Thursday, March 21, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - UNABLES On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch game UNABLES, developed for consoles by Forever Entertainment.

From the eShop page, i mostly knew how this was going to work. It reminded me of puzzle games back in the PS3 era, in a good way. I wanted to play the demo as i was curious just how well it would actually control.

There are two ways to control the game, the default is via the analogue sticks and there's an optional gyroscope (motion controls) mode. i stuck with the default but there were no options to finely tune them. with motion controls, you can tune the sensitivity. but there's nothing for the default. i personally found them to be too sensitive and not offering fine controls. the first couple of stages can be a bit of a blur because of how fast the camera is moving and swinging around the stage.

I can imagine it'll get easier with time, but this demo only offered 3 stages. each one awards stars for completing tasks in each level. I'm not a fan of these sort of games, gatekeeping the game behind ability seems like a waste of game. especially when you get stuck like i did. i couldn't do the final stage of the demo. i did enjoy the other two, but if i'm getting stuck so early on i worry that i won't be able to complete the first set of levels as i wouldn't get enough stars. there doesn't seem to be a way to play the locked levels in easy mode either. so if i can't progress and i can't play them in easy mode, my guess would be i'd stop playing. Even the demo locked the second and third stages behind star requirements!

Each of the three stages looked very different from each other and what we had to do in them were very different. in the first stage, our goal was to interact with the environment in very simple ways. but in the second stage we  had to interact with our opponent and the referee. The third stage was the most difficult as we had to manipulate a victim across their crime scene. The problem i had more than once was that if the victim gets to their chalk outline, nothing else interacts with them. but i still had a tommy gun and no idea what to do with it. the level didn't finish until i told it to or until the time ran out.

But that incident highlighted that this is a tough puzzle game. there is no hint system and seemingly there is a correct order to solves the puzzles in. I enjoyed the idea behind it but i wanted to play this casually. the ramp up in puzzle difficulty was far too steep even for this demo. i appreciate the creativeness and ideas in each level, but it does feel like difficulty became even more difficult for them to manage. after playing the demo i feel like i wouldn't be able to progress and i would get frustrated that level design got in the way of the puzzle.

UNABLES is a great looking game and i did enjoy the music. i recommend people try out the demo, it does a good job of getting the puzzle ideas across and what is possible. But as for the getting the game, i could only recommend it for those who like a challenging puzzle game and play for that challenge and not for those who play puzzle games casually.