There are such games, immersed in which you forget about gameplay flaws, modest graphics and monotonous mechanics. They take your soul with their story, piercing and fascinating. You don’t need to go far for examples – just remember To the Moon or Coffee Talk. In 2023, A Space for the Unbound from Indonesian studio Mojiken joined the list of such games. Let’s share our impressions of the project in the review.
- Developer: Mojiken
- Publisher: Toge Productions
- Release date: January 19, 2023
The game takes place in Indonesia in the 90s, and the main character is a schoolboy named Atma, who meets his classmate Raya. The teenagers spend time together, go to the movies, make a house for a stray cat, write down their dreams and desires in a special notebook – in general, enjoy their youth.
But there is a nuance: both protagonists possess supernatural powers. Atma carries with her a mysterious red diary with the help of which she can penetrate people’s minds and help them deal with their troubling thoughts. Raya can do much more than that: she can freeze time if she wants to, she can extract objects straight out of thin air, and much more. Of course, having contacted such a power, they will have to face the consequences, and the heroes will soon find out that the reality around them is not so cloudless as it seems at first glance.
The scenario skillfully combines ordinary and supernatural events, where the themes of depression, bullying, anxiety and other not the most pleasant phenomena are also intertwined – which, by the way, the game honestly warns about at the very beginning. However, there is a place for both humor and romance, so, as in real life, the player is waiting for emotional swings, where the mood of what is happening on the screen can change many times during the eight hours that takes the passage.
And if the plot of A Space for the Unbound is all right: it is exciting and keeps you in suspense until the very end, which is quite heartbreaking; but the gameplay is not so clear. The game mechanics themselves are good: the project is an adventure with a side view, in which the protagonist explores locations, communicates with NPCs, collects collectibles and solves simple puzzles. There are QTE-fights, tests for intelligence and reaction speed, even stealth missions. Mini-games are rarely repeated, do not have time to get bored, and, although they do not present a serious challenge, they dilute the numerous dialogs.
The problem is that many of the errands stretch the passage time too far. The protagonist is repeatedly forced to run all over the town for some insignificant reasons, to perform tasks like “go fetch”, to collect conditional “five wolf skins”, and so on. It’s quite annoying, especially when you want to move on with the story, and the game artificially slows down the adventure. As a result, a good half of the gameplay could be thrown out of the title, and it would only become more interesting.
However, if you endure the project’s protractedness, you won’t regret it. A Space for the Unbound charms with its pixelated picture, immersion in a culture alien to us, sticky soundtrack, chemistry between the characters, and an exciting story that you want to watch till the end. If you like story-driven adventures in the spirit of the aforementioned To the Moon, don’t miss the opportunity to get acquainted with a wonderful game from Mojiken.