- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Playdius
- Developer: Aurelien Regard Games
- Release Date: February 5, 2019
- Rating: NR
- Genre: RPG, Action
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://away-the-game.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
At its core, Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a first-person adventure RPG with an action focus. Your primary goal is to go around different locations—all of which are quite nice to look at due to the semi 2D/3D anime theme—and beat down enemies to save your family. To accomplish this seemingly impossible task, you’ll need to use your primary weapon—a stick—and beat enemies silly. Away: Journey to the Unexpected does offer other weapon choices from your potential allies you recruit as you go on your adventure. Each ally has a different weapon and power which you can tap into as long as they have energy to be used. This simplicity allows Away: Journey to the Unexpected to work—in terms of gameplay—well enough to be a solid first-person adventure title, but it’s also where we began to see the major issues with this indie title.
Before we talk about what Away: Journey to the Unexpected does wrong, let’s discuss the positives. The first big thing that is noticeable right away in Away: Journey to the Unexpected is the anime visuals that blend 2D and 3D together. Enemies and characters have an almost 2D nature to them but they move—like you do—in the third dimension. While it might seem strange, it actually gives Away: Journey to the Unexpected a really strong sense of individuality. Add to this the impressive score—which really awesome—and you get at least a beautiful looking and sounding game.
Gameplay wise, Away: Journey to the Unexpected does a few things right. The brunt of the game is you running around different locations and beat up enemies with a stick, but Away: Journey to the Unexpected also throws in some interesting elements that work well. Dying in Away: Journey to the Unexpected might seem like a punishment—since you have to redo everything you did up to that point—but it also acts as your only form of advancement level wise. After you die, your progress made gives you experience points which in turn unlock new perks. These perks will help your survivability next run and usually make things a bit easier with each advancement.
As you progress—story wise—in Away: Journey to the Unexpected you’ll meet a strange slew of allies that will also help you stay alive. Each new character you can recruit will give you a slew of questions and if you appease that character with good answers, they will help you in your quest. You can have several allies in your team and at any time can swap between them allowing you to use their weapons/skills at the cost of their energy going down. You’ll have to learn when to use an ally and when to keep them in reserves—usually using them in boss areas is the best stratagem—to best stay alive in Away: Journey to the Unexpected. However, dying with allies means you’ll have to re-recruit them and it’s here we begin our journey into the weaker elements of Away: Journey to the Unexpected.
We’ll be quite honest, folks; Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a bit repetitive and stale for what is only a several hour game at best. Unlike other indie titles with roguelike elements— Away: Journey to the Unexpected has random elements so it can be considered a roguelike—there’s a feeling of been there done that with Away: Journey to the Unexpected. You’ll go through areas over and over as you perfect your runs, but the combat and gameplay never change enough to feel refreshing. Hitting enemies with a stick might seem funny at first but less than an hour in we began to grow bored of it and wished we’d gotten a sword or something. Allies might have different weapons but often you won’t be able to use them enough and will be forced to just run around…with a stick. Away: Journey to the Unexpected feels like an indie game from ten or more years ago and that makes the experience feel very weak overall.
Lastly, Away: Journey to the Unexpected might be totted as an affordable indie game for its run time, but we don’t feel that is a very accurate statement. If Away: Journey to the Unexpected was $8 or $10, we’d be perfectly fine with how it looks and plays. Instead, Away: Journey to the Unexpected is $17 dollars, which just feels like a bit of a steep price. We understand the anime visuals and music might have made the price of Away: Journey to the Unexpected a bit higher overall to make but its gameplay—as mentioned above—doesn’t warrant the cost. Most indie games can push hundreds of hours’ worth of play time with beautiful graphics and gameplay all while still only costing $15. It’s admirable Away: Journey to the Unexpected was done by two fellows with a vision, but it still doesn’t deserve such a high price tag for what is a quick and repetitive experience.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Anime themes are magnificently done
- Simple but solid FP gameplay
- Quirky characters and story make for some silly moments
- Great soundtrack
- Stale combat
- Doesn’t warrant the price tag
- Feels outdated in numerous ways
Honey's Final Verdict:
Have you played Away: Journey to the Unexpected or have a different opinion than us? Comment below as we always love talking about differing opinions on games we’ve played. Be sure to keep stuck to our hive for more game reviews and articles done by us busy bees at Honey’s Anime!