A Space for the Unbound is a touching adventure game from Mojiken, Toge Productions, and Chorus Worldwide. This is a title that I only learned about during an Indie World Showcase last year, and at first, it did not catch my eye. However, upon playing it, I immediately knew there was something special here, and I could not put my controller down.
So is A Space for the Unbound a title worthy of your time and money? Umm… spoiler alert, it absolutely is! Let me tell you why.
A Space for the Unbound is a narrative-heavy game that takes place in Indonesia in the 1990s and follows a boy and a girl living life. The title is laced with mental health issues, and the way it is all communicated is beautiful despite the dark overtones and intense themes at times. This is about overcoming anxiety and depression, and in the world we live in today, it is a breath of fresh air to play something that touches on these topics while also holding onto the player’s attention with a solid story and characters.
Another wonderful thing about A Space for the Unbound is that it does take place in Indonesia, and a lot of the culture is on display here. Whether that is through the school, out in the open, with the military, and so much more, it is so important for all of us to learn about other places around the world and how they function. A Space for the Unbound does exactly that in such a magical way, and touching up on relational issues, life’s stresses, and cultural problems, among other things, gives this game so much more substance.
Gameplay is relatively simple, as you walk around and explore, most of the time continuing the story requirements to move on. It is a rather chill experience, and I think that is why the story shines even more, as the focus can remain on what is happening around you instead of losing track of the main elements and getting lost in the gameplay. This is a narrative title, and it is an important one. Following what is happening in these two people’s lives is a tough one, but it is also natural.
A Space for the Unbound has a lot of puzzles and hidden items to solve and find, which adds a lot to the experience. There is even a lovely checklist for all of your objectives and collectables, and the red book you carry around serves as a great menu for all the necessary things for the game. There are even some quick time events, silly quizzes, and other mini-games, and in addition to all of that, there are cats all over the place that would love to be petted and named. For cat-lovers, this is fantastic!
When it comes to the visuals, A Space for the Unbound is beautiful. A simple 16-bit style art style that is so well detailed despite the seeming limitations. The characters are all oozing with personality, and the world itself feels so alive. Even though it is all pixelated, it is easy to understand that you are in Indonesia by the wonderful design and presentation.
The soundtrack is quite pleasant, too, and it helps to maintain the relaxing mood that the game exudes. Although some of the themes and dialog cover some heavy topics, A Space for the Unbound is still a relaxing game for the most part, and the music does a fantastic job of carrying that mood. This is a narrative-heavy game, as I mentioned before, which does mean that text boxes take over the screen frequently. Thankfully, they are pleasant to read and usually share the feelings of the speaker in simple-to-understand ways.
A Space for the Unbound is a pleasant experience on Nintendo Switch. It may not be the longest title and some of the puzzles may be a bit tedious in regards to fetching for materials, but the topics covered and the lovely story at hand give so much value to this one.
At the end of the day, narrative games need to tell a story, and that is where A Space for the Unbound shines. Titles that do not shy away from difficult topics can be powerful, like What Comes After and Celeste, as they challenge the status quo and bring to light things that are often missed and neglected.
As the game suggests, if you are struggling in any way, please seek professional help. If you need help understanding and empathizing with the plight of those suffering, I cannot recommend A Space for the Unbound enough. It is truly amazing.
A Space for the Unbound Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games
Developer: Mojiken, Toge Productions
Release Date: January 19th, 2023
Price: $19.99, £17.99, €19,99
Game Size: 2.8 GB
Excellent story with relatable characters
Covers heavy themes in a lovely way
A little on the short side
Some objectives can be tedious
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.