Future Unfolding Screenshot 1
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Future Unfolding

Future Unfolding is an action adventure that is all about exploration. Your goal is to unfold the mysteries and solve the puzzles hidden in the beautiful landscapes around you. There are no tutorials, and no one is telling you what to do. During your journey you encounter different types of wild animals. Some of them are friendly and helpful. Other animals are dangerous — deadly, even. You need to avoid them, or find ways to turn them into friendly creatures. You can leave the beaten path at any time and hunt down secrets in the forgotten woods. Or go explore in hidden caves. It’s okay to get lost — a detailed auto-map helps you to orient yourself. Over time you map out more and more of the vast environments. There is always a way out. But where to go after?
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

A passion project over 4 years in the making, Future Unfolding displays a remarkable level of dedication and ambition. With an unmistakable and hypnotic visual presentation and soothing soundtrack of earthly melodies, the game captures perfectly the majestic and unknown deeps of uncharted wildlands and the unknown heart of nature. A top-down adventure with a very broad and open do-anything approach and an addictive act in fantasy world cartography, there's no real right way to play and only the most curious of explorers will be rewarded here.
This is an experience of pure exploration and curiosity. You are dropped into the confusion of Mother Nature with little to no hand-holding, with only your senses and instincts to guide you through landscapes and the hazards of predators. Future Unfolding does not point you in any particular direction and instead leaves you with the determination to feel and chart the world out for yourself. As you set out and dash your way through the secretive and cryptic world your crude hand-drawn map will slowly fill in, pushing to to spread out in different directions and uncover more of the exciting and colorful world.
What's really amazing is how despite this lack of any real hand-holding, guidance, or tutorials the game manages to strike a perfect balance of relaxing and entertaining. There was never a moment that I felt stuck, or like there was something I had to do that I didn't get. Everything flows so perfectly well, and just when you think you've strayed far from whatever you're looking for something appears and sets you right back on track in inexplicable ways. It's mysterious and cryptic, but that certainly doesn't keep Future Unfolding from being accessible, enjoyable and fun as heck.
The animals of the forest that whisk you away for rides and lead you to unexpected destinations, wise and talkative elder spirit creatures who share prophetic bits of speech, as well as other unknown magical forces that light up the world all guide your navigation through this magical and natural trek and eventually to pink triangular nodes that activate to your touch. Finding and activating three of these peculiar floating pyramids completes the trifecta and places a welcoming marker on your growing map, and gives you the ultimately satisfying task of playing cartographer to fill out your self-charting map and reach this ominous new landmark and complete the area. Where it leads you and what else is in store would just be a spoiler, and this is a trip I recommend experiencing yourself.
The expanse of forest thick with autumn red and lush green trees, the winding pathways of meadow and flowers so bright and colorful they make an almost psychedelic effect. Round blue lakes and ponds scatter across the lush landscapes, rippling occasionally with the movement of fish swimming close to the surface. It's a gorgeous and natural setting with earthly colors and a whimsical colorful playfulness, and it all seems very true to life at first. That is until discovering the pyramids of neon light that activate to your touch, or the writhing balls of strange miasma that transport you to different darker realms which interconnect for obscure shortcuts. All in all Future Unfolding has a gorgeous and breathtaking visual style that I can guarantee you haven't seen in a top-down perspective before, and creates a mesmerizing sort of magical realism only found in the darkest heart of the woods.
The vibrancy and lifelike movement of the art and animation are matched only by the elegance and grace of the soundtrack that guides your journey. The very fitting hypnotic and dreamy synth chimes and twinkles atmospherically to your every action, and ambient tones rise and fall with the movement and action. Ominous rumblings set a tense mood as hostile elements inhabit the area, and overall the entire soundtrack works meticulously in the background to set and transition each setting and mood appropriately.
There's a certain unbridled sense of wonder and excitement in the discovery of new anomalies throughout the colorful and living world of nature surrounding you. Pushing through thickets of trees to explore for secrets deep in its cover, and happening upon the many strange and exciting landmarks and happenings doesn't get old. Winding through secret trails to stumble upon large and mystical white beasts who share their humble bits of wisdom with you. Strange symbols in the dirt summon a dark fog that beckons you to follow it to a decrepit glowing tree that transports you to dark underworlds. Many of the woods' lifeforms communicate with you in cryptic and unpredictable ways. This mysterious and dreamlike world of uncharted nature holds many loosely connected secrets to discover, and only the most in-tune with its earthly roots will be keen enough to uncover them.
Future Unfolding is an experience not comparable to any others in the interactive media category. The closest thing that comes to mind is perhaps exploring the mysterious island in Proteus of the earlier hey-days of indie gaming when these sort of artistic game projects were first finding their identity. It's that same idea of abstract and open-ended composition that leaves most of the "gameification" up to the limits of the player and their imagination, a whole dreamed up new world for you to explore and create your own narrative within. Games like Future Unfolding only come once in a blue moon, and when they do it's important to seize the opportunity. Highly recommended to experience at least once.

