Unepic is a Metroidvania-like title and costs $/€10 on the Wii U eShop. It's not a video game, it's a computer game. That means clunky controls instead of refined combat and platforming, and a huge amount of skills, items and stats that are mostly worthless. At least the music is decent and the game is reasonably long. About 200 rooms, each of the size of four screens in a Metroidvania title.
The story is a mixed bag. It tries to be witty, and while it succeeds every now and then, it's mostly forgettable and too longwinded. Combat is a bit random due to the hit detection; at times you mow down incoming enemies with ease, at other times the same wave pummels you around. The architecture of the castle you explore doesn't lend itself to dodging; quite often there's no room to jump and there's no evasion roll like in Castlevania, so you are stuck with primitive encounters. The platforming is similarly simplistic. It gets the job done, but could be much better.
The level up system blows. Each time you gain a level, you get five skill points (six on hard difficulty). There are a lot of different talents you can improve (various weapon and magic types, plus health and armor), but hardly any points to distribute. This is bad for two reasons. For one, the number of your potential abilities keeps growing, but your awarded skill points do not. And two, the EXP gains are so low and slow that grinding is pretty much out of the question. You can gain one item that resets all of your skill points, but that's your only chance to make a correction to your character build. It's really not about the stat bonuses (which are weak), but rather the weapons, spells and abilities you can access. This wouldn't be so bad, if the game were lenient with what kind of skills you need, but towards the end you are kinda forced to have certain stuff, because the difficulty suddenly spikes drastically. Speaking of the end, it's the low point of Unepic. Not too long ago Bravely Default showed how you can ruin the final stretch of a game and this indie game follows in the same foot steps. It's seriously anticlimatic and downright annoying.
Progression through the castle is quite linear. You go from one section of about a dozen rooms to the next one, each boss dropping a key to give you access to your next destination. The lighter in Unepic is used well. By lighting up torches you can easily remember where you have already been and where you still need to go. There are also quite a few quests you can take on to snatch one or the other reward.
Final Score: 5.3/10
Aside from the length of its adventure, Unepic is no match for the heavyweights in the genre. The RPG elements are poorly executed and the difficulty of the bosses is uneven, but the game still managed to keep me going despite those shortcomings. Although that comes down to the lack of Metroidvania-like games and not so much because Unepic is worth playing.