Adventure games seem to be hitting hitting a stride lately, and the particularly interesting ones seem to be coming from fairly unknown indie dev teams. A Place for the Unwilling seems to fall directly in that description. Developed by Alpixel Games, A Place for the Unwilling is described as an open-world adventure game set in a world where “time is always running.” The Greenlight page likens it as Sunless Sea meets Majora’s Mask. That should pique most people’s interest.
As per usual, the aesthetic of A Place for the Unwilling is what grabbed my attention initially, reminding me greatly of Machinarium. However, the trailer above is what really cemented my interest. This is being sold as a game based almost solely on exploration. It is entirely up to the player’s own will that they move through the game experiencing what bits are here and there.
Reading through the description of the game on the Greenlight page is rather exciting as well, as the developers are saying all the right things. This will be a game with heavy emphasis on immersion. You’ll have no minimap, no quest markers, no quest trackers—nothing. Everything you need to know and figure out you have to go out and find yourself or by interacting with the other characters. The “No point & click puzzles” is rather appealing as well.
Of course, as an adventure game the story has to be deeply intriguing as well. From reading about the game, it’s story will also be pieced together solely by the player as well. A Place for the Unwilling promises a deeply detailed city, with a cast of 18 fully fleshed-out characters, each with their own backgrounds and daily routine. Exploring the city to discover the overall mystery of the game is just as important as exploring to “unlock” characters to discover what their individual story is. That emphasis on creativity with the promise for some good writing should be very enticing to any adventure or narrative fan.
You play as an average citizen who seemingly stumbles across some sort of mystery to investigate. The city is divided into quarters, each distinct from one another, with their own characters that fit each backdrop. Each of those four promise to hold many secrets.
There is more to the game than just walking around, however. You’ll need to make money working as you work your way through the town. How and where the money fits in isn’t explained. Each day lasts for a fixed amount of time, which isn’t explained beyond that either. Will there also be a set amount of days? Do different things happen on set days—can you miss out on opportunities because you failed to do something one day? Managing that schedule of time seems like it will be the main mechanic through which you play A Place for the Unwilling.
So it’s an adventure game full of mystery as you find out who the shadows are, what made them, and why they are there. Who are you as a character? What’s the city’s significance? I have all these questions and more forming in my head about a narrative I know next to nothing about really. That to me seems like a good indicator.
In any case, if you find yourself interested in this narrative-focused adventure game, take a look at the Greenlight page and maybe give it a thumbs up. A Place for the Unwilling is also currently running a Kickstarter, so check that out.
What do you think of A Place for the Unwilling?