"Unmechanical", possibly a strange name for a game where a robot is the lead, or is it?
A 2.5D side-scroll puzzler focused on a cute little robot who finds himself all alone in a mechanical underworld. The objective is, you guessed it, escape the underworld. That seems to be the plot and the titles point of origin, a robot who wants to escape the mechanical.
The story isn't told in-game, you figure it out yourself as you play the game, solving puzzles. There are no cutscenes, just you helping a lost robot get to freedom. There is however certain events that appear now and then in-game. Not feeling too connected with the primary robot at first, due to the lack of information and cutscenes, but as you move along the journey to freedom, you begin to like him more and more, and your motivation comes from feeling sorry for him. In the end you will solve puzzle after puzzle to get this fella to freedom.
The lack of cutscenes and information also adds to the creepy atmosphere, you are all alone (or are you?) in this creepy mechanical world, and all you have are machines holding you back. The game's sound effects and soundtrack deliver a foreboding sense in the player. It's not scary music but it certainly lets you know you are alone. Be aware that the game comes with a couple of endings depending on a certain choice you make in the end. A nice little bonus feature, and certainly worth going back to see both.
The controls are really easy and it can basically be played with one hand if you please to. You do not get any instructions about the controls, but it will take only a moment to find out how everything works, so no problems there.
However, this does not mean the game itself is easy. The puzzles start simply enough, to get you used to the controls, but at later stages things become a lot more complicated and you see yourself trying various approaches to find out how you should solve it. I haven't found myself (not a massive puzzle player, just having a decent brain) hopelessly lost on any puzzle though, so the difficulty doesn't go up to a crazy level. This being said, I think the game is aimed at the casual puzzle player audience.
I think the game is meant to be played on a phone, iPod or old laptop on holiday, as I wasnt hugely motivated to start the game up for a second running. But you shouldn't take too much time between your gaming sessions as some puzzles require knowledge gained from your previously solved puzzles, or you might even need a piece from the previous puzzle(s). Due to this your memory is tested aswell, to a certain extent (I'm known for having a pretty bad memory, but with using common sense I did solve everything in the end).
The puzzles are varied, so you won't get bored. Some are based on similar concepts with regards to how to solving them, but the journey on finding the solution may well be totally different. Most of the time you know what you are supposed to do, even though it can be quite complicated. The game somehow pushes you into the right direction in a maze of puzzles, which I found done extraordinary well. And if you actually might be stuck now and then, there is a "help option" you can bring up, by pressing "F1". You will get a think cloud above the robots head which sketches what you should be doing. Sounds like cheating? Maybe, but its sketched pretty hazy and it does a good job at pushing you into the right direciont. And in the end, its your choice to use it!
Then on to the looks of the game: the graphics! As I mentioned earlier, the game is 2.5D, meaning its a 2D game with scenery in the back and front, but you cannot get to it, its just there for the looks. The game has a cartoony style, but the environment has quite abit of detail for a 2.5D game, and the game is pretty light to run. I think the style fits the game, and the graphics are above expectation for such a game.
As of right now the game is only available on PC, Ipad2 and iPhone 4s, but they have intentions to bring it to more platforms such as the consoles, and they are working to get it out for android and mac. They also have ideas about DLC, but only time will tell if it will actually release.
To wrap it up: this is a good looking 2.5D puzzle game, with a dark vibe, which really comes into its own the more you play. It's easy to pick up and the puzzles get harder along the way, but dont frustrate. The story is simple but cute, with a couple of endings.
If you are looking for a solid puzzle game to take on a trip, definitely give Unmechanical a try!