Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure (October 2017)

System:
Nintendo Switch
Publisher:
Merge Games
Developer:
Prospect Games
Series:
Indie

So, I heard Unbox was a 3D platformer with interesting mechanics and that it boasted cutesy artwork and a general joyful atmosphere. So, it’s needless to say that I was interested in this game.

Does it live up to 3D predecessors past, or does it simply flop into obscurity like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger? Check out in the review below.

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The Review

Gameplay

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

Our villains, the Wild Cards

Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure feels a lot like Super Monkey Ball Adventure, but you’re controlling a cube instead of a sphere. Most people who know about Super Monkey Ball would cringe at this explanation. Overall though, the controls work. The physics are good; perhaps too good. The problem with a physics based game like this is simply that you always feel like you’re fighting the controls.

There were times where I felt that I was trying too hard to get moving. Sometimes when I was carrying an item, the game just flat out wouldn’t let me jump with the item. More on that later.

The main feature this game touts is the Unbox ability that Newbie can perform. Newbie the little box gets an extra boost jump every time you activate the Unbox feature.

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

The car sequences were atrocious

Every time you use this jump you wittle down your life until you are down to zero. When you’re at zero, you can no longer boost jump. This is fine for balancing purposes. What I’m not OK with is that Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure periodically takes away the Unbox ability. Literally the ability the game is named off of.

There are whole segments in which the game takes away your special ability to jump, which is a pain.

Your main goal in the game is to collect stamps to progress the plot across three worlds. This can be challenging; although, the main challenges the game offers aren’t too difficult.

The difficulty comes from the Gold Tape collectibles and finding the stamps outside of the main challenges across the overworld. These are rough, but not necessary for progressing the plot.  Just skip them all together. They’re too many and too big of a pain to collect.

Overall, solid controls and physics but frustrating implementation.

Story

There is a huge amount of cube lore in Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure. Surprisingly so. So much that the game kept trying to bombard me with reasons as to why all these self-aware boxes exist. Characters would shout, “let me out and I’ll tell you about GPS” (Global Postal Service, not Global Positioning System. Trust me, it’s confusing)! Random tidbits and facts were everywhere.

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

The first level of the game.

A game like this doesn’t need an overly dramatic plot for its basis, but they did try something new. So, kudos for the originality even if it didn’t come off as that interesting.

Essentially, the game’s plot revolves around GPS which is the Global Postal Service (why they couldn’t have picked out a different acronym I’ll never know). This company created self-delivering boxes to go around the world and are now going bankrupt due to the Wild Card Gang.

The Wild Cards apparently hate GPS so much that they want to sink the entire company. So, it’s up to Newbie to stop them.

Then there’s this whole thing with aliens and whatnot. You’ll just have to see the game to understand how deep and rich the lore is however convoluted it may be.

Visuals

The game has a nice aesthetic. Unfortunately, the game is marred by lag and frame issues. There were times the game would chug. Not so much so that you couldn’t play the game, but plenty enough that it’s noticeable. It’s in that awkward medium.

The camera, though, works quite well, and I never felt like I was camera-screwed on jumps. It was responsive, and I had full control over it. Very well done.

Sound

The sound and music were pretty good. The major complaint I had was that the game had a terrible looping issue in the second worlds.

The track would loop and then you’d hear an obvious cut between the first track and the second repeat track. It happened over and over. I probably spent 2 hours in the second overworld with nothing but that terrible looping track. It was painful and very disconcerting.

So, if possible, it would be great to get that patched or fixed.

Conclusion

Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure was decent. It worked sometimes, but not without its fair share of hiccups.

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

Some of the platforming was really challenging

The graphics looked fuzzy and frames were missing due to lag, but overall it had a great style.

The sound could be improved on immensely. It’s not like anything was grating, but the skipping in loops was extremely annoying.

Overall, the game was fun, but for $29.99, it’s extremely steep, especially when you could get so many other great hits on the Switch for the same price or cheaper.

Even if you are a huge fan of 3D platforming or Monkey Ball, I’d wait until the price comes down or just buy it on Steam for $19.99 instead. It’s fun but not nearly amazing enough to warrant the huge price tag.

Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure was provided by Prospect Games for the purposes of this review. If you have questions about how we score the games that we review, check out our Review Rubric page. You can also read our Ethics Policy regarding getting and using review copies of games.

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

$29.99
Unbox: Newbie's Adventure
6.2

Gameplay

6.5/10

Story

6.0/10

Visuals

7.0/10

Sound

5.0/10

Difficulty

6.5/10

Pros

  • Solid Physics
  • Good Controls
  • Fun Box Customization
  • Cool Art Syle

Cons

  • Too short
  • Broken music loops
  • Laggy frames
  • Too Many Tapes to Collect



Skylar DeWeese

Hello, my name is Skylar DeWeese. I’m a long-time Nintendo gamer. I’m also a Video Game Composer. My favorite series are the Super Mario, Metroid, and Pokemon series.