Unmechanical Review

By , on March 19, 2013

Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Wonderfully dense visual style; tells a subtle tale while also providing the occasional hint for the puzzle in front of you.
  • Engaging controls; being a little bit out of control adds to the main character's clumsy appeal, however alternatives controls are available.
  • Variety of puzzles that cleverly tie in to the basic controls; keeps the game feeling novel.


  • Physics can be frustratingly wonky at times; partially a control issue, but still problematic for certain puzzles.
  • Zoomed in view can make navigation a chore without a map or indicator.


Unmechanical is a wonderful adaption of the PC title and an excellent puzzler brimming with atmospheric visuals, alien soundtracks, and brain-ticklers that come in a surprising range for such a short title.

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The development of Unmechanical has undergone several stages, with the first of these being a ten minute or so title created as part of an educational program in Sweden. From there it went on to become a full-fledged puzzler for the PC on the Steam platform, and now almost a year after that we have the iOS version.

You play as a lost and somewhat confused unnamed robot stuck in a vast underground network of machinery. With nothing more than your wits and a small tractor beam you'll need to solve a series of increasingly diverse puzzles in order to reveal the game's simply storyline.

In a recent review, Dave mentioned how the controls can come to define a game and in many ways the iOS version of Unmechanical succeeds thanks to its revised point-and-touch system. By touching the screen your bumbling robot will move in the same relative direction; multi-touch can even be used to refine and redirect when greater finesse is needed. You'll constantly clang in to the sides of the screen, and the tiny robot will dim his lights in mild confusion while muttering a soft exclamation of sorts.

It's terribly cute and one of many subtle visual touches that tell a much greater story without saying a single word. The visuals are simply breathtaking as they not only provide an insight in to what's happening, but also provide clues as to how to solve the puzzle placed in front of you. If this isn't enough a 'help bubble' provides a pictographic clue as to how to proceed, though it's never the whole solution, making it satisfying once you do proceed.

For a game with little more than hovering and a small tractor beam, the puzzles themselves are wildly varied. This is thanks, in part, to the use of switches and other systems for manipulating the world, but the end result is a game that feels fresh and novel right until the end.

And speaking of the end, with only three hours or so of gameplay it comes all too soon, but it's hard to complain when the journey provides such a wonderful sense of atmosphere. As long as you haven't already played Unmechanical on another platform, this is an easy game to recommend to those who enjoy their brain-ticklers.


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