UnEpic or Not? Instant Classic

Francisco Téllez de Meneses
For all intended purposes UnEpic does not resemble its title at all, rather it is a gem of a title that may well stay hidden if it does not get the deserving attention. First things first, there is a major difference between this and a lot of AAA and indie titles alike. Meet the creator, Francisco Téllez de Meneses, he spent all his spare time over a span of two years creating this game. He is solely responsible for programming, creating the graphics of all scenarios, characters and items, editing all rooms, composing background music and writing more than 1000 lines of dialogs and quests.

To fully appreciate the wit of UnEpic you must fall under a certain category – a true blue nerd. There are so many references in this game from the 80s and 90s pop culture scene, whether it be from movies, games and other forms of literature. Presented in hard core old school NES style graphics and gameplay mechanics, it strangely feels at home on a current generation of console.

Based on screenshots and a basic description one can’t be blamed for thinking this is just another indie developer trying to port something low budget across from the pc and trying to take their little slice of the current generation trend of console gaming. If a title like this is going to be successful with today’s gaming trends which can be so fickle, its needs to have something either quite unique or possess a strong gaming element to appeal to niche group. UnEpic does possess both of these qualities in an abundance, it is presented in an almost self aware state with a very powerful Dungeons and Dragons background but most of all with a very simplistically delivered in-depth RPG element.

You only have to scratch the surface of this game to realise the overwhelming but welcomed RPG aspects. It has everything you expect from a high budget hardcore RPG game like gear sets, specialised weapons, buffs, debuffs and multi-faceted quest lines. All this coupled with an engaging narrative, which entails mainly of a to and fro relationship of two unsuspected travelling companions. This constant banter married up with almost recognisable characters from all eras of pop culture leads us down the rabbit hole of a very fantasy driven narrative of the blurred lines of good and evil.

At its core it is a platforming grid layered dungeon crawler but at the same time it is so much more. While you jump, slash and hack your way through countless puzzles and challenging combat scenarios there is constant RPG element there in turn forcing the player to make smart choices of which weapons to use and what approach to make. You do not simply pick the “best” armour and “strongest” weapon and progress through the game, this would result in a mediocre experience and often lead to little progression. You must use everything at your disposal as you would a massive action adventure game, cycling from ranged, close quarter and even magical attacks and defence. Each enemy class has a strength and weakness, which determines a calculated approach.

Early on the quick select section of the HUD can come across daunting and initially feels too large but as you progress and realise that you need so many different and specific pieces of equipment and abilities it actually comes in very handy. Muscle memory very soon becomes apparent when dialling in these hot key selections for the varied scenarios and the once perceived convoluted hot key section actually becomes a fully functioning mechanic that is not only necessary but a welcomed addition to the HUD.

Levelling up is also a thing. As the XP gauge fills and the next character level is achieved we are granted 5 level points to allocate as we see fit. Each major weapon class is has its own slot and in addition to these are all the magic abilities and armours. Thus making the decision on where to spend your upgrade points is a dedicated process and not just a willy-nilly decision. With greater weapons and abilities requiring certain level points to be allocated into its respective category, the feeling that you are now building a certain character type is very evident. Without the feeling of being restricted, this does at times dictate how you should approach any given situation. Not only is this a very involved mechanic, it is delivered in a very balanced manner and it breeds a feeling of accomplishment upon completing any given section or questline.

I have touched on the combat element and how a generous thought process is essential to overcome adversity. As it has been delivered in an old school manner, some of the old rules apply. You can learn the enemy movement and attacking patterns, which does aid in being successful, but to stay fresh and in the moment there are still curve balls thrown making you think on your feet. The most epic (no pun I promise) engagements though are reserved for the boss fights. Not unlike any arcade classic and ARPG of our recent times, the bosses are larger than life and most definitely deliver the most intense battles the game has to offer.

I have played this on the Playstation 4 and unfortunately it is currently not available on the Australian store. It is available on the US and EU stores. It is accessible here in Australia via Steam for US$9.99 and at that price point you are getting more than your money's worth in my opinion. If you have played this I would love to hear from you or if I have inspired you to take a chance on it I would also love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact us across at our Facebook page and join in our daily gaming conversations.

Happy adventuring,


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