What is Unbox?
Unbox: Newbie's Adventure is a light-hearted platforming adventure, which sees players take on the role of 'Newbie', the latest in a long line of prototype self-delivering cardboard boxes, developed to try and save an ailing delivery service from bankruptcy due to lost post. As part of your training for the big bad world out there, you'll need to hop, roll and slam your way through three worlds chock full of challenges, collectables and a troublesome band of rebellious boxes known as the 'Wild Cards'.
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How do you play Unbox?
Each of Unbox's three worlds are huge, open areas, with friendly boxes dotted around offering unique missions for you to try. Whether it's helping the permanently-depressed Mope round up his dropped mops from a snowy mountainside, delivering Gnash's 'strongly worded letter' to a fellow cardboard character, or climbing a precarious radio tower to fetch Thud's forgotten hard hat, there's plenty to do - not forgetting the 200 reels of collectible golden tape scattered around each world for you to find.
Getting from A to B in Unbox is a simple matter of rolling yourself along the ground, timing your jumps to clear small gaps, and making good use of your special 'Unbox' ability when you need to go further. Much like a double jump, 'Unboxing' lets you shed one of your skins (like a cardboard Matryoshka doll) to jump up to six times in a row. Great for getting up high cliffs, across an open expanse of sea, or to make it to a particularly hard to reach collectable, mastering the 'Unbox' move is key to your adventure. Another handy move is your 'slam' attack, which lets you smash down on the ground following a jump, to create a shockwave that damages nearby enemies and destructible objects - especially handy when you're taking on the final boss box of each world.
How easy is Unbox to pick up and play?
In terms of overall difficulty, Unbox: Newbie's Adventure is towards the easier end of the platforming scale, with generous checkpoints, no lives to worry about and generally simple missions to complete. The odd mission does pit you against a time limit - usually when you need to collect up a certain number of speedboat parts, mops or the like - meaning you can sometimes find yourself running out of time searching for the last couple of pick ups, but for the most part, this pretty easy to get into. If anything, it's combat that provides the biggest challenge, with the aforementioned slam attack being a little on the unpredictable side, mostly due to the somewhat erratic rolling of you and your enemies (because cubes don't really roll straight…). While it's not really a big deal in the main game, it means some of the higher pressure boss fights may take a few attempts.
For the youngest of players, a strong reading ability is required, as Unbox is entirely unvoiced. As your mission objectives are relayed entirely through text, you can't really fumble through the game without them.
- "Bounce needs you to collect Stamps to complete your training and defeat Boss Wild! You can find stamps by completing challenges or finding hidden ones scattered around the island."
- "Move through the cave, dodge the buzzsaws and flames and find that switch!"
- "QD needs help retrieving the Engine Parts from the Greasers. Dodge shots and help get that speedboat started!"
Unbox is a pretty family friendly little title, without no blood and gore, no bad language and no sexual content. What little violence there is is exceedingly slapstick, as the cardboard box characters slam into each other or shoot fireworks at each other, with defeated 'enemy' boxes collapsing on the ground with a ring of rubber ducks circling their head, before they disappear in a puff of smoke.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4