UnExplored for the Nintendo Switch Review: Exploring Roguelites

UnExplored  for the Nintendo Switch Review

When it comes to indie games, it seems the most popular genre to create is roguelites and roguelikes. It’s a genre I adore, but the market is overly crowded. Enter a new challenger: UnExplored. Featuring “award-winning procedural generation”, the game presents cohesive levels, down to the puzzles without sacrificing the randomly generated levels. This kind of procedural generation is an incredible feat, but how does it stack otherwise?

UnExplored is controlled with both control sticks and the trigger buttons for the most part. You may forget the game can be used with both control sticks, but you’ll want to remember it when it becomes tougher. The game doesn’t have a steep difficulty curve, you’ll be able to make it down a few floors before dying even on the first few runs. This is a blessing for those who have trouble with roguelite games as a whole. If roguelites are hard for you, UnExplored may click.

Combat involves mostly melee weapons. With both hands, you can hold a sword and shield, two swords, a magical staff and whip, or whatever you find and fancy. Weapons either work differently or have different properties. For example, some may spin around you, others will throw, and some will stab. You may gravitate towards different weapons, like I did, but you must find them first. After using a weapon, there is a recharge time before you can use it again. Missing your attack can leave you wide open to enemies. 

The levels are intriguing. The levels don’t feel handcrafted, but as for the feel of it, UnExplored features a much more complex system than other roguelites. Puzzles will often have an answer simply randomly generated. If there’s a locked door there will be a key. In case you do get stuck, there is an option to “pray for help”. With this function, the game will teleport your character out of the room your in. As you go further in the game, the procedural generation begins to have trouble. For me this was rare, but it instances happened when I simply couldn’t progress.

The menu system is a little off. The buttons that control the menu are confusing, and while the bottom of the screen tells you what each button does, the menu system doesn’t feel natural. Perhaps with mouse and keyboard on PC the menu system works as intended, but I ran into a lot of frustrating menu moments.

There are other kinds of runs you can choose before you start. One is Mithril Run, where you collect as much money as you can. Another is Ripley Run, where you take on as many enemies as you can. Then there’s The Dark Ritual Run where you take on cultists trying to summon monsters. I played these and they weren’t vastly different, nor were they more fun than another. 

Some people mention the art style and note how it’s not “dark or gloomy”. I am okay with this. In fact, I’d prefer a less creepy art style over a creepy one. UnExplored also has a soundtrack I quite like. Sometimes the music is out of place, but I still enjoyed it.

UnExplored welcome to the list of “good roguelites” but there comes a few problems such as generation issues. The procedural generation is definitely incredible, but it’s not as addicting as say Enter The Gungeon. If you’re a roguelite lover, pick up UnExplored. If not, shy away. It still is a solid game, but not incredible.

Very Recommended

Liked this review? Check out Shaun’s review of BlobCat, or his review of Pixel Action Heroes! If you like our content, please donate! It’s not easy running a website and we want to bring you the best content. A coffee on Ko-Fi or a pledge on Patreon is greatly appreciated! 

Reviewed by Jack Bankhead on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Digerati Digital.