‘Untethered’ Is A Fascinating VR Mystery From The Makers Of ‘That Dragon, Cancer’

by Jamie Feltham • December 26th, 2016

Google has attracted top talent to make content for its Daydream platform, though it’s not doing the best job of telling you about it. For instance, did you know that a new game from the developers of That Dragon, Cancer was released for the mobile VR ecosystem this month?

Well it was, and it’s a fascinating oddity. Numinous Games’ Untethered is a far cry from its last release. That Dragon, Cancer¬†was an unflinching account of the time developers Ryan and Amy Green spent with their terminally ill son, Joel, before he passed. One of its scenes was even adapted to Gear VR. After that game went on to win a Game Award earlier this month, Untethered arrived as an unexpected but more than welcome follow-up.

It’s an episodic experience and the first entry casts you as a DJ in a small town where a series of supernatural events seem to be unraveling. The piece is set inside your studio, where you’ll stick on records to play on air, listen to call-ins, throw darts during quiet periods and even record lines for the broadcast.

Yes, Untethered records your speech at certain points and even lets you talk with a producer you’ll hear barking orders at you from time-to-time.

The game is about unraveling the mysteries of the town through the accounts of others, though it can often feel like you’re sinking further into the questions rather than getting anything answered. Strange call-ins from one listener increase in their weirdness with every message, and at times it can be difficult to know what to do in order to progress.

The radio shack is one of the better-realized environments in Daydream, though; most items can either be picked up or pressed and small details make it feel lived-in and authentic. Dare I say there’s a hint of Firewatch to it, though its art style probably evokes that more than anything else. Still, there’s really nothing else quite like it in VR, and at $4.99 it’s definitely worth Pixel or Moto Z owners with a Daydream View checking out.

New episodes for Untethered will feature new locations and characters, though there’s no indication of when they’ll be showing up just yet.

It just goes to show you that you need to keep track of what’s releasing on Google Play (we couldn’t even see an icon for the game in the in-app storefronts). You never know what you might find on there.

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