We’re only in January, and we already have a contender for the best game of 2023. A Space for the Unbound comes out today, and I reviewed it for The Guardian, little expecting just how good it would turn out to be. It’s the first game I’ve awarded five stars to in a Guardian review.
On the surface, it’s a fairly simple concept. Essentially it’s a narrative puzzle adventure where you talk to various people in your neighbourhood, and collect various objects to use in various ways. At one point, you have to find the ingredients for a black forest gateau. But there’s so much more to it than that, so many little one-off scenes and mechanics that are dropped in, and above all, a richly layered story that will keep you guessing and constantly reconsidering the things you’ve seen and experienced.
The game sees you playing as an Indonesian high-school student called Atwa, and the core of the story is about his relationship with his girlfriend Raya, who has suddenly developed reality-bending powers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and the game eventually builds to a revelatory climax that hits like a gut punch. It’s superb, in short. I went in with low expectations, expecting a light, nostalgic adventure game in the vein of Attack of the Friday Monsters – and although A Space for the Unbound does fit that description at the start, it breaks out of the mould to wander off in some fascinating directions. It’s brilliant, in short, and the first must-play game of 2023.
A Space for the Unbound was developed by Mojiken Studios and published by Toge Productions/Chorus Worldwide, and it’s available on PC, Mac, PS4/5, Xbox and Switch. We played the Switch version.
Disclosure statement: review code for A Space for the Unbound was provided by Chorus Worldwide. A Most Agreeable Pastime operates as an independent site, and all opinions expressed are those of the author.