A Space for the Unbound is for fans of poignant

A Space for the Unbound is for fans of poignant stories. review

played on personal computer

Pixel art games often tell heartbreaking or at least memorable stories. To the Moon, The Red Strings Club, Owlboy, Celeste, Coffee Talk – the list is endless. Now A Space for the Unbound has been added, which already attracted attention during the development phase with its charming style, but in the end turned out to be much more than just a pretty pixel adventure.

With great power…

Playing the role of a guy named Alma, we wake up at a school desk and don’t quite understand what’s going on around us. In front of us is a girl who introduces herself as Raya and calls our friend, whereupon we decide together with her to skip school and walk through a small town. Feeding a cat and building her a little house, going to the movies, making a wish list and trying to fulfill some of them is cute in a word.

    The player chooses which movie the boys will watch

The player chooses which movie the boys will watch

It quickly becomes clear that both heroes are no ordinary people. The guy carries a mysterious red book and can penetrate the minds of people he meets – not everyone, but only those who are clearly worried about something. The girl also has supernatural abilities that allow her to either protect someone or face unpleasant consequences.

The main problem with A Space for the Unbound is that it would be better to end the story description here. Believe me – the plot here is grand and intriguing, full of unexpected twists and turns and raises many questions, most of which can be answered. You get attached to the characters pretty quickly, even the minor characters become likeable and you worry about them, so it’s interesting throughout the whole fortnight to find out what else the writers have been up to.

    The topic of bullying was not without - after all, the game is about school children

The topic of bullying was not without – after all, the game is about school children

The game not only starts with a warning that it raises difficult issues such as bullying, violence, depression and other similar phenomena. All of this is woven into the plot very elegantly, the problems of the people seem realistic and natural, even if the story seems a bit naive at times. It’s impossible not to empathize with the characters, into whose mind the protagonist enters to learn about their troubled past and understand the reasons for their worries. Although the last third is a bit long, you eventually come to a heartbreaking ending, after which you want to forgive the game for this shortcoming and recommend it to anyone and everyone.

At the same time there was a place for humor. One of the chapters is influenced by the famous Japanese game series (again, I don’t want to spoil) and will make you smile more than once, and good jokes sometimes slip through the dialogues throughout the passage. Some have to do with the fact that the action takes place in the 1990s, when technology was not yet so advanced and it was impossible to make phone calls and surf the Internet at the same time.

    It is like it is

It is like it is

Running with obstacles

The gameplay is also perceived well for the most part, but here the weaknesses are more pronounced than in the plot. The gameplay is a side scrolling adventure with the ability to talk to everyone, go from one screen to another and put things in your inventory. There are usually very few items, so calling A Space for the Unbound a classic quest would be wrong, and there’s no cursor here.

There are also tasks in the spirit of “give-bring” and good puzzles and fun mini-games. There are no hints in the classical sense, but the need for this almost never arises – the character often says what he needs to do next, and his interlocutors willingly share information that no one asked for. The dialogues even highlight important words to help you understand the next objective. The protagonist also keeps a diary in which all current tasks are recorded, but all these details are not in it – if you missed the dialogue, you will either have to talk to someone again, or randomly knock on each door.

    The guys from Persona 5 would be here - they know a lot about other people's hearts

The guys from Persona 5 would be here – they know a lot about other people’s hearts

Despite the simplicity, some tasks seem pointless and designed to increase playtime. In one of the episodes, you are asked to run around the city in search of three items, some of which are only given once other conditions are met. As a result, it turns out that these things were not very useful to the client. After that, you need to look for three more items – without all this, you will not be able to move around the property. Most of these tasks are well woven into the story (like having to find a hat so the character isn’t identified), but bad moments spoil the impression.

Here, too, the wound of classic quests has crept in – it seems obvious that in the future an item will come in handy (especially if it first appears in a familiar place), but the character refuses to pick it up. Because of this, when the thing is needed, you have to run back and waste time. At the same time, this does not happen with all items – some the hero immediately grabs simply because he likes them, although they are not urgently needed at the moment. Luckily, most places aren’t too far away.

    Maybe the game is hinting at something

Maybe the game is hinting at something

Perhaps because of the coolest plot, the unsuccessful elements of the gameplay are so noticeable – I really want to see what happens next. Therefore, if the task seems completely stupid, you will want to skip it, but there is no such possibility. But there are much fewer such moments than good mini-games and puzzles that are well connected to the main theme of the game.

Don’t bother with the rest of the ingredients. It’s hard to take your eyes off A Space for the Unbound – the pixel art here is minimal, the color palette is poor, but that’s what it takes, and the characters are beautifully drawn and animated. Well, one cannot overlook the fancy soundtrack by Masdito Bakhtiar (Masdito Bachtiar) – there are not many projects in his portfolio, but surely after this release he will receive many offers from other independent developers. There are both funny and sad compositions – all of them perfectly complement any scene and “penetrate” emotions at the right moments.

    Dialogues allow you to choose answers, but in most cases you still have to say all of the suggested phrases

Dialogues allow you to choose answers, but in most cases you still have to say all of the suggested phrases


A Space for the Unbound came out quietly – at the time of writing it had less than 500 reviews on Steam. But not only that almost everyone is positive – after the start you forget the time and get involved in the development of the events with interest until you reach the final. Yes, the gameplay is slightly overloaded with not very necessary episodes, but that doesn’t spoil the overall impression.


  • an exciting story with interesting twists;
  • charming characters that you can empathize with throughout the passage;
  • great music that supports the tone of the story;
  • beautiful visual style;
  • good for most puzzles and minigames.


  • Some quests seem designed to add to the gameplay and aren’t much needed.
  • The last third of the story is a bit long.


Charming pixel art creates a cozy atmosphere.


Both in the game and independently, the soundtrack sounds great – we will hear the name of its composer more than once in the future.

single player game

A mix of classic side-scrolling adventure and a quest where the story is much more important than the gameplay.

Estimated travel time

14 hours.

collective game

Not provided.

general impression

A wonderful adventure with a gripping plot and slightly overloaded gameplay that will stay in your memory for a long time.

Rating: 8.0/10

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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