You know what the problem is with fantasy parodies? The task seems to be too easy. How hard can it be? A bunch of old guys with long white beards, couple of mentally disabled protagonists, dark overlord behaving like an angsty teenager — there you have it, add a few butt jokes and we’re good. And when you look closer it turns out there’s not a lot of more than a mix-up of fart jokes, fart jokes and lots of people “hilariously” falling for whatever reasons. When the genre itself is balancing acrobat on the string of heroic attitude strained upon an abyss of mindless self-repetitive nonsense, it's so easy to make a parody that is just bad example of the genre itself. I think you guessed what I think of UnEpic’s script. It’s a story of pimply geek Daniel, teleported into the dungeons of castle of the Dark Overlord right in the middle of D&D session. And if that doesn’t give you enough notion, this magical transportation happened when he walked to have a leak, because he drank too much beer. Upon arrival our hero makes contact with some dark spirit, it ends up with spirit being trapped in protagonist’s body (or rather mind?) and capable of nothing more than talking. And that he does a lot! Mostly sarcastically, and rarely speaking the truth. Believing that he’s having a very realistic hallucination our idiotic protagonist starts his quest, which is of course nothing less than slaying the biggest villain here. And so it starts, the game which includes a quest quite bluntly tasking you with fucking an orc; and ex-virgin geek is happy to do it.

Not now!

So, if UnEpic couldn’t give you anything besides this rather unartful humour it shouldn’t be even worth writing about. But thankfully from a merit of a game it’s no joke. The game won’t win a prize for the most sophisticated world, but it sure is vast. There’s no shortage of easily missable side-quests, different enemies and varying pieces of valuable equipment. But while actually there’s not a lot of need for trying out some magic or ranged weapons, you sure can experiment a lot. But hey, no every game can be Transistor and give you a meaningful stimulus for trying out everything. Sometimes the joy of toying with varying mechanics is enough of a reward for itself. What sure is absolutely mandatory for easy game progression is crafting and collecting all sort of magical scrolls, wands and ingredients for making potions. Power-ups help quite a lot, especially on those hard-hitting bosses, who usually aren’t very tricky, but require a bit of a precise movement which isn’t something that can be easily achieved considering monstrous control scheme (and I don’t even want to know into a what more horrible mess it become when game was ported on Wii U).

All the downsides of the game are tolerable in the end, when it comes to really superb level design, with a slow but interesting progression path. The castle slowly turns from Terra Incognita into your playground, where you casually go for a walk for another pack of so valuable satyr intestines. Then there’s this key and that key, and new area, and new enemies which require careful planning before you rush off into the battle. Monsters are quite powerful, have the same reach as a player and often enough they output more damage, while being invincible to some types of attack.

Where were we?

UnEpic looks, feels and plays a lot like very old metroidvania, and even contains homage to The Maze of Galious, 1987 game by Konami for MSX and Famicom; developer calls it the main source of inspiration for a game. This retro-feel sure is nice, it has a substance of real love to those games, and while sometimes it can be a bit rough to get in to, it sure knows what to do once the player got its pace.