Review: Unmechanical: Extended (PS4)

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Title: Unmechanical: Extended
Format: PlayStation Network Download (1.5 GB)
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Grip Digital S.R.O.
Developer: Grip Digital S.R.O. / Teotl Studios / Talawa Games
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 7
Unmechanical: Extended is also available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox One.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

In Unmechanical Extended you control a being that looks like a cross between an 80s version of a robot and something from Tim Burton’s mind. Your goal is to fly through the levels solving puzzles with the use of your tractor beam. It is an easy looking game that is deceptively hard and frustrating.

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Gameplay:
Unmechanical Extended is a souped up version of the original game. Besides the original there is an additional episode included. While the game is very short it definitely has the potential to be a leader in broken controllers per hour played. There are only three real options when you are controlling your creature: moving with the joystick, pushing triangle to get a basic hint, and every other button activates your tractor beam – you have to hold down the button to keep your tractor beam engaged though.

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Other than that you fly around each level and encounter puzzles that need to be solved. Most of these puzzles can be solved using your tractor beam by either moving objects or activating levers. The help button is helpful in the sense that it aids you in understanding the endpoint of a puzzle, but doesn’t really help with how to solve the puzzle. I would spend a lot of time trying to figure out what on the surface was a very simple puzzle. I ended up backtracking a lot either because I missed something the first time or the puzzle required me to and I’m still not sure which one is more correct.

… It can be quite frustrating …
Both episodes play the same and are worth playing, but make sure to play a new game first then go to the extended option. When I first started it I missed that and started on the extended option first thinking it was the original game plus the extra content.

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The puzzles in Unmechanical Extended range from having to play a Simon Says time game, to placing boulders on triggers, to bouncing lasers off of mirrors. Again while some of these puzzles are straightforward some of them take awhile to figure out all the steps you need to do in order to complete them. It can be quite frustrating when you see what is supposed to happen but can’t figure out how to make it happen, similar to a sliding puzzle. When you do solve a tough puzzle you do feel a great sense of accomplishment though.

… a million beautiful things going on in it …
Visuals:
Having to go back through levels or staring at the screen trying to figure out a puzzle allowed me to truly appreciate all the time and effort that went into the backgrounds and ambience of the game. The world is very much alive and it was a delight seeing all the things moving around in the background.

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Unmechanical Extended is a beautiful game. This is a non-AAA game that you will want to show off to your friends. Each section of the game has a million beautiful things going on in it, so much so that doubling back over a section will reveal new something new to see. The shadow effects and lighting are among the best I have seen. This game doesn’t try to do too much which is why the visuals are so impressive, if that makes any sense.

Audio:
The audio of Unmechanical Extended is great. The ambient sounds in the game are among the best I have ever encountered. From objects banging into things to the hum of your tractor beam, this game delivers. I am also amazed at how some of the subtle sounds really drew me into the game.

… sometimes it is good to push yourself …
From the dripping sound of water to the echo from two objects clanging into each other, there is a rich sound world. More expansive games could really take a lesson from this one. I would highly recommend the use of headphones or your surround sound for this game if you normally don’t use them.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

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Conclusion:
Unmechanical Extended is fun game to play but it can be highly frustrating. While most of the puzzles are easy to figure out, some may cause you to throw your controller in a fit of rage. To me the most frustrating part was when I was trying to solve a puzzle and couldn’t see the end result of what I was supposed to do and hitting the hint button just showed me end result which was very obvious. Even though Unmechanical Extended was difficult it is worth the purchase because sometimes it is good to push yourself and overcome a difficult task.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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