A Space for the Unbound, the tried and true of an Indonesian adventure that blends Inception and the 90s

A Space for the Unbound, the tried and true of an Indonesian adventure that blends Inception and the 90s

A Space for the Unbound

The eastern independent videogame scene is increasingly active, with emerging markets ready to have their say and bring new and interesting works all over the world. An example is a game from Indonesia that we got to try: A Space for the Unbuond, a slice-of-life narrative adventure.

Chapter Zero

Atma e his friend writer The demo of A Space for the Unbound offers us two chapters, the Zero and the One. In the first, we discover our protagonist, Atma, a high school-age boy. The setting is the late nineties and we are in Indonesia. The young man is a friend of a little girl, an aspiring writer who is trying to complete her first illustrated story.

Atma is there to help her and to do so she also uses the "Red Book", an object that allows her to enter people's souls and help them overcome some kind of block, such as the fear of writing and being laughed at. The first chapter explains the basics of the gameplay, extremely simple. A Space for the Unbound is a side-scrolling narrative adventure and it doesn't ask us to do much other than find the object to use in the right place in order to continue with the plot.

We must secretly get out of school ? Just pick up a rope in the only open room in the building to scale the back wall. Do we need to be able to climb onto the roof of a house? We just passed a ladder. Even if we are only at the beginning, we can already imagine that A Space for the Unbound will not be particularly complex or even just layered from the point of view of pure gameplay.

But we are sure that this game wants to focus above all on the plot and on its characters. Already in the demo we are faced with many events and many intriguing characters. At the end of Chapter Zero, for example, our Atma falls into a river and sinks into darkness and begins to have visions. Is the young man dying?

Chapter One

Raya, Atma's fiancée The passage to Chapter One changes the cards on the table. Atma wakes up and reveals that what happened in Chapter Zero was a dream. Perhaps. The first person we see, in fact, is Raya, a girl who introduces herself as our girlfriend. However, Atma has no memory of what is happening to him and only remembers a strange dream in which Raya was present.

From there, a slice-of-life game phase begins, during which the two young people behave like sweethearts, but something doesn't add up. Atma finds the Red Book of her dream and Raya often behaves strangely, disappearing in an impossible way and, even if the protagonist does not realize it, using what appear to be magical or reality-controlling powers, for example by making gods appear. money in Atma's pockets or, in the end, saving him from a fall from a tree that probably would have proved deadly.

This two-stage prologue suggests that there is much hidden behind the events of A Space for the Unbound and the impression is that the loving and sweet Raya is actually a negative character. Certainly, the game will not limit itself on a thematic level: the authors say that the story will be about the difficulties in overcoming anxiety and depression, with a touch of magic in between.

Rural Indonesia

One of the environments of A Space for the Unbound However, it is not only the plot that intrigues, but also the context. As mentioned, the setting is Indonesia in the late nineties, precisely a rural and poor area, where everyday life is dominated by a military regime and economic difficulties. entice you to explore, talk to passers-by and interact with all the objects on the screen, to discover new details about this world that is far and unknown to us. Indonesia is not a common setting in video games, and for that alone, A Space for the Unbound has caught our attention.

It also helps that the pixel art graphics are of high quality, with environments full of visual details. Just a couple of chapters are not enough to confirm the final quality of the work, but if the level should never be lower than what we have seen, we would be faced with a game with a more than valid technical and artistic sector.

A Space for the Unbound is a narrative adventure that focuses heavily on plot and little on raw gameplay. First impressions are more than positive, especially thanks to an original setting, intriguing characters and pleasantly detailed graphics. The game mechanics seem limited, with only a few interactions here and there that require no effort or reasoning: we will have to understand in the full game whether this will be a limit or not.


Original setting Intriguing characters and storyline DOUBT Gameplay is (deliberately) limited Have you noticed any errors?

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