Review from Steam

(UPDATED) I finished the game and my view of the game changed.
Below are my experience 1-2 hours in the game:
- I was addicted to Rocket League.
- I like game like The Witness, ABZU, Firewatch, Grow Home/Up, Trine 2.
- I was bored because I don't have much time to play game.
- I can't afford to play long sessions games, games with lot of story element like RTSs, RPGs, MOBAs.
- I just wanted to relax, wander and enjoy.
- I found out about Future Unfolding.
- I stopped my Rocket League
9/10 must try if you feel the way I feel.
After completing the game:
- Since the game don't guide you much, you may feel lost when you get stuck in a world and don't know how to proceed. This can get frustrating. However, steam forum and online guide can help you get pass certain part of the game.
- My little OCD force me to trace out every possible path of the world too. If you enjoy exploring, this can be good. However, the game doesn't do too well in rewarding the player when they explore the world. You can just skip part of the world and finish the game.
- The length of the game is a bit too long and tiring imo. There are 9 worlds to explore, but each world feel too similar to the other world to make it enjoyable.
- The ending is debatable as well. It's carry 'deep meaning', together with what you've seen in the game, the ending kind of make sense. However, it's not a particular satisfying ending. There is no 'wow' or self reflection.
Overall, I enjoyed the game. I would only recommend this game to those who truly want to relax and wander. Beside that, this is not for those who enjoy solving puzzle, for those who want to have a sense of achievement.
If I have to give it a score, and if Trine 2 is 10/10 for me, this game should score:
7/10
(Nice game but have a few quirks that dampened the experience)
Thanks for reading my review.

