Unepic (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 28.01.2018

Review for Unepic on Nintendo Switch

An evening playing D&D with friends takes a surreally strange turn for Daniel when he takes a bio break and suddenly the lights go out. It's not a prank from his friends, as he realises when he finds his lighter and sparks it up. The bathroom is gone and in its place is a grim fantasy castle filled with orcs and skeletons, goblins and dark spirits. One of these dark spirits tries to body-snatch him and he ends up with a dark passenger whispering in his ear and also spewing exposition as Daniel explores the castle, trying to find a way home.

Daniel's trip through the castle follows a simple enough formula; there are eight Guardians, each holding a key. To reach the top of the tower, where the dark master is waiting, Daniel has to overcome each Guardian in turn and then complete the subsequent area their key opens. His journey takes him through a mine filled with goblins, a crypt of the undead, a lab full of golems and machines, and plenty more. The Guardians provide fun little boss fights that on harder difficulties offer up genuine challenges. There's a giant Medusa head with a petrifying stare, a huge scythe throwing reaper, and a gigantic Beholder, amongst others.

Screenshot for Unepic on Nintendo Switch

Unepic is heavily inspired by old-school dungeon-crawlers and that may be off-putting for some. Just glancing at screenshots shows a cluttered and messy experience. Even on PC and Wii U, the system looked like it would be a mess to play, with overloaded menus stuffed with too many items, an RPG stat system with too many attributes to play with, and huge amounts of hotkey shortcuts. It looks like porting this to Switch would result in a game that was awkward and unintuitive to play. However, it's quite the opposite. The face buttons give the expected actions of attack, jump, action key and a map. Then, any weapons, items, spells and special abilities can be mapped to a face button while either trigger or both trigger buttons are held down. It all works rather well.

When it comes to the actual gameplay, it masters emulating the old-school classics. It's very basic. Run and jump around some areas. Light some lamps to reveal each section of the map and defeat a boss to progress. What keeps Unepic interesting, though, are the extra side-quests and activities within this world. There are NPCs scattered in every zone that will give various quests; the usual stuff of collection quests, set targets to kill and platforming sections. These will reward a few coins or a rare piece of equipment, occasionally even giving special items like pets that will follow Daniel around. These become very helpful, each with a unique skill that helps against specific enemy types. A baby fire-breathing dragon makes quick work of ice enemies, a floating frog head eats up enemy bats and bugs, and a little planet keeps Daniel going with healing spells.

Screenshot for Unepic on Nintendo Switch

Speaking of spells, one of the best side activities involves hunting down giant golden boxes. There's one in each area and each has a task for Daniel to complete, with each rewarding him with a new form of magic he can level up - various destructive elemental magic, along with healing, teleportation, and buffing spells, all to level up and learn. There are also little challenges hidden around that reward UN points that can be used to buy some completely out of character items, like laser guns and pet starships.

Regardless of what distinctive zone is being explored, there is one thing that remains the same in each: the comedy. The game is obsessed with pop culture references and while it often gets excessive to the point of tiresome, there are some genuinely funny moments. Geek culture is the usual go to, with tons of references to Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Men, Evil Dead, and many more. Players of the PC version will notice some censorship to the language in the writing, though, with this Nintendo port removing some of the prolific F-bombs scattered throughout.

Screenshot for Unepic on Nintendo Switch

There's easily 20 hours or so playtime and there are three different endings to see, too. Towards the tail end of the adventure, there is a room with the recurring Yoda-esque character and three chests. Each chest contains an item that establishes the ending. Sadly, after completion, continuing the game does not return to before this choice to see the other two and instead starts just before the final boss encounter. It is poor design and it is unlikely players will want to play through the entire game every time to see each ending, especially when it's lacking a New Game+ mode. There are, at least, four different difficulty modes, with Hard++ offering a heck of a challenge.

Screenshot for Unepic on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Unepic is deliciously old-school and thoroughly addictive, but it feels like a snapshot of an earlier time and, as such, those who have never experienced the games that this is a love-letter to may find it hard to get on with. The writing is very hit and miss - mostly miss - but it tells a decent enough story, until its final act and the horrible endings… Ultimately, a fun but flawed experience.

Developer

unepic_fran

Publisher

unepic_fran

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo

There are 1 members online at the moment.