It’s hard not to immediately mention UNBINARY‘s visuals when talking about this brand new VR release as a whole. Sure, let’s get the obvious out of the way: this is another first-person, physics-based VR puzzle adventure, currently exclusive to the Oculus Quest 2 (no, you’re not seeing me call it the “Meta Quest” any time soon). It has you control an artificial intelligence performing some tests to see if it’s capable of managing mankind’s future as a whole. It has nods to games like Portal, and some occasionally neat puzzles. Yeah yeah, that’s great and all, but I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t almost instantly drawn to it due to its art style.


Despite its flaws, I’d have to be a lunatic to call UNBINARY an ugly game.

I love the improved horsepower offered by the Quest’s hardware, which allows for developers to come up with more unique art styles for their VR games. The same couldn’t be said about PSVR titles after a few years: there was just so much you could do with the power of the PS4, an outdated system the second it was released in the wild. I don’t think, UNBINARY‘s excellent hand drawn visuals could have ever been achieved on such weaker hardware. I loved the feeling of immersing myself into what was essentially a sci-fi cartoon, complete with adorable robot designs and a lovely color palette. If there was a reason I wanted to keep on playing this, it was for its unique visuals. Sadly, it wasn’t because of what it had to offer as a game itself.


You’re the one that has to prove me otherwise, game.

As a first-person puzzle game, UNBINARY breaks no boundaries. It has one neat idea where you need to constantly change your robotic persona by touching nearby deactivated robots, inheriting their abilities to help you complete whichever puzzle is in front of you. One lets you press switches and unlock terminals, while other lets you grab ledges and boxes, and so on. It adds a modicum of variety to an otherwise average puzzle game, design-wise. What hinders it the most, however, is its gameplay.

What I like the most about the Oculus Quest is giving developers the means to create games with freeform movement AND camera controls. UNBINARY only does one of those two things correctly. It lets you move your character freely with the left analog stick… but it doesn’t let you control the camera with the same degree of fluidity. It only lets you move it in predetermined (and always awful) chunks, making the sole act of lining yourself in front of the damn puzzle harder than it should. Add in the collision detection issues and a narrator that voices the game in an ungodly condescending manner, and you get an exercise in patience as a result.


The most condescending narrator of the past decade or so. Ugh.

UNBINARY is not a groundbreaking VR puzzler, and for every excellent idea, such as its visuals or its movement system, it is crippled by its short length, glitches or its terrible camera system… but it’s still a fine game. It brings nothing new to the table (well, aside from its excellent graphics), but if you’re a fan of VR puzzlers, or pretty much anything that would even remotely remind you of Portal in any way, shape or form, you could do a lot worse. It’s pretty short as well, so you can knock it out in a lazy afternoon.


Graphics: 8.5

If there’s a reason you’ll want to keep playing UNBINARY until the end, despite its flaws, it’s due to how great its art style is.

Gameplay: 6.0

It may have free-form movement controls, but its camera system is dated and clunky. It may have interesting physics-based puzzles, but its collision detection is really faulty. Simply put, for everything it does right gameplay-wise, there’s something that hinders it in equal measures.

Sound: 6.5

The game’s sound design is mostly centered around voice acting. It can sound neat at times, and infuriating at others. The narrator sounds borderline condescending at first.

Fun Factor: 6.0

It’s a simple puzzle adventure that can be completed in a few hours. It brings nothing new to the table (aside from its great graphics), but it can be a neat distraction if you’re a fan of the genre.

Final Verdict: 6.5

UNBINARY is available now on Oculus Quest 2.

Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2.

A copy of UNBINARY was provided by the publisher.