The Gunk is one of the more surprising and entertaining games of the year and it relies on a subtle simplicity to create a winning game.
Playing as a scavenger named Rani; players set down on a desolate planet with their partner Beck to find the source of a mysterious energy source.
Hoping to solve their dire financial issues; Rani uses her prosthetic hand to scan, collect, manipulate objects found on the planet; many of which produce resources that can be used to craft upgrades.
The planet is filled with toxic gunk and Rani learns that her prosthetic can actually remove the substance and when this is done; a beautiful landscape is created. The ever impulsive Rani ventures deeper into the planet and learns that some foliage can be used to remove debris and others can be combined with various locales to create a pathway to access new areas.
The game is filled with puzzles which while at times challenging are able to be resolved with a bit of effort and at times creative thinking. There are also some combat elements that arise and being able to equip a blaster to your prosthetic comes in handy.
Players play from a third-person perspective and this allows gamers to take in the lush environment as well as get a good view of their locales as many situations require actions at multiple depths to complete a challenge and move on.
Graphically the game is solid but some areas are dark or have limited visibility which even with the character’s flashlight can become annoying.
While not overly long; the game will give players a few hours of enjoyment and some solidly satisfying gameplay. The crafting element became an afterthought quickly as I was able to max out my abilities and it rendered harvesting and collecting a moot point.
While not a game swimming in abundant depth; The Gunk was very engaging and kept my attention from start to finish. While I do not see much replay value in the game; what it did provide was an enjoyable and engaging distraction.
4 stars out of 5