Thursday, July 23, 2015


 As everyone probably already knows, this post has been long overdue. UNIA is the latest game by MadPea, and MadPea is one of the greatest game/content creators on Second Life. Now I've been following the development of this game for well over a year before it's release (I think?), or at the very least, ever since they first announced it in their group. The original disclaimer is that this would be the biggest thing they've every done, and... well, now that I've finally found the time to go through it, they weren't wrong!

I remember going through the original Devil's Labyrinth back in the days when I was still doing Hogwarts roleplay, and figuring out their Firefly interactive story. MadPea did escape rooms and glorious sims, and lately they've been doing-- well, hunts with stories behind them. I like stories, I like hunts... win/win, right?

But I think it wasn't until I was running through UNIA that I realised just how much I missed something purely... story. While the hunts were always fantastic and MadPea did a spectacular job creating sims and HUDs that allowed for more immersive game-play, there was just something about hunting in outside stores that tears you away from the game. Of course there were some great stores that actually redecorated just to suit the hunt! And wow, those were the stores that really got my approval, but there's something that detracts when you see a store that's clearly not in the storyline but has been written into the storyline because of the hunt and then also realise that there are other people in the store actually trying to shop or do something else that's not in the same mindset as you... well.

Let's just say: UNIA gets rid of all that. It is still a hunting game. You still have to search for items, and a lot of times those items will be hard to find. But everything is moved so that when you play UNIA, you will only see other people who play UNIA. You are not traversing outside stores, but rather, the outside stores have come to the UNIA sim to sell their goods, tucked away in a corner where it doesn't interfere with the storyline.

Now the pictures that I have up will have a bit of spoilers to UNIA, but since I want to gush a little about how amazing it is, the post itself will have slight spoilers for UNIA.

 MadPea has done a fantastic job of giving away absolutely nothing of this game in advance, so when I first started playing, I honestly had no clue as to what I was supposed to do. Wander around a desert sim looking for things while wearing a HUD with my vital signs on it? And yes, just so you know: you can die in this game. I'd be very surprised if anyone makes it through without dying once, because... well, I know I died a few times entirely from curiosity!

 The story goes that your car breaks down in the middle of the desert right next to the town of Molimo, a tiny place with missing persons posters all over. In fact, speaking with the residents will have a man searching for his wife and a police officer who warns you to stay safe because Molimo is rather famous for disappearances. I didn't know what to do, so I went around a lot talking to people until I was eventually 'kidnapped'.

I say 'kidnapped' because I honestly only heard some noises behind me, started running, and then blacked out to find myself awake again in a farm that looked nowhere close to Molimo! In fact, the entire area is surrounded by an energy shield so that's where the puzzles truly start. How do you get out??

UNIA is a survival game, and that means there are things in this game out to kill you and you can choose either to run away or fight back. Now, as someone who could only afford the Bronze Pass of the game (which is the basic pass to play and costs 400L, as opposed to the Gold Pass which is 1000L and will provide you will amazing weapons for you to defend yourself with), my only real choice was to run away since I attempted to fight back once and... well, if it helps, I died slightly after I managed to kill the monster.

Expect intrigue! Horror! Jump scares! And honestly, several moments when you feel like you need to start stabbing at your monitor because I for one could not figure out for the life of me how to solve two of the puzzles without some helpful clues from people in the chat. (If anyone wants to know, it was the cow and centipede ones.)

But yes! Definitely, definitely, take some time out of your day to play UNIA. It is beautiful, it is daring, and as my SO has asked, "Why don't they just make a real game out of it and put it up on Steam to make more money?" (Trust me, that's a real compliment coming from him.)

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