I have a lot in common with Atma and Raya, the two teenage leads in A Space for the Unbound. Her wish list includes things like: having a pet cat, eating a whole black forest cake, and getting the highest score in her favorite arcade game, which sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want to achieve in my life, too. .
Set in Indonesia in the 1990s, the two high school seniors have a lot on their plates right now. Atma has been having confusing dreams about a girl and a magical red book, while Raya has been dealing with her own problems and a difficult home life. Not only this, but the two of them are about to graduate. With a lot of pressure from the adults in their lives to figure out what they want to do in the future, the couple came up with a wish list.
It quickly becomes obvious that these two are not like the other students at their school. Atma can not only ‘Spacedive’ into people’s minds to gain information and solve problems, but Raya also has supernatural powers that allow her to transform the world around her and turn her classmates into monsters. Which she hadn’t expected from this seemingly sliced game of life.
A story of aclismic cats
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(Image credit: Mojiken)
(Image credit: Mojiken)(Image credit: Mojiken)(Image credit: Mojiken)
Like all the best adventure games, A Space for the Unbound is about more than just being a high school student. Every situation that Atma faces will bring with it a series of challenges. It’s never as simple as finding an item and using it, there are always several intermediate steps before you can solve the puzzle before you. There are also plenty of side quests for Atma to complete, such as finding all the collectible bottle caps and gum wrappers throughout the game, adding hours of play time.
A Space for the Unbound also has some retro-style fighting mechanics that I had a lot of fun with. This minigame appears multiple times and requires you to press a combination of buttons before time runs out to fight the thugs in the city. Speaking of gaming references, this adventure features tons of subtle nods to other titles, including developer Mojiken’s other candid indie, When the Past Was Around, which I frustratingly missed during my first playthrough.
If it wasn’t already clear, there are a lot of cats in A Space for the Unbound. One of my favorite parts of this coming-of-age tale was meeting all the feline friends that are scattered around town and giving each one a name. Cats are just one of the ways Mojiken made the world of Atma and Raya feel alive. In addition to the four-legged residents, there are many human inhabitants whose lives unfold around you. Whether they work at the local shops, live in the neighbourhood, or are just a regular at one of the businesses on the map, there is always someone to talk to who will often give you advice on what to do next or an insight into the city. and the people in it.
(Image credit: Mojiken)
Due to various circumstances, Raya struggles with her mental health. At the end of the game, she is trying to push everyone away and give up on her dreams altogether. Playing Atma as she tries to make her way to Raya, while also giving her the tools to help herself, was truly moving. The game does a very good job of showing physical representations of what Raya, and the other people Atma interacts with, are going through emotionally.
It would be unforgivable of me to talk about A Space for the Unbound without highlighting the game’s gorgeous 2D pixel art style and enchanting soundtrack. In some ways, the game feels like your favorite anime and Game Boy Advance game combined into one, as each area of the city that Atma visits (whether in the real world or not) is full of character and feels very nostalgic I would gladly return to A Space for the Unbound if it meant I could explore the city, meet more cats, and talk to all the residents again.
A Space for the Unbound is available to play now on PC, PS4, ps5xbox one, xbox series x/S and Nintendo Switch.