To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

A Space for the Unbound review: 2D magic comes alive

A Space for the Unbound review: 2D magic comes alive

Tearing through

Two storytellers are working through an idea. The two youngsters - teenagers at most - exist in a 2D, pixel art-esque world. The journey ahead of them may not be easy or straightforward, but there’s a clear love of fantasy among the duo and their imagination is what drives A Space for the Unbound.

See the trailer for A Space for the Unbound here

Our player character Atma is a high school student in Indonesia. Atma wakes from a dream, to find he’s dating Raya, a fellow student who possesses the magical ability to alter reality. Together, they embark upon a day to remember, aiming to complete goals on their collective bucket list, although Atma is struggling to adjust back to this apparent reality following his dream and his fellow storyteller from it.

Gameplay is chiefly down to roaming the delightful, 2D in-game world, talking to NPCs and searching for items and befriending a number of cats. Accompanied by a warming, gentle soundtrack, this pixelated paradise is a charming place to be sure.

A Space for the Unbound /
Toge Productions

However, the calm is soon interrupted when Raya’s supernatural skills cause havoc, and the apparent fabric of existence is threatened. Not quite the day Atma had in mind, but definitely one to remember. Or is it?

Without going much further into the story in order to avoid spoilers, of course, Atma finds only more confusion and uncertainty as things progress, leading to an emotionally-driven tale that touches on heavy feelings.

A Space for the Unbound /
Toge Productions

Unfortunately, A Space for the Unbound hasn’t quite gripped me as I would expect. It’s clear that the weight of the story requires the player to invest wholeheartedly, but something about it restricted me to the role of touching from a distance. I can see the potential impact but I can’t feel it adequately, but this could be a problem on my behalf. It’s impossible to say.

There are some gameplay issues that irk me, though. There’s plenty of repetition in A Space for the Unbound, with backtracking required at several points to progress the plot.

There are also minigames that require beating if you’re aiming for 100% completion, and none of them are a particular joy in their own right. One specifically, a fighting game-inspired segment, is a case of inputting commands on a screen within a time limit, and I just felt annoyed by it instead of rewarded. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s only a minigame within an indie title, but it was devoid of the charm normally associated with the genre it’s based on.

A Space for the Unbound /
Toge Productions

Despite my issues, I’ve enjoyed taking in the world of A Space for the Unbound. The vibrant visuals, the dainty music, and the many cat friends that line the streets all combine to deliver a unique experience on both PC (via Steam) and Nintendo Switch, although I mainly played the former.

While it’s far from perfect, I can safely recommend A Space for the Unbound to anyone looking for a cosy indie title with real emotional weight imbued within.

Pros: gorgeous visuals and soundtrack, charming world, cats

Cons: repetitive, story could be more gripping, minigames aren’t great

For fans of: Stray, Coffee Talk, When the Past was Around

7/10: Very Good

A Space for the Unbound is out now on PC and Nintendo Switch (versions tested), as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Xbox consoles. Code provided by the publisher. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Toge Productions

Topics: PC, Nintendo Switch