Review from Steam

Future Unfolding is a top-down exploration game and the first thing that hits you is the colour. It's easy to find yourself fatigued with the AAA stream of grey so it was truly with joy that I saw my first world fill my screen. In truth, it wasn't just the colour but the whole game. It's drop-dead gorgeous. As your character pops onto the screen and the music kicks in, you feel like you're in a sensory experience. It feels like part of a museum exhibition. The game soon introduces you to it's simple mechanics, press B or press A. Press and hold A to run and you'll leave a blue trail behind you - a trail that looks like a stroke of a paint brush. It's a lovely touch which chimes with the game's overall 'painted' aesthetic. Beyond this early indication of the buttons, Future Unfolding quickly leaves you on your own.
Teaching without teaching is where it excels, the world that you're born in to is a complete mystery and there's only one way to figure it out. Experimentation. Learn by doing. What do those seeds do? What's that pyramid? What's that creatu.... OH MY GOD IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR ME! As you explore the lush environments, there's a sense of wonderment - figuring out how to solve puzzles is something you must do by yourself. There's no hand holding to guide you through. It's here that I found the most joy. The large majority of games tell and for not doing that, Future Unfolding deserves huge credit. It not only does it, but it perfects it.
It also all but perfects procedurally generated worlds - each world that you pop into is generated around a set of rules and puzzles but the randomisation gives every player a unique experience, a unique path to the end of their story. I use the word 'story' very loosely as there is a basic narrative that carries you through but really takes a backseat to your progression. Throughout the game, you'll encounter fantastical creatures that spew some philosophical mumbo-jumbo your way. While it fits in with the game's relaxed tones, it adds little to the game. This despite the odd snippet of how the world works.
You'll also run into - and make use of - many other animals, so much so that they form an integral part of the experience. Much like with some of the puzzles, you'll find yourself scratching your head at what the point of some of them are but I think that is a fundamental part of what Future Unfolding is about. It strikes me as an odd thing to say, but the presence of the unknown definitely adds to the weight of the game.
In the early moments you'll figure out that death is not necessarily a bad thing and that outlook will serve you well while playing. Future Unfolding, much like Journey, is about, well, the journey.
However, within the first few hours, you'll have seen most of what there is to see. The sense of wonder drains away, leaving behind a simple but, at times, frustrating game. Frustrating because sometimes it fails to be a puzzle game and instead simply turns into a game of 'what did I miss?' The game provides a map of your surroundings, a basic fog of war is in play - to uncover the map, you walk around. As you advance, you'll find yourself skirting around levels in a bid to make sure you didn't miss anything - a path, a cave, an oddly laid-out group of plants. Sometimes it's worse, you'll solve a puzzle but have no idea how - which in itself is hardly the crime of the century, until you have to solve the puzzle another couple of times. Having a basic idea of how to solve it doesn't help when enemies come in to play. That's not the end of the world but it is frustrating to have to retrace your steps - a task that becomes all too common. And when I say 'too common', I mean it - there are whole puzzles dedicated to retracing your steps. It's simply not fun.
Picture a table full of donuts. All for you. One of those donuts is real. The others? Made out of... Styrofoam. You, however, cannot tell the difference. If you want the real donut, you're going to have to walk 10 metres to it and bite into it. Unfortunately, you don't get the real donut until you've bitten in to 8 of the fake ones. Okay, there's a delicious prize at the end of the road, but the road is full of Styrofoam in your mouth. Or something. Like my analogy, these puzzles aren't particularly smart, they aren't particularly fun, and I'm not sure that they even count as puzzles/donuts.
While these problems cause frustrations, the music becomes a little overbearing and instead of making you feel like you're relaxing in "Alan's Deep Bath", it makes you feel on edge. I hadn't muted a game in a long while. Future Unfolding's biggest weakness however, is that the world just isn't incredible enough. I keep harking back to Journey but throughout it's (albeit short) run time, I was constantly in awe. There simply isn't enough of that in Future Unfolding. Phoning Home has the same problem - there's too much of it. I often get the feeling that a game could have been great if only the developers had left out the filler and shortened the game, in turn creating a much tighter experience. Unfortunately, Future Unfolding is another to add to that list. As you reach your third or fourth world, the sense of discovery is almost completely lost among the things that you've already seen.
After two hours, I felt bored, which in turn lead to the frustrations that I mentioned above as I went back and forth, as I randomly clicked my way through some puzzles. I felt like I needed to progress the story but those hurdles stopped me in my tracks. I then stopped playing the game. Not in the literal sense, of course, but I started to just let the game carry me through. So I need to go back to where I came, is that such a problem? As it turns out, no, not really. I found myself enjoying the experience despite earlier threatening to cut off my own toes just for something to do.
Pros
Drop dead gorgeous
Forces you to learn the universe's mechanic on your own
A few moments of pure joy
Cons
You'll too often find yourself retracing your steps
Some puzzles are simply a game of 'what did I miss?'
Most things have been seen within the first few hours
Conclusion
Future Unfolding exceeds at letting you find your own way through puzzles and game mechanics, something in which most games fail. The first hour or so is exciting as you discover what is and isn't possible, as you stumble upon brief moments of pure joy. These moments however, are too far in between and when combined with the frustration of retracing your own steps, spoil the experience somewhat. An enjoyable enough experience but ultimately fails to provide the same sense of wonderment as Journey.

Review from Steam

I love it when games present weird systems to the player with very little guidance to cultivate a sense of mystery. This goes beyond just presenting a mystery within the game, I'm talking about having important aspects of the game that need to be figured out with next to no explanations. First thing to come to mind would be Dark Souls, which made you work to figure out some of its systems and most of its lore. Betrayer might be a better example; What to do, and how to go around doing it? Well, it's up to you to find out. Night Shift was almost 100% this, but unfortunately no one played that.
The best thing is that this aura of mistery fits all of these games - it enhances and makes sense for them. It's not just broken logic, a bad translation or lack of budget for proper tutorials. It's an integral part of what they are.
Future Unfolding might be the purest example of this I've played yet. You start off with a couple of actions available to you, and from there, with observation and experimentation, you'll need to work out how to interact with the environment and advance in the game.
We might be looking at a new-ish genre. I humbly suggest calling it WTF'em up.
I'm loving it to pieces. There's not much I can say without going into spoilers, but: it's a top-down exploration game with procedural environments and puzzles. It looks and sounds great and it's got a great in-game automap. It plays like nothing else out there I know of, but there's definitely structure to it, and a (dream) logic.
The game does feel a bit overlong, with large environments that can be a slog to map completely; going through forests becomes a bit tiresome. That's probably my fault, though, since I'm trying to map and find everything. It usually doesn't take too long to find a new enigma and the environments have decent variety. Also (for now), it's all mystery and no plot. There's some lore here and there but most of it comes off as mystic mumbo jumbo.
Future Unfolding is a great game that's really hard to recommend, since I can easily see someone bouncing off it hard. Still, recommend it I do. Just be forewarned.

