The Gunk review

Gunk is a crowdfunding platform that has been in operation for over 10 years. The company was started by two college friends and expanded globally to include more than 30 countries on the planet today. Gunk also offers an app, allowing users to track their campaigns from anywhere with just one click.,

The “the gunk steam” is a new game that has been released by the team at The Gunk. It is a platformer with an interesting twist.

The Gunk review

The Gunk screenshot

It’s OK if you don’t pay for the gunk (pic: Thunderful)

SteamWorld’s creators present their first ever 3D game, drawing inspiration from everything from kami to Luigi’s Mansion.

We often chastise publishers for releasing lesser games during peak seasons or in the aftermath of much blockbuster releases. Although December is technically a slow month, introducing The Gunk a week before Christmas with no promotion would generally be considered a death sentence. But not on Game Pass, where it suddenly doesn’t matter whether or not people purchase it.

The Gunk is the newest game from Image & Form Games, and it’s not only their first 3D game, but also their first console project that isn’t part of their nebulous SteamWorld brand. Given how diverse those games have been, it’s not surprising that The Gunk doesn’t actually have much in common with any of them, although it does remind me of a few others.

The Gunk has just one big thing in common with the SteamWorld series: it takes a fairly popular premise, in this instance the notion of restoring life to a rotting and lifeless environment, and strives to make it feel fresh and intriguing again. It struggles with this objective significantly more than you would think given Image & Form’s 2D work.

You play as Rani, a scavenger who, along with her colleague Becks, learns that the planet they were going to seek for salvage is afflicted with a sticky parasite that’s suffocating plant life and turning animals into hostile monsters. The premise is simple, but Rani and Becks’ relationship is intriguing, as the two begin to disagree over what to do and if the titular muck is actually their issue.

The Gunk’s primary idea is that sucking up the black goo, changing with Rani’s power glove, and seeing the planet slowly come back to life is a genuinely fascinating experience that doesn’t need any further intricacy. That’s a large risk to take, and although cleaning up the mess is fun, it’s not enough to warrant the whole game.

The Gunk is similar to kami in that it clears the environment of gunk and then watches the fauna spring back to life, but unlike kami, which had a Zelda-style arcade adventure, The Gunk doesn’t have much more going on. Outside of the basic clean-up operation, the puzzle-solving is the strongest feature, in that you do have to stop and think about it every now and again – which is more than can be said for most commercial games.

The gameplay, on the other hand, is much less exciting, and centers on sucking up little adversaries and using them as missiles against others, with bigger enemies having flashing weak areas that indicate where to aim. It’s at this point that you realize Luigi’s Mansion must’ve been a huge influence, yet The Gunk lacks the fun and ingenuity of that game.

The Gunk screenshot

Cleaning with the Gunk is a lot of fun! (Image: Thunderous)

There’s also a crafting system that uses gathered materials, but it seems like it was included primarily to ensure that sweeping up muck wasn’t the only thing you did. You may improve your glove, but the game is already so simple that it doesn’t seem essential. Transforming your robot hand into a laser gun is a cool trick, but with just a few foes to fight and none of them being really challenging, it’s not the most interesting upgrade.

The game’s visuals are frequently stunning, with a more realistic look than the SteamWorld titles while yet preserving a clear visual lineage. The vivid colors, on the other hand, are an unusual choice for a game that wants to emphasize the delights of bringing the environment back to life, since they make everything feel a little dull and sterile whether or not there’s muck around. It’s also a pity that the human characters don’t have appropriate lip synching, since it’s really visible.

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The Gunk has a number of clear sources of influence, but it ultimately reminds me of the recent Kena: Bridge Of Spirits, in that a lot of work and some really nice visuals have gone into a game that doesn’t have a single original concept. Both games are pleasant and unoffensive, but the utter lack of gameplay ambition grows tiresome well before the conclusion.

We wouldn’t advocate buying £20 for The Gunk, but since it’s available on Game Pass, the issue becomes whether it’s worth your time rather than your money. And, given how short it is, we’d say it definitely is — if you don’t have anything else to do. We’re not sure whether making subpar games more palatable is the greatest way to promote Game Pass, but The Gunk is a pleasant diversion, and if that’s something you need this Christmas, the release date wasn’t so bad after all.

Summary of the Gunk review

In a nutshell, The Gunk is too familiar, too simple, and too short, but if you’re looking for a non-demanding game to play on Game Pass, you can’t go wrong with it.

Pros: Cleaning out filth is really pleasant, and the artwork, despite a rather restrained color pallet, can be very spectacular. The bond between the key characters is intriguing.

Cons: The gameplay is a jumble of ripped-off concepts that are all better executed elsewhere. There isn’t much of a necessity for creating improvements in this game.

6 out of 10

Xbox Series X/S (reviewed), Xbox One, and PC are the formats available. Cost: £19.99 Thunderful is the publisher of this book. Image & Form Games Developer: Image & Form Games Release Date: December 16th, 2021 Age Rating: 12


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The “the gunk physical release” is a review of the album from The Gunk. The album is available for purchase on vinyl, CD and digital download.

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