The Gunk Xbox Series X Review

The Gunk is a traditional 3D platformer that delivers a solid space adventure through an alien planet.

By Grayshadow, Posted 14 Jan 2022

The Gunk effectively captures the best qualities of a traditional adventure title. It doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel and keeps to safe territory. With protagonist Reni, pilot Beck, and robotic chef Curt landing a strange planet that holds more secrets than they could've hoped for. The Gunk is a serviceable adventure through an alien world as you discover the source of the toxic pollution and learn of its potent energy source.

The Gunk, Xbox Series X, Review, NoobFeed, Gameplay, Screenshots, Thunderful, Unreal Engine 4, Image & Form Games

The Gunk stars Reni, a young adventurer looking for resources along with her best friend Becks. The 2 locate a hidden oasis of resources and think they've hit the jackpot. Strangely despite teeming with life a toxic black substance called gunk is suffocating the local fauna and flora. To uncover the resources and heal the areas Reni uses her robotic arm and AI unit called Pumpkin to clean the area but discovers the planet has more hidden secrets.

The adventure mostly focuses on gathering resources, clearing gunk, and solving puzzles. Occasionally combat is present with the gunk mutating local wildlife into hostile monsters but these combat encounters offer no challenge. The appeal of The Gunk comes from exploration as you uncover more hidden secrets within the planet and where the gunk is coming from.

The Gunk, Xbox Series X, Review, NoobFeed, Gameplay, Screenshots, Thunderful, Unreal Engine 4, Image & Form Games

Reni and Beck are looking for resources and Reni can collect metal, fiber, organic, and alien material to be used in crafting new upgrades. Most are unnecessary but boost Reni's performance and defenses such as increased speed, health, and other offensive options. 

After cleaning the surrounding gunk more of the local ecosystem is revealed, allowing Reni to travel deeper. This usually unlocks 2 types of seeds; one for explosions for clearing ways and destroying gunk and another is a seed used to grow flora for platforming purposes. You'll spend a lot of time cleaning gunk and using these seeds to progress. The cleaning mechanic works similar to Luigi's Mansion with Reni pointing her robot arm and sucking in all the toxic gunk.

The Gunk, Xbox Series X, Review, NoobFeed, Gameplay, Screenshots, Thunderful, Unreal Engine 4, Image & Form Games

The environmental variety is decent with a collection of healthy forests, toxic areas, and alien structures. You're expected to scan everything to gain the opportunity to unlock new upgrades and it adds more information about the surrounding planet. I did wish a map was provided after exploring an area, such as when you plant a beacon you can go between the ship and the beacon which would've been a great opportunity to add one. This would be especially helpful in knowing where you can and cannot go since the game locks off areas through fall damage or instant death. These are rare and even if killed checkpoints are plentiful.

The platforming is adequate but lacks imagination. Unlike the puzzles that add some flare to the solution such as using platforms to transport seeds much of the platforming focuses on just looking for the yellow or white ledge, you can grab onto. It does harken back to N64 and PlayStation platformers such as Jak and Daxter and does it effectively.

The Gunk, Xbox Series X, Review, NoobFeed, Gameplay, Screenshots, Thunderful, Unreal Engine 4, Image & Form Games

This also goes for the presentation. The visual design is spectacular with real effort into making this world feel alien from what humans are used to. This is complemented by Reni and Becks' constant back and forth with Becks wanting nothing more than to find something they can sell but Reni is enraptured by the adventure. The narrative does feel rushed after chapter 6 with Becks and Reni getting into a fight that feels more forced than naturally built. But the 2 play off one another well but Curt is often left in the background as just the comedy relief who says "You Got Served" because that's all it can say.

The technical quality is great and in this day and age of gaming that's becoming a rarity. Indie games tend to take more time to ensure a stable product and the developers should be commended for releasing a stable game in a generation where broken releases are becoming more common.

The Gunk, Xbox Series X, Review, NoobFeed, Gameplay, Screenshots, Thunderful, Unreal Engine 4, Image & Form Games

The Gunk is a decent adventure title that combines many elements platformer fans love from the genre. The decent combination of mystery, exploration, and collecting offers enough intrigue that you'll want to see how everything ends. Much of the gameplay isn't anything new but the overall experience provides classic adventure fans of old-school 3D platformers will find alluring. The Gunk is a traditional 3D platformer that delivers a solid space adventure through an alien planet. 

Review Copy Provided
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

The Gunk

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Thunderful Group, Thunderful Publishing
Developer(s): Image & Form Games, Thunderful Development AB
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Science-Fiction
Release Date: 2021-12-16

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