The Bunker Reviews

  • Team BretherTeam Brether1,052,308
    02 Oct 2016 02 Oct 2016
    14 2 3
    With virtual reality headsets becoming more commonplace and gamers always looking for the next immersive experience, it seems that we have the technology, we are just waiting for time to catch up before quality games become the norm. In the meantime, to bridge that gap you can always play The Bunker, what I would call a live-action point and click story, showcasing what can be achieved with the right blend of game and movie.

    I went into The Bunker, as I often do, with little knowledge except I understood it was a quick 1000 gamerscore. To see it as just that would be a huge discredit. Splendy Games have arguably raised the bar to other indie developers of what can be achieved. I am still at a loss to how see how the game can make a profit, the quality as such doesn’t make sense to what they must have had as their budget.

    What do I mean by live-action point and click then? The Bunker is essentially one man’s journey in 1980’s England, and he has been living down a bunker for quite some time. In between flashbacks which set the narrative of the story, we control the man, and get him to move and fulfil actions by quintessential clicking on objects and parts of the rooms in the bunker. Whilst the story plays out in a linear fashion, which is perhaps the weakest part of the game, there are a plethora of collectibles to attain which for all you haters, actually make the game stronger, and help the game play out as a game. It seems Splendy want to remind us that it is not just a movie, no matter how confused your brain is by it being live-action.

    The live-action itself is extremely well done, as per my comment about budget earlier. The acting by the main character is top notch and it does make me wonder for the future. Rather than having crappy tv and movie cash-ins we could play as our favourite tv characters. Daryl Dixon in a Walking Dead game, or Anya in Game of Thrones anyone?

    The game then, never passes you by and is an appropriate length of around 2 hours if you just focus on the story, an hour longer if you explore every nook and cranny. It is meant to be digested in one sitting. Whilst it doesn’t hold much replay value, if you miss any collectibles it is back to the start for you, as there isn’t a chapter select. If i’m honest I wish I had just played it and forgot about achievements for once as a second playthrough is recommended, and if you don’t use guides, you almost certainly would require a second helping.

    The story, which would be less than an hour if a movie, manages to pack a lot in within your time with the game. The writing is excellent, and the developers managed to make mundane actions interesting by using location, acting, and tense music along with the aforementioned cut scenes.
    It is hard not to recommend The Bunker then. As an afficianado of video games I am always on the lookout for games that stretch genres and change the game so to speak and The Bunker manages to do that on all levels. If The Bunker was poor I would think live action was rubbish, but as it is the game makes me excited for what we have in the future when VR makes its way to the masses. In the meantime I will take more games like this. Because of the ambition of the game, and its execution, it is impossible to give The Bunker anything less than 5 stars. Whilst it may be short and overall not that enthralling action-wise, that is offset by its story and general coherence about what The Bunker set out to do and what it is. Other indie developers should take note. With games of this quality it will be hard to play mediocre indie titles in the future. Especially, if as suspected, it isn't long before you can don a VR headset and play games like this. Walking simulators can and should look to utilise what Splendy has done for the lasting thought after playing The Bunker is 'more please!'

    Let me know in the comments if you also enjoyed it, and which tv/movie live action games you would like to see if you could play as your favourite character.
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Sol76As it is on sale right now , I think I will give it a try. I was very sceptical at first but reading the review makes me a little bit excited.
    I will come back to you when I played it through.
    Posted by Sol76 on 09 Jan 17 at 16:11
    Sol76Mixed feelings about this one. It started ok , then it got me excited but it ended not so strong in my opinion.

