The little helicopter trying to get home via your iPhone and iPad
You would be forgiven for picking up Unmechanical for the first time and thinking you already know the story. The premise of the little, lonesome character lost in a world far bigger than him is something that gamers will have come across many times in the App Store. The fact that the protagonist is a little robot and instantly your mind will jump to thoughts of Machinarium, and you won’t be far from the atmosphere and feel of that game.
Unmechanical too is a sumptuous-looking and sounding puzzle game that will test your logic, memory and physics skills within a mesmerising subterranean world that’s a mixture of the natural and mechanical. The game is laden with these puzzles, but the controls are kept simple to prevent users becoming bogged down with too many processes. Instead, there are just two controls to worry about; a single tap on the character to activate the magnetic ways used to move objects, and an interesting one-touch movement system that sees your little helicopter fly in whichever direction you touch on the screen. This is a fantastically uncomplicated way of dealing with movement, and in a 3D platformer it feels ideal, but it isn’t completely faultless. While there are obviously simplicity benefits to only have to do one thing to navigate, some of the challenges you encounter, particularly those of a physics nature, require some precision and this is lacking at times.
This though is a minor setback in what is an absorbing game for many reasons. The 3D visuals and the mechanical dystopia they depict is a place you want to explore, and clever, close-up camera framing ensures that you do that as you’ll need to fly around every corner of each area to ensure you find every piece of a particular puzzle that needs solving. The puzzles themselves are a glorious mixture of logical, step-by-step processes, as well as memorising sequences or accurately reflecting laser beams in order to open doors. Concentration is needed throughout if you want to keep moving forward, but with Unmechanical you’ll be more than happy to invest the time and attention, and you’ll be rewarded with a rich and engaging experience.
Has a lovable lead, a stunning environment and engaging gameplay.
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