemingly endless amount of dungeons to explore, there is an incredible amount of replay value and some of the higher difficulty levels are nefarious to say the least.

On the other hand, it can be a little bland at times and some of the procedurally generated rooms are very dull indeed. Notwithstanding this fact, it is easy to forgive as it is very much the nature of the beast, an unavoidable side effect of infinite content.

Ultimately, for $15, there is enough on offer here to keep you busy beyond most equally priced titles.

TL;DR

Roguelite that has enough substance to offer sustenance. Unique adaptive soundtrack. Clean, if not basic presentation. Huge amount of weapons and collectables as well as an array of customisation options.

 

4/5



Buy unExplored unlocked edition for $15.00


Or for £13.49

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