Become one with the box, be the box and act like a box. Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure is a 3D platformer which has very much been a dark horse for me, I probably shouldn’t have liked it but ended up being enamoured with it at points. You play as a cardboard box, jumping and unboxing all over the place trying to collect stamps, gold tape and rescue other boxes that have been captured. Yes, I really like that I’m a box trying to collect tape and stamps, for whatever reason It’s funny okay.
Self-delivering cardboard boxes is here, it’s the ultimate postal service brought about by GPS the Global Postal Service. GPS in an effort to prevent themselves from going bankrupt have created these very much alive boxes. You take on the role of GPS’ latest creation, Newbie, your goal is to take on the Wild Cards who have done nothing but be counter-productive to the GPS cause.
Boss Wild is the leader of the Wild Cards, he and his minions are wreaking havoc wherever possible, imprisoning boxes, seeking to burn stamps and pick fights with you at every possible encounter. As you journey through the world, you encounter challenges along the way, presented by friendly NPC’s, step up to the plate and claim the stamp as your reward. Reach a certain number of stamps and you can go ahead to face Boss Wild in each area. This formula normally sees the player grind their way through to fight the baddie but with Unbox it’s different, I enjoyed exploring the world and taking on the varying challenges.
The controls aren’t necessarily intuitive, the first few minutes can be overwhelming, but it gets easier, you learn what does what and your well on your way to being an unboxing hero of the masses, of boxes. The left and right sticks are set to movement and aim respectively. My biggest issue to begin with and then sporadically throughout is getting used to moving around as this box with the speed starting off slow and then accelerating quite harshly, leading to many falls.
The left and right bumper buttons allow you to unbox and jump, unbox is effectively a double-jump, a box falls away from you and you use up a point, you have a maximum of six unbox points, once used you can no longer use that ability until you collect more. These points are spread out all over the map and respawn with minimal delay, checkpoints will also give you full points when you get to them and these are also located all around the world but to a lesser extent. It all works to create a fun experience, did I mention the checkpoints are post boxes?
Combat is hit and miss, there’s only two ways to beat up the other boxes, slam on them after a jump or throw a firework at them which you first need to obtain from a box on the ground. These boxes aren’t always available, meaning you need to try and aim your slam correctly whilst they try to attack you at the same time. It can get quite out of control to say the least.
Variety is certainly present in the missions you face along the way which helps with making the journey constantly feel fresh. Take down some baddies, maybe race against time or collect items for a fellow box, you can mix it up to play how you want to.
Visually it can be compared to the LEGO games in its worlds at least, not the characters. There’s no LEGO bricks but in terms of aesthetic and detail they are very similar games. Unbox is both clean and vibrant featuring numerous scenic views and set-pieces that make the world feel alive and lived in. Typical of a platformer, the soundtrack is charming and full of whimsy, portraying all the joy to be had. It is unfortunately generic but it fits, in both genre and with the content.
GAME DESIGN & INNOVATION: 6.5/10
Its story is absolutely crazy but it’s certainly crazy fun, I had more enjoyment out of this experience than I had expected due to the variety of missions and charm. The positive moments however are weighed down by its generic soundtrack and somewhat cumbersome controls. Setting itself apart from other platformer’s in story alone and doing little else to cement a long-lasting impression.
OVERALL: 6.5/10 – AVERAGE
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure on Xbox One, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)