Unexplored is a roguelite action RPG game, developed by Ludomotion, putting you in the shoes of a furry creature tasked with slaying a Dragon in the depths of a nearby dungeon. Filled to the brim with loot, hazards, puzzles and random generation, Unexplored tires to set itself apart from the horde of random generator dungeon crawlers. With its cute art style and retro approach, can it be something worth your time?
Unexplored starts us off with a short little introduction, our adventurer walks into a tavern, the start to many a great journey. We talk to an old man and he talks to us about our quest in the Dungeons of Doom, to find the fabled Amulet of Yendor. After some light customising of our character we can bribe the man for hints on the dungeon or buy items. From there it is a long delve into the dungeon, fighting through waves of enemies and descending the floors to its darkest depth to slay the dragon.
Unexplored, being a roguelite, is meant to be experienced through several deaths and as such is difficult to put a solid time on its length. While it will take several hours to complete the game, every time you die you are given a fresh adventurer to start travelling with, a new dungeon spawned for you and new puzzles and bosses to make your way through.
Controlling your character is rather simple, WASD for movement and mouse to change his facing direction. Left click uses your left held item, right click for the right which often throws it. Swords and spears have you dash forward with the weapon whereas daggers and torches are thrown in the direction you are facing. You also have a cursor to hover over your inventory which is located on the right of your screen.
As you travel the dungeon you can open up containers for loot or find loot on the floor, moving over them automatically picking them up. You are given some potions in the beginning which tell you what they do, but ones you pick up in the dungeon have a mysterious effect, using them will tell you what they do but they can be dangerous to your character. Scrolls are similar but almost always unidentified until used. Similar to Fable, whenever you would normally die from taking damage you automatically use a potion to heal yourself if it’s in your inventory.
It is bound to happen at some point, either you are swarmed by rats or fall into a trap, your character will die. Some of the gear he gathered along with their final gold will be transferred to your next character, allowing you an easier start, the same goes for achievements which unlock new items.
Along with normal items, like potions and new arms and armour, you will pick up keys which need to be used on the floor you gain them, opening locked doors to new treasure. You can also find lock picks that can be used in any floor, but much rarer. You will also come across valuables like chalices, selling them if you return to the surface to spend on another adventure later.
There are Daily and Weekly dungeons that each have their own leader boards, adding some competitive feel to the game. Playing through the first released ones they don’t feel vastly different then the random generated ones from the story mode. Their designs are somewhat more interesting, with more traps scattered around, requiring you to use scrolls for teleportation or descending, they also tell you their seed if you liked a particular one.
Overall thoughts and feelings
Sadly the music in the game is slightly muted, as if delving into a cave, the muffled soundtrack is pleasing to hear with guitars, pianos and horn instruments. Ramping up to some louder tracks on the main menu or boss fights, the use of music is 50/50 in its delivery. While it sticks to a constant style it doesn’t have enough power behind it to get you into the game.
Plenty of the maps feel small, the random generation sometimes being a bit of a stickler when it comes to good loot or layout. Often I find the drop/stairs that lead to the next floor, leading me to skipping the boring floor I was currently travelling. While each floor tends to have 1 puzzle, increasing if you select more puzzles before starting a new game, they become too samey or just dull too quick.
Combining the low music and simple game mechanics Unexplored just feels boring and plain, bosses are beefed up with more HP or Damage, followed by little minions as well as the ability to sometimes summon more. Battles require little planning if you have enough ranged equipment, an upgrade system that relies on you finding the correct items that only effect that one character and a lack of story all mix together to make a rather unpleasant time.
Unexplored gets a 6/10, it does plenty of the roguelite mechanics well and has some interesting systems. Sadly it feels too rinse and repeat of other games in the genre with nothing really setting it apart besides its furry protagonists. No memorable bosses or antagonists, a simple slay the dragon take his loot goal with death having no real impact. Discounted at £6.29 on release, this might be worth your money if you’re into roguelites, but at full price you might want to give it a miss.
Unexplored Was Review on PC Via Steam