A Space for the Unbound is a slice-of-life adventure game developed by Mojiken Studio and published by Toge Productions. Enjoy beautiful pixel art as you explore a 90’s rural Indonesian town, uncover its secrets, use supernatural powers to dive into people’s hearts, and pet cats. Follow Atma and Raya on a journey of self-discovery at the end of their high school years while facing the end of the world.
- Puzzle | Exploration | Narrative
- Developer & Publisher: Mojiken Studio & Toge Productions
- Price: $19.99
- Where to Play: Nintendo Switch | Xbox | Playstation | Steam
- Similar Games: When the Past Was Around | The Space Between | Missed Messages
High school is ending and the world is ending with it
A Space for the Unbound is a slice-of-life adventure game with beautiful pixel art set in the late 90s rural Indonesia that tells a story about overcoming anxiety, depression, and the relationship between a boy and a girl with supernatural powers.
Follow two high school sweethearts, Atma and Raya, on a journey of self-discovery at the end of their high school years. When a mysteriously supernatural power is suddenly unleashed threatening their existence, they must explore and investigate their town to uncover hidden secrets, face the end of the world, and perhaps learn more about each other.
Set in a small town inspired by 90s era rural Indonesia, A Space for the Unbound presents an endearing story-driven experience with a vibrant environment waiting to be explored.Official Synopsis
A Space for the Unbound Review
Follow Atma, a pretty normal high schooler and his unconventional girlfriend Raya, who has the ability to manipulate reality as they explore their small Indonesian town.
A Space for the Unbound embraces the small everyday sights and sounds of it’s rustic setting and culture. Keroncong music blaring from a construction worker’s boom box. Local mom and pop shops stand alongside street vendors selling their wares and tasty snacks like, cimol. Even Atma’s quest to collect bottle caps from local drinks. Everything about A Space for the Unbound is a love letter the everyday magic of small town life and is deeply entrenched in it’s Indonesian roots. Even if you’re not as familiar with Indonesia, the story wraps you in this warm nostalgic embrace that is hard to escape as you explore Loka City and interact with each of its memorable residents (and pet all the kitties you encounter).
But, there is so much more to A Space for the Unbound, it draws you in with its easy-going, comfortable vibes. We follow Atma as he runs around completing tasks, collecting things, solving various logic puzzles, and arcade styled fights with local bullies. But, I think the most memorable aspect of the gameplay are Atma’s “Spacedives”, where he uses a book to enter into the minds of others to help them resolve internal conflicts. The landscape of a person’s heart can take the form of just about anything, from a series of cages, a surreal cinema over-run by cats, and even an Ace Attorney styled courtroom full or geese. The one mainstay is an unusual flowering tree that blooms as you complete tasks that help the subject of the spacedive work through their insecurities/issues.
Generally, spacediving is seen as a good thing—you help someone work through their mental blocks and they’re a better person for it—but, occasionally changing someone’s mind can be contrary to the person’s true desires, just so you can reach your objective. Sure you resolve the obstacle, and move on to the next task, but at what cost? This moral dilemma is definitely something that comes into play later on in the game, and I like that the writers explore both the positive and negative aspects of rooting around in people’s hearts. Every action has it’s consequences, what might seem like a good thing at the time could very well unravel the fabric of reality…
A Space for the Unbound is much more than a simple puzzle adventure and the game’s underlying mystery will definitely keep you questioning what is actually going on in Loka City. What starts as a pretty mundane slice of life story quickly snowballs into a Ghibli-esque fairytale adventure. Full of talking cats, people transforming into monsters, and of course who could forget Atma’s magical girlfriend Raya (who could give Haruhi Shizumiya a run for her money). When compared to the strange goings on around him, Atma seems pretty ordinary, but with each new chapter it becomes clear that there is more to him than meets the eye.
The game is described as “a story about overcoming anxiety, depression”, so it would be remiss of me not to mention that A Space for the Unbound does tough on some heavier themes in regards to mental health. Though rest assured that everything is given the appropriate care and weight within the story and I will admit to crying more than once while playing this game. One of the biggest takeaways of A Space for the Unbound is that everyone is going through something, you can either choose to let it hold you back or you can learn and grow from it.
The Verdict: Is A Space for the Unbound Worth Playing?
A Space for the Unbound is a game that can only be described as an experience. Once again Mojiken and Toge Productions deliver an emotionally gripping story that every bit about the destination as it is the journey. The game’s simple puzzles and breezy everyday interactions in a small rural town, mask an engaging and immersive layered narrative experience that will have you careening through a spectrum of emotions.
So, go, play this game! Since it’s only January it might be a bit early to call this the best game of the year, but I can confidently say, A Space for the Unbound is one of the best games I have played in a very long time!
A copy of this game was provided for review purposes.
Find out more about A Space for the Unbound
- Official Site: chorusworldwide.com/a-space-for-the-unbound
- Twitter: @ASFTUgame
- Mojiken Studio Twitter: @MojikenStudio
- Toge Productions Twitter: @togeproductions