Review by Jack Bankhead
3D platformers are hit or miss in most cases. Maybe they have camera problems, or performance issues. Mario Odyssey is a recent example of a 3D platformer done right, so does Unbox do the trick, too? Yeah! Unbox is physics based, and a good physics based platformer at that. Why so?
The game sees you playing as the new sentient box at GPS, or Global Postal Service. Your job is to fight the Wild Cards and beat their boss. To do that, the player must collect stamps, and enough of them, to fight the boss. Some are scattered in the open environments, some you have to do little missions for. These are fun, and roaming the maps is fun, as they are very pretty and full of surprises.
You are not a ball. You are a box. Therefore, your movement isn’t smooth, it’s clunky. That does not retract from the gameplay, in my opinion. The fact that you are a box gives this game a unique element, the way you move. You can jump freely to get motion going, speed up, and have a nicer, smoother path. The other main aspect is the Unbox ability, where you can double jump up to six times. This allows you to traverse the land quickly, and without falling down a pit or water. It’s a neat mechanic, but it has a cost. If you double jump, you also remove one health. It’s an interesting balance, and it does sometimes cost.
The environments are stunning, which isn’t very surprising as it’s done in Unreal Engine 4. The first level, Paradise Islands, is absolutely vibrant and full of color. The next is a snow level that probably has some of the best snow in games I’ve seen. Wouldn’t expect that from this game, huh? Each area in the open levels are varied, as well. In recent memory, these are probably my favorite levels in a 3D platformer.
The physics module is on spot. Things can be destroyed, you can go flying off something as a box, or you can drive a car that (somewhat) works. Everything is governed by this aspect, which can make for some interesting things to happen. Luckily, the game is very polished and runs well. On the Nintendo Switch, with a recent patch, it runs absolutely great, even in handheld mode. It still has a good resolution, and still looks absolutely gorgeous. (that snow level…)
This game is good. I got it on sale, and I’d recommend you get it on sale. It is still a great game, if you want to go full price. It is, for me, one of my favorites on the Switch, but for fun, not absolute polish. Some things need work, even though the rest is great. Like the cars, they control weird. Do get it, though, at one point.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch, not provided by Merge Games