Unbox (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 06.09.2016

Review for Unbox on PC

3D platformers are always going to get some flack. The cameras are hard to program in an accurate way, though in the last few, developers have really learned how to rectify that. Character movement is often erratic and unpredictable, though designers have learned their lessons in that regard, as well. Unfortunately, Unbox clearly missed those classes.

Unbox is a pretty game, at the very least. While the world looks fairly realistic, the cartoony box characters look like living version of Walmart smiley stickers. They fill the world with goofy character and feel like the best kind of 3D characters from the 3D platformer heyday. The world feels somewhat minute, however, as each area is very clearly a level, and never feels like it's part of a larger world. This is critical to the level design of any good platformer, but here it feels like a lot of work was put into tricking the player into believing each area is part of something bigger.

It would be okay if each level felt cohesive when it came to gameplay, but the gameplay here is mostly confusing and inherently frustrating. In the first few moments, it's clear that controlling your box is going to handle similarly to driving on ice. Every movement is dramatically wild, making small jumps into huge vaults. This could easily be taken care of by adjusting the sensitivity, but that just makes it easier to watch the box be hard to control.

Screenshot for Unbox on PC

The first thing the player must learn is how to "unbox" properly. This acts like a double jump that the player can do up to six times. They need to have collected a certain amount of unbox power-ups, which, as early as the tutorial mission, are too convoluted to use properly. It feels like they are set up early on to mimic survival horror ammo drops, but this is taken too far, and it makes the game almost unplayable. Later on, the jumps are readily available, but it doesn't help prevent a lot of the poor controls-related deaths.

It seems like the developer wants players to feel elation and surprise at how the simple premise is so exhilarating. All around each world are a myriad of tasks to be completed. These range from races, shooting, and traversing platforming sections. There's actually some fun to be had here depending on how high your expectations are. An early lesson has players trying to escape an “unbreakable” cage, only to find that the solution is practically handed to them. This game might be super engaging as a family multiplayer title, but those looking for extreme challenge will be lost here.

Really, the depth is only hindered by the controls, though the hindrance is high. Despite rather lengthy load times, it's hardly in the realm of the longest waits of all time. Unbox also has a tendency to interfere with your progress if you're confused. An early example is found shortly after the tutorial, when the game points the player in one direction, and then scolds them for heading that way. It's likely a minor technical problem, but it compounds the controller issue indefinitely.

Screenshot for Unbox on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


It's obvious there's something here in Unbox people may find entertaining. Even with the clunky controls, there's little nuggets of fun to be found in this throwback to 90s platforming wonders. It's just clear that it also brings a lot of the frustrations of that era with it. It's a bit late in the gaming industry to still be figuring out 3D controls, but if you can look past it, there is enjoyment to be had here, after all.






3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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