Unrest PC review: a unique ancient Indian adventure

PC; £9.99; Pyrodactyl Games

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The Independent Tech

One of a growing number of games funded via Kickstarter, Unrest boasts the USP of being one of the first games to be set in ancient India. This is a classic adventure RPG in every sense, with a 2D isometric view and where dialogue is basically the only means to interact with the game. You will take control of multiple characters, each with their own story that are all tied together into an over-arching plot.

With an Indian art style Unrest looks good as a still photo, but can look a little rough when in motion. The art style does not make up for some poor animation and repetitive scenery, although this can be forgiven considering the size of the team that made the game and their budget. Lack of finishing touches is evident in other areas too, namely the soundtrack and map both of which are a little too simplistic.

Most of Unrest’s gameplay takes place via dialogue boxes where the player can pick one of a number or responses. Each of the responses you can give will have a different personality trait attached to it, so you can choose to be quiet or loyal etc. The way you make these choices will affect what traits your character displays as the game progresses. The variety of styles of personality that you can display makes a refreshing change from the simple good or evil choice you usually get given in games.

As you are constantly swapping control of characters, and are generally not given long in control of each, it is hard to invest emotionally in every plight. I once found myself deciding that one of the characters was going to be needlessly argumentative, not because I thought that was how they would act, but out of disinterest in their story.

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Being a game set in ancient India it is no surprise that it should try and deal with the caste and class system. Throughout you are reminded what a large part caste played in Indian society, how this can limit the opportunities of the lower castes and how little the wealthy consider the poor when making decisions. Even when the higher castes decide to help those less fortunate, they seem to be doing so out of selfishness rather than altruism. There is also an insight into how one would move between classes, with a lower caste girl being betrothed to a higher caste oaf who couldn’t find a wife of similar standing.

In terms of gaming, ancient India has an almost brand new set of myths and tropes to draw from and Unrest benefits from being one of the first games to be set in this era and location. Though it lacks polish in places, it does a good job of putting important decisions at the forefront.

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