Bunker - The Underground Game Review
Bunker - The Underground Game Review
I suppose it would make a mildly engaging, easy few hours of playtime some weekend evening.
Posted: 06/13/15 | Category: Review | Developer: Nightly Studios | Publisher: 2tainment | Platform: Windows

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure 
Release date: May 21, 2015

The plot of Bunker - The Underground Game has you, as a young lonely American guy, trying to land a date and somehow ending up in an old Soviet military bunker. You have to find your way back not only to the surface but to the U.S. Standing in your way is a lot of goofy, usually defective, Cold War era Communist machinery and other odd obstacles. For instance, you have to match wits with a 1980s mainframe computer that has about 256k of memory. And you have to argue with a very surly mess hall cook wearing a woman’s wig. Eventually, you do find your way out and home, of course.

This possibly makes the game sound more interesting than it really is. I admit, when I started it up I was hoping for a fun, wacky trip back through the glorious age of Soviet "rustopolises" and insane mutually-assured-annihilation geopolitics. There is some half-hearted satire, but mostly I was disappointed in my expectations.

Gameplay
 

Most of the action is fairly traditional pointing-and-clicking, and using and combining inventory items. But there are a few wild clickfests throughout the game. They’re not exactly action sequences but they’re not puzzles either. You sort of have to click frantically around the screen until the little bell goes off that tells you you did it. There’s even an ancient RPG game parody later on that has you hacking away at pixelated baddies. This, oddly enough, is one of the game’s high points and reasonably well-executed.

I often found the game’s controls both awkward and confusing. A number of the scenes scroll left-right or up-down, which would be okay except that when you move your cursor into the extended areas, the scene snaps back when you stop, making it rather difficult to interact with the few items in those sections. Maybe there was some button or key combination I missed; but even so, it was annoying. You also have to remember to left click to proceed after every single dialogue blurb. There’s no voice track for the game (that I’m aware of), just text. Given the way everything else was mishandled, this no doubt is a small mercy.

Graphics
 

The graphics, I suppose, are “intentionally” retro, but they’re pretty unimpressive whatever the rationale. This game is supposed to be something of a takeoff on old DOS adventures, but it still chewed up the better part of my processor for much of the playing time. The game crashed on me a couple of times because of this. And there are only four save slots, so choose carefully. I must admit I didn’t find either the main protagonist or the plot or the humor very entertaining. The puzzles are the “new” kind, which is to say all you have to do to get the answer to most of them is right click on anything and the main character will tell you more or less what needs to be done. I had to turn the music off to help my processor along, but what I did hear sounded pretty generic. 

Getting Steamed with Steam
 

This was yet another game on the Steam platform, which means one not only has to have the game running but the Steam application too. I must confess I’m getting tired of this. Every time I start the game I have to wait to log onto Steam, and then for Steam to “update” my application, which I think mainly means loading the latest Steam ads. As per usual, the game has Steam secrets (or “achievements,” and boy is that a misnomer) to be found throughout the game. And, as per usual, I paid them not the slightest heed. Except to note that by the end of the game I’d found three of thirty-three. Normally, one stumbles across at least half of them without even trying. For a very easy game, the secrets must be either hard to locate or nonexistent. I had not the slightest interest in going back to look for any of the others, however. I’d much rather have a good, challenging game than a bunch of little Easter eggs, like “kicked the can at least six times!” (Note: I made that one up.)

The only intriguing thing about Bunker - The Underground Game is how it got on the Steam platform in the first place. I am forever running across games that look quite interesting that are begging the public to petition Steam to “greenlight” them. How does a lame game like Bunker get on Steam when so many more worthwhile candidates don’t? I guess only the Steam folks know the answer to that one.

Conclusion
 

Bunker - The Underground Game is quite short. Even I, as methodically slow as I am, only took six hours to finish. I suppose if one looked for all thirty-three of the secrets it would take a lot longer. I didn’t find it either fun or challenging to play. I didn’t like the forced, often cliché humor. There were a couple of really off-putting moments that I won’t mention here. There’s really nothing I can think of to recommend the game to anyone. I suppose it would make a mildly engaging, easy few hours of playtime some weekend evening. If that’s what you’re looking for in an adventure. But not me. Final grade, C.

 

 
Grade: C
 
Unchallenging puzzles, uninteresting story and short length
Unattractive graphics and no voice track (thankfully)
Awkward controls, high processor usage for a simple game engine
 
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System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows XP 
Processor: 2.5 GHz (Single Core) or 2 GHz (Dual Core)
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 512 MB RAM (Shared Memory is not recommended)
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Sound Card: Direct X compatible
 
Specials from Digital Download
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