The Gunk review: environmentalism on alien planets

Today, with this review, we venture into an unidentified alien planet, trying through our protagonist Rani to clean it of its impurities to restore the natural scenarios: let’s see together then to analyze The Gunk in all details, to see if it does the your case!

All aspects of our life, even the seemingly most insignificant ones, have a certain background politico. The notion that politics should be distinguished from elements such as art or entertainment easily proves to be erroneous, with political groups from all sides continually appropriating or rejecting various works based on the message transmitted by them. In this sense, too The Gunk, which we will analyze in this one review, presents a clear message, even if translated into a different context. We then proceed to analyze in detail every aspect of The Gunk, so as to understand if it can be for you.

What is it about?

In The Gunk we will play the role of Rani, who, together with his travel companion Beck and the trusty robot Curt, lands on an unexplored alien planet in search of an energy source. Soon, in the course of his own exploration, Rani will realize who the planet is polluted from a substance called, in fact, Gunk, and that to restore nature to its maximum splendor it will be necessary to suck this substance through its mechanical arm.

We are therefore faced with an action-adventure three-dimensional in the third person (with a distinctly imprint story-driven), which is new for a development team that has dedicated most of their work so far to a two-dimensional series like SteamWorld. Despite seeing each other some technical smudges in fact, the overall impact was mostly positive, as we will see more in the next paragraph of this review of The Gunk.

The Gunk review: environmentalism on alien planets

Unspoiled nature – The Gunk Review

Let’s start immediately by saying the most important things: one of The Gunk’s strong points is it graphic style. We are obviously not talking about graphic power (on the other hand it is a studio that was indie until the other day), but precisely visual and aesthetic impact dropped into its own context. The alternation between the gray and bare settings of the areas infested with gunk alla lush nature full of various types of plants gives an even greater sense of wonder to the viewer, which you can very well see thanks to the screenshot present in this article.

Clearly not all that glitters is gold, and, as mentioned before, some technical flaws are clearly visible. What, in the experience of the writer, has been the most out of tune the animations of the characters during the cutscenes, decidedly not very fluid natural compared to how all the other elements present in the game world behave. Obviously this is minor stuff, on the one hand because it can be contextualized by the probable inexperience of the team with this type of projects and by the clearly limited production resources, on the other also because it does not unduly affect the overall result.

The Gunk review: environmentalism on alien planets

Explore and eradicate gunk – The Gunk Review

In this paragraph of the review of The Gunk instead we analyze the part instead playful of the game. The gameplay has a really great structure simple: you can move, jump and climb on the various platforms in a limited way. When in an area with gunk, use your own mechanical arm to vacuum it all up and clean up the aforementioned area, making it return to its natural state.

There is also an upgrade system, through which you can unlock some profits ability (some of them are essential for progressing through the levels). To unlock the skill in the upgrade menu, you have to advance in the search bar analyzing the various objects that are around to identify them; to install the skill instead, you have to gather resources of various types through all levels of the game, then return to the base and spend them exclusively on the new skills. The whole is accompanied by a level design full of secret areas, simple to find and reach but still capable of giving great satisfaction to the player thanks to the rewards.

The Gunk review: environmentalism on alien planets

We protect the environment, but not completely – The Gunk Review

Therefore, if on the one hand the individual sectors do their duty well independently (the sound sector is also excellent, with a soundtrack that accompanies every moment of the game well), the main problem of The Gunk is how these elements are related to the theme that the game wants to face. Without making any notorious plot spoilers, parallelism with some environmentalist ideas (highly political topic nowadays, as anticipated in the introduction) is so obvious that it immediately becomes the main theme of the whole work.

But when it gets on in relation to this issue with the gameplay where natural resources are collected from everywhere and action is taken to change a world that is not that of the protagonists, everything begins to stonere quite strongly, generating dissonance between plot and game. Many will legitimately consider this thing as secondary, but it is right to criticize the choice of a playful structure attractive to the general public, if it then affects such an important message: unfortunately this is what happens in The Gunk, which in trying to imitate the pattern of large productions, he ends up trampling on his own goal.

The Gunk review: environmentalism on alien planets


For those looking for a third person adventure interesting but undemanding, which has a simple but particular gameplay and that it can be completed in a few hours (enough less than 10 hours to finish the story), then he will find bread for his teeth in The Gunk. If you take into account some tiny technical flaws due to the limited production value of a low-budget project, the gaming experience will prove to be very enjoyable, including beautiful and breathtaking views, a simple but interesting play structure and a narrative that manages to make all the events interesting. But if we start digging, we find a title that follows in the footsteps of the industry greats, however, also adopting the downsides: in fact to a political message strong transmitted during the unfolding of the plot, is opposed a gameplay completely unrelated to it, and which, from a certain point of view, even goes so far as to contradict it.

At the end of this The Gunk review, the ball is up to you. What do you think of this game? Waiting for your response (after reminding you that The Gunk is now available on all Microsoft stores on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S), we invite you to stay tuned on the pages for daily updates on all most important titles of the videogame industry. If you prefer to buy game keys at discounted prices, you can do so through our link to Instant Gaming.

A platformer with some consistency issues

Points in favor

  • Visually beautiful
  • Excellent level design
  • Interesting story

Points against

  • Inconsistency between gameplay and narrated themes
  • Small technical smudges