It’s a game about cleaning gunk.
I wanted to round out the year with another iteration of It Came From Game Pass, this time talking about The Gunk. The Gunk is a platformer that feels like time spit it out of an old era where platforming exploration games were big. Think Ratchet & Clank or Glover, or Gex, or etc. You play as Rani, an explorer who lands on a mysterious planet with her partner Beck.
Rani is of course the type to go exploring and quickly jump into danger in search of adventure while Beck is the stay at home where it’s safer type. The bulk of the gameplay can be found in scouring the environment in search of materials while cleaning out the gunk and restoring the land to its natural beauty. It’s not a walking simulator, but also not quite up to the complexity of a Ratchet & Clank.
Most of my enjoyment in the game came from Rani’s interactions with the world, with Beck, and with her arm (affectionately called Pumpkin). As for the game itself…well it’s a perfect Game Pass game. The combat is minimal and involves using your arm’s vacuum attachment, platforming is casual and very few feats of skill, and the resource gathering to upgrade your gear is fast enough that you should be fully equipped well before the game is over if you’re paying attention to the landscape. The upgrades themselves are fairly inconsequential given the trivial nature of the game’s difficulty.
Ultimately The Gunk feels like Game Pass filler. It took me maybe four hours to finish it, and the whole game can be completed in one sitting. It’s probably not a game you’ll be thinking about in six months time, but for an afternoon of fun and something already included in your Game Pass subscription, it’s like a mini-cake. So small, you’ll barely know you’ve eaten it.
And it’s made by the same people as Steamworld Dig, of which Steamworld Dig is on Game Pass too.