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Unbound: Worlds Apart warps from frying pan to fire

A world of pain, and a parallel world of double-pain

The world is a dangerous place, as is the other, second world that the little wizard in Unbound: Worlds Apart can open portals to. Unveiled today from new studio Alien Pixel Studios, it's a vaguely Limbo-ish puzzle platformer with a dimension-hopping twist. Floppy-hatted spellcaster Soli can open bubbles of alternate reality, solving puzzles by revealing and briefly entering a second world that may be just as hostile (if not moreso) as your own. The game looks very nice already, but Alien Pixel are planning on taking it to Kickstarter next month to help finish production. Below, a debut trailer.

I do rather like the game's storybook art-style and the designs on the monsters, especially. Some of them are quite menacing for what appears to be a bloodless game, although not showing blood didn't stop Limbo from having some horrific violence. Unlike Limbo, death doesn't seem to be lurking around every unseen corner. Your ability to open up bubble-portals to the other world at least lets you see what threats are lurking there, and there's some interesting mirroring of moving objects going on to enable some potentially clever puzzles.

It looks like the game plays around with the bubbles a bit, too. In some cases they're cast a distance in front of the player. In other cases, it's a circle linked to the player's movement. I even spot a bit where the other world has reversed gravity. It's a good sign to see so many permutations on its puzzling early on. If there's one thing that sits wrong with me in the trailer, it's that the player character's movement - especially jumping - looks a little stiff. While not essential in a puzzle-heavy game, it does help if jumping feels enjoyable. Still, only a small gripe in an otherwise nice first peek.

The success of Unbound's Kickstarter (currently scheduled to start May 7th) will determine the fate of the game, but until then you can find it on Steam here.

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