Review from Steam

Note: This is not a "should I buy" type of review. It's more an analysis of the game, and will spoil some stuff in the game. Future Unfolding is best enjoyed without knowing anything about it other than that it's about exploration, so read on your own risk.
Future Unfolding is a game about mysteries, and finding your place in nature. More specifically, it's a game about running around in procedurally generated natural habitats, and figuring out hidden rules. How to ride a deer? Which bushes are teleporters? How to move rocks? How to use the snake for your adventage? The game explains absolutely nothing. You are on your own. This is its strength and weakness.
Some of the things I'll write will feel like I'm complaining too much. These don't mean that the game is bad. But they do mean that it could be better.
The game is visually very pleasing in motion. Straight up, if you liked Proteus, I think you should get this game. Just to experience running around in top down view, and exploring. Player movement is joyful, the nature is playful, and everything looks beautiful.
Now, about the rules... There are a lot of them, but you don't need all of them to finish the game. Some of them are really easy to find, like riding a deer. Some of them more complex, like teleporting with sheep, and what you take with you while teleporting. And some of them I just cannot find. One time an animal told me that I can hug snakes, I kept trying to press B on the controller while on top of snakes, nothing happened. That's the thing about not telling anything directly. Some things are bound to create confusion. I'm still curious if there's a rule I couldn't find about the snakes.
One of the things that bother me is that on most areas with enemies, you can just run away and you'll be fine. It's luck based rather than skill, so you might have to try a few times. This makes the game feel loose. Like, there are rules but some rules are just boring (collect the lake leaves through the flowers to find a new path, repeat 10 times). And most challenges are not fun. Like the lions. You'll be chased around. But the chase won't give you an adrenaline rush, you'll just be annoyed when you get killed.
That's my main gripe with the game. Almost every element in the game feels overused. Some puzzles are really nice, but then they are repeated again and again, same rules apply in tens of areas. There are times the feeling of exploration leaves itself to the feeling of monotony. But I still finished the game, and I'm glad I did. I saw a beautiful ending cutscene as my reward.
Let's talk story. There is one. But it's hard to get invested in it. It talks about your position in nature as a humanbeing. It tells you to not look for meaning. It wants you to simply exist, and enjoy. It's good that the story wants to put you in a mood where you'll have the most fun out of the game. And the writing is good. There are some beautiful quotes in there. But there's also a moment where an animal just says "I have nothing to say, go further". That feels pretty bad. Also, the way you learn the story is by finding a white animal, and it saying a few words. I think I could be invested in the story more if things were more dynamic. If I could travel with talking animals and they could develop deep personalities. If there was actual tension. If there was something to lose or gain. If my character had personality. Instead, the game goes heavy on taoist themes, which are beautiful, but again, can feel overused.
The sounds and music were minimal, but they work just fine.
My favorite part of the game has to be the procgen, and the render technics used to make 2D sprites feel 3D, But that's quite technical. I wish the hidden game rules had more weight. I didn't really feel like I was smart when I solved a puzzle. And the repetition gets really bad sometimes. I unlocked just half of the achievements. But I feel like I had enough. Beautiful game, I am very glad I played it, but you have to be okay with some of its weird design decisions.

Review from Steam

Pretty much a pure exploration game. It plays smoothly, looks and sounds fantastic, doesn't devolve into tedium and constantly keeps the mystery going.

Review from Steam

Ten thumbs up. You'll certainly need them all. Best game I've ever found via following steams suggestions and reviews that were "positive". Personally I'd say it was "overwhelmingly positive". Awe-striking complexity. Loved everything about it, especially how music and movement drives the whole mission. Also fun to have to figure out everything for yourself throught the whole game. Beautiful graphics even my laptop could run. Ever since dowloading, I've either been playing this game or searching steam for a way to find alike games. 10/10!