Death of the Critic

Future Unfolding – Review

Written by: Tom Blaich


Future Unfolding
is a hard game to describe. A philosophical, top down exploration of a gorgeous world as you try to figure out what exactly is going on. You are dropped in with basically nothing, and what story is there is confusing to say the least. But there is something magical about wandering through the world here, almost discovering new things and slowly inching your way forward on this quasi-vision quest that you’ve found yourself in the middle of.

The way in which you interact with the world is simple. At first you are just walking around a forest, following simple paths. It looks pretty, but it seems like that all you can do. Then you start to notice that the environment around you is affected by your movements. Rocks shift in your wake, and you can push by trees. The world that you think is simple and boring starts to open itself up to you. You find out that you can run, and all of a sudden, the walls of trees surrounding the path seem like less of a barrier to keep you confined and more of an obstacle to be overcome.


You push out into the world to explore, both figuratively and literally. The world becomes magical as you open it up, finding spirit animals that spout some vaguely wise lines or bushes that teleport you across the map or caves that seem to transport you to an alternate dimension. There is a point hidden underneath all of this, but it is hard to discern.

The goal is nebulous and more than once I found myself with seemingly nowhere to go. And you don’t quite know why. The stripped-down narrative and styling doesn’t lend itself to signposting very well, and to say that the game doesn’t hold your hand would be a significant understatement. It is all on you to figure out what to do and where to go, and the first time that you break from the beaten path, you realize that there is a whole other aspect to the world that you are not seeing.

Unfortunately, this discovery can be a tedious process. You have to find things out in the sea of trees that surrounds you. There are no markers leading you to this goal, no visible sign of where you should go. It quickly becomes an exercise in running around the map, hugging the edges all of the way around, and then filling in the spaces in the middle of your map to try to find a hidden secret. It becomes a chore instead of an adventure, and that was when the game lost the magic to me.


I enjoy a tough puzzle when I have a thread to tug on, a place to start to try to answer the mystery. Here it felt like I couldn’t quite tell if I was supposed to be solving a puzzle with a solution I couldn’t find or if I simply had missed something in an earlier area to progress. Wandering all over the map, looking to fill out these tiny hidden spots in hope they held something just didn’t feel

The mouse and keyboard are not the right way to play the game. As you force your way through trees and hug rocky walls, you need to make constant, 360 degree micro adjustments, and the four direction movements of the keyboard felt like an active hindrance compared to the joystick of a controller. It is a simple game, but due to the amount of exploration, you want it to feel effortless.

All that being said, I still enjoyed my time with the game. It is calm, easy to play, and relaxing. The world pops with color and the experience of exploring it can be immensely satisfying when everything goes well. Effective signposting would go a long way to make the game feel less frustrating, more fun, and allow players to actually find the meaning hidden within it.


Review written for the PC version of the game. Your experience may vary.

The title was provided to us free of charge by the publisher.

Our review code can be found here for information on how we write and score our reviews. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns, please contact us at



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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