Dark Light

The human mind is as boundless as the cosmos. The realities of one’s adult life often reflect the memories of childhood. ‘A Space of the Unbound’ is a fantastic approach to express just that through a beautiful 2D pixel art format. This game is set in the late-90s with an Indonesian backdrop, walks us through the tale of an adolescent boy Atma, and his girlfriend, Raya. Initially presented as a ”slice-of-life adventure”, the game takes a turn to reveal the secret superpowers of our two protagonists. While Raya can alter aspects of reality, Atma’s superpower lies in the alteration of memories.

A Space for the Unbound: Raya and Atma

A Space for the Unbound is now available on PC via Steam, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for $19.99/€19.99/£17.99. It is developed Mojiken Studio and published by Toge Productions and Chorus Worldwide.

Is it Just a Figment of Imagination?

When the tale of A Space for the Unbound unfolds, we find Atma listening to a fairytale his young friend Nirmala authored. This tale centers around a South Star Princess, who turns into stardust and resides within a yellow flower. The story proceeds to talk about a Magic Red Book that can help the beholder “space dive” into someone’s subconscious and alter the pace of their negative beliefs. As the story progresses, everything comes to a chaotic halt. The credits roll. All feels lost.

A Space for the Unbound: Raya's Light

Just then, a light at the end of the tunnel appears. Atma opens his eyes to see that the source is none other than the source of light in his life- his girlfriend, Raya. She explains to a confused Atma that everything he just experienced was but a dream. And a panicked Atma wonders whether Nirmala was nothing beyond a figment of his imagination too. 

Who’s a Good Kitty?

A Space for the Unbound, set in Loka City, is an adorable ode to vintage Street Fighter games while being a narrative puzzler with a deep narrative. Aside from the narrative, the ability to interact with characters and give names to and caress stray cats prove to be another saving grace. On the journey to healing characters’ emotional wounds, the players get an opportunity to improve their mental health as well. Melodious music, heartwarming graphics, and without a doubt- the cats make the game and the players’ psyche tonnes better.

A Space for the Unbound: Vintage Fighting Games

The relevance of cats, however, runs a lot deeper. And so does the network of their spy informants. Enough said.

Hobson’s Choice

The game is a treat to the eyes and to the ears. However, it may fall short of being a treat to one’s patience. The game compels one to go from one end of Loka City to another over and over again to complete each of the quests. Yet there aren’t any markers on the map to guide a player to his checkpoints. It may dishearten casual players who turn to this game as means of escape. Moreover, the players don’t get a lot of opportunities to make their unique choices and are eventually railroaded down the singular track of chronology set by the game-makers. Thus, though the story is intriguing and the conclusion is worth your while, the curiosity is more likely to die faster than the cat.

A Space for the Unbound: Lack of Choice

Regardless of these quirks, the game is more than the aesthetically pleasing leisure activity it seems to be on the surface. It talks about dark subjects of abuse, bullying, and the trauma that stems from them. It uses Atma’s magic of fixing one’s subconscious to teach the players that healing is possible and that tolerating the agony isn’t a Hobessian choice.

Real Talk

A Space for the Unbound is an emotional odyssey of love, pain, growth, acceptance, and healing. It is an easy game to play and love. Once someone’s hooked, it’ll be challenging to set the game aside before the 12-hour runtime ends. Though the players can often feel that the game is going in circles, the ability to bring the characters’ lives full circle is a beautiful experience.  

A Space for the Unbound: Mental Health Betterment


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