Unrest | Indie PC Game | Review | Multiple Endings and Branching Plot
Affiliate links within this post may be commissionable.
Genre: RPG with Point and Click, Adventure Game, and Visual Novel Elements
Publishers: Pyrodactyl Games and Kiss LTD
Release Date: July, 2014
Overall: 57/80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 Unrest is a different experience each time you play. The game jumps from perspective to perspective multiple times throughout the game, and it appears to be random each time. Sometimes you’re a human, other times a naga, sometimes a male, other times female, sometimes in power, sometimes oppressed, sometimes violent, sometimes a pacifist, sometimes good, sometimes corrupt, etc. But each time, you spend a few hours in the shoes of one of the many many different characters of this game. The choices you make do have consequences and do matter. It’s very unique. I highly recommend this game.
Story: 10/10 The story in Unrest is also random at times, since you’re thrown from one point of view to another, and even starting a new game, you may begin as a different person in a different part of the world, there’s no way to tell.
I’ll tell you about my experiences with the game and the story that unfolded for me.
In my first playthrough I began life as a poor toy maker’s daughter in a very rural and poverty stricken kingdom, with barely enough food to eat and too many bills to pay. My parents in the game want me to marry into a family with status to raise my caste and move up in life. However, the man they want me to marry is repulsive to me, not just his looks, but his intelligence, cowardice, attitude, and even his family.
I have two choices (at least 2, maybe more); I can accept my fate and marry him as my family wishes, or I can sneak out of the village and run away from home. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I chose to leave my family and run away from the village.
In the next moment, I found myself living the life of a beggar on the streets of a capital city. I was going to the church to beg for crumbs of food. I waited for several days, standing in the same spot, unable to get the food I needed to sustain myself, unable to leave the city, and unable to do anything to change my situation.
Then someone tells me that they will give me the stale bread that’s left over, if I can help pass out bread and medicine to the homeless. I quickly learned the harsh reality; there’s not enough food or medicine to help all of the sick or hungry people. A woman needed medicine for her elderly mother. A mere child himself, needed food to feed his younger brother, by time I helped everyone there was not enough for myself.
In the next moment, I’m playing a priest working for the church, the same church which earlier was passing out the bread and medicine. I’ve been questioning my faith for a long time, and the unrest outside the village further shakes my resolve. I question if I should leave the church, but I have taken an oath. I see corruption both inside and outside the church.
In the next life I am a young girl who is part of a resistance. We don’t have enough men to outnumber the capital’s guards so my father has struck a deal with the Nagas, a race of serpentine characters who seek to profit from the war. We’ve made concessions for them to give them their own land and ability to sell items within the city which we know will take away jobs and opportunities from the starving, homeless, humans.
In the next life, I’m playing as a knight fighting against this resistance movement; he cares deeply about his kingdom and the men on the battlefield, he is tasked with making very many difficult strategic decisions which could end up getting people killed or winning or losing the war.
In the end, the resistance is offered a treaty, the people of the capital are imprissoned for humanity crimes, and a new leader is elected who will hopefully bring peace to the humans and nagas alike. It ends there with somewhat of an open ending; such as, peace is secured, but for how long?
Curious as to just how random the game was, I start a new game, and this time my first character is a high class “princess” naga. So yes, it really is a different game each time you play. And who knows where the game would have went from there – someday I will replay it and find out :).
Characters: 5/10 The characters are very interesting, however, your time spent in their shoes is far too short to ever form any kind of emotional attachment to them; however, it is very interesting to see how all of their stories and their fates intertwine. Wikipedia says there’s only 5 playable characters, but this can’t be right, as I know for a fact that I played as a Naga (and it was a life I did not experience at all on my first run) and it doesn’t mention that. I’m not sure how many different characters there are to plug yourself into it, but it’s definitely more than 5, and you definitely do not get to see all of the lives in one play through.
Gameplay: 8/10 I’m not sure if my decisions are impacting which life I live; or if it’s completely random; I’m also not entirely sure how much free choice I actually have or if it’s merely an illusion of choice; however, there are several points in the game where I could have taken the road not traveled and the unique gameplay and complete randomness of it all is strangely fun and addicting. Although your time with each character is short, the game itself is fairly long for an indie game. As mentioned above; you will need multiple playthroughs to complete every character’s perspective in the game; which also adds to the length of playtime and replay value. There are many quests along the way, some are optional while others are required to move the story along. Completing all the optional quests will also add greatly to the required playtime to complete the game. The gameplay itself is based on solving puzzles, accepting and completely quests, talking to lots of NPCs and exploring the world, and making difficult decisions with widespread consequences.
Music: 5/10 A year after playing this game, I honestly can’t recall the music; therefore it must not be very memorable, in either a very good or very bad way. Just kinda average.
Graphics: 3/10 This game looks very dated. It looks similar to oregon trail or other 80s/90s PC games. It does have some nice colorful environments, but the pixel style artwork is very very retro feeling, and the faceless characters make it even harder to emotionally connect with the cast in this game.
Replay Value: 10/10 I mention this throughout the review; the whole game is based on experiencing different perspectives; and one playthrough is not enough to witness all of them, also there are some decisions which can change the story (although probably a fair amount of decisions that result in similar/same outcomes as well). I had a lot of fun, and I definitely do want to go back and replay it to see all the different points of view in the game.
Overall: 57/80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”