Unexplored is a wonderful little top down title from developer Ludomotion. On the surface it appears much like the vast majority of roguelite dungeoneering games but a little playtime begins to reveal it’s more charming elements and a lot more playtime finds you fully engaged in your quest. In a game where death comes suddenly and easily, you still feel a desire to push on and continue to delve deeper into the dungeon, exploring the different dungeon layouts that are generated each run and experiencing the different enemies that game may choose to throw at you during one run but hide from you the next. Your little character obtains new items, gains strength and encounters ever more enemies and traps as you progress in this deceptive little dungeoneering experience.
Essentially simple in it’s gameplay, Unexplored is very easy to get the hang of but tricky to be good at. The menus and instructions are all very clear and figuring out how the simple puzzle systems work is intuitive, but allowing your guard to drop for even a minute, or moving forward slightly too eagerly will result in your untimely demise. Finding your way around is simple enough with the well constructed map, allowing you to locate some of the trickier to spot doorways and work out how to make your way through the more complicated levels.
The controls feel a little floaty and the combat is quite basic, but each weapon does feel very different, allowing you to insert variety into your playstyle as you often find yourself encouraged to tackle different enemies a different way depending on their attacks, their numbers or their general strength. The enemy AI remains similar across the various enemies but due to the enemy design the game manages to successfully make each fight feel different, assisting in maintaining the intrigue.
The only significant drawback is that the game starts to experience substantial stuttering at seemingly random points every so often. This isn’t ideal but tends to happen after a little while of playtime and will likely differ between different PCs.
With a simple but effective visual art style, Unexplored delivers a light hearted appearance while still achieving an ominous feeling as the player progresses through each level. Dark and light areas suddenly reveal dangers and spring unexpected enemies on you with the colour palette being vibrant and muted in the correct places to highlight important elements or conceal things that may threaten the existence of your adorable one eyed hero.
The music is absolutely fantastic. A perfect level of subtly that enhances the feel of the game and compliments the atmosphere while also being a soundtrack that you could happily listen to outside the game. An extremely successful soundtrack that provides each level of the dungeon with enjoyable background music which at no point feels repetitive or annoying.
Unexplored is a fabulous little game that can easily hold a players attention for multiple runs or be easily dipped in and out of between other activities. Strangely easy to relax with yet still offering a challenge, Ludomotion have created a game that is sufficiently different to others in it’s genre, but haven’t tried to overstretch any concepts. A really fun experience that’s well worth your while.