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It's Actually Quite Large: Unepic

Torches are there to be lit, not whipped, which is a welcome concession to realism

Spanish developer Francisco Téllez de Meneses makes me feel like less of a man with his splendiferous appellation but I’ve managed to put those feelings of inadequacy aside while trying out the demo for Unepic, the Metroidvania style indie title he’s been developing for the last two years. Several people seemed to think this would be my kind of thing, emailing me and demanding that I give it a shot. Francisco describes it as “a mixture of platform game, role game and joke”, all of which are things I’m fairly sure I enjoy. The actual exploration aspect is shaping up particularly well, with lots of loot, a smattering of side quests and a big old castle to map out. Demo link below.

There you go. A demo. The full game will set you back between €6.5 and €19.5, depending entirely on how generous you’re feeling. I’ve only played the demo, although that’s as much for lack of time as anything. I’m a sucker for exploring dingy castles and it’ll probably get me into trouble with the National Trust some day.

The visuals are decent enough, although everything feels a little too small making it hard to see darker enemies as they can blend with the background, particularly the pesky bats which have been the death of me several times. I hate being killed by bats; it seems like such an unlikely way to go but happens to me so often.

The plot, involving a tabletop roleplaying session gone awry, allows for plenty of self-referential gags, and they come thick and fast but mostly fall a bit flat, perhaps because something’s missing in the translation from Spanish. That said, there are few glaring errors and where there are grammatical slip-ups, they’re slight and never hurt the meaning.

There is a reliance on simply referencing games and characters rather than doing anything clever with those references, but there’s something quite charming about the simplicity of it. Man is trapped in game world and proceeds to ridicule it. It feels a bit like one of several webcomics I used to procrastinate with at university. Not particularly clever but it’s made me smile a couple of times and it’s good natured and jolly, even when the protagonist is filling the air with expletives.

Worth a look and the demo is big enough to allow an honest appraisal as to whether the full version is worth your hard-earned.

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Adam Smith

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