    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

    Because of this I certainly do not recommend this for the full price ( 20€ If I'm correct ) There is NO replay value , if you do not count the last chapter for the achievement , but that does not have to be a bad thing if the experience is fulfilling. It's not a bad game , but you definitely get what you would expect from a game with the limitations of live action video. The story could have had some more scary and tense moments and the outcome is predictable but for less costs it could give you a true live action experience that is a good couple of hours gametime.
    Posted by Sol76 on 29 Jan 17 at 13:26
    HawkeyeBarry20The game is fine, I feel Late Shift is a superior live action point and click if you like this type of game. I also felt some things were very predictable so that was disappointing and I disagree with the collectibles comment. The characters you collect are pointless, the documents you collect/puzzle piece are glitchy and can cause another playthrough even if you did nothing wrong. I saw this as a quick completion and IMO that’s all I got.
    Posted by HawkeyeBarry20 on 20 Apr 18 at 15:28
  • FullMoonBeaverFullMoonBeaver919,156
    05 Oct 2016
    8 7 6
    Welcome to my review for The Bunker.

    Developed by: Splendy Games
    Published by: Wales Interactive
    Release Date: September 23rd 2016
    Price: £15.99 - Currently on sale for £12.79 until 8th October.

    There may be potential spoilers about the game, so only read ahead if you don't mind potential spoilers.

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    Just how far would you go to survive? What would you do to make sure that your life is paramount above all others? Who is the real bad guy, and when would you find out? Several questions you may have when playing The Bunker. A dark and gritty experience about life in a secret government bunker, after the bombs fell and decimated the UK.

    The story starts with you not even born. Your mother is in labour as the bombs start falling. Chaos spreads across the country, and wipes out the population. The bunker is now your home, it is all you know. It is all you'll ever know. Cold, uninviting, cramped.

    You need to survive, but depleting food rations cause panic, and an unexplained disease ravages the population leaving you and your loving mother as the sole survivors of The Bunker. Your only friend, your only companion. She falls ill, and is dying. This is the beginning of your story, and in typical British style, it is not a happy introduction.

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    You are thrust into a sad moment from the start. Your mother is old, dying and drawing her last breaths. John is panicking, he doesn't want to lose his mother. She is the only person he has ever been close to over the last 30 years, but succumbs an passes away. You are now all alone. Everyone in the bunker that you knew has finally gone. Nothing but silence left, and your daily routine which you made a promise to your mother to stick too.

    The Bunker offers a unique live action experience for you, and works with a point and click interface. Sometimes you have a camera following you as you make decisions, and others it is from the point of view from a security camera. The mood and atmosphere that is present within the game engages and draws you into life in the bunker. Flashbacks are triggered as you progress, sending you back in time to when you were a young boy. This fills in the back story without giving too much away. Bishop, who is the General and therefore in charge, is a tough military man, who does very little if nothing to endear himself to you, and constantly berates you as a child and sees you as a hindrance.

    A fairly short game, or interactive movie if you prefer, is just the right length. It is a linear experience, so going off the beaten path is limited to just a couple of rooms. But exploration is vital should you look to find the collectables, which help reveal the back story with documents you can read, carved wooden toy soldiers which are various people around the bunker and cassette players which are recordings of people who were once walking the rooms and corridors of the bunker with

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    The game ups the ante, and panic when there is a scene where John has an accident. It's far from pleasant, and grim in nature. I won't explain any further, but suffice to say it makes your journey harder. The reactor is failing, and you need to escape. Radiation is flooding the bunker, do you stay and succumb to the radiation sickness, or risk leaving?

    As the cut scenes unfold, you find out the true horrors that preceded you. Is Bishop really a bad guy? Just why was he seen with the fire axe hunting you and your mother down. Did he have the best intentions for the bunker, or had he lost his mind with the isolation? And just who was it that caused the deaths of the entire population of the bunker? You find out all the answers to your questions at the end.

    Graphics: Given its live action, this plays no part in the game. But camera work is perfect. Capturing Adam Brown as a timid grown man, who was coddled as a child, and still presents a child like demeanour. Scared, unsure, and a mommy's boy. Sarah Greene as his mother, determined to look after her son, and Grahame Fox as Bishop. The military general who takes no nonsense.

    Music/FX: Your typical psychological horror moments. But not bland by any means. Ambient noises set the mood and atmosphere, and keeps you wondering what lies ahead. Sound effects are all real noises from the recordings. So, as real as it gets.

    Gameplay: A point and click interface that works well, without having a cluttered UI. Very easy to use.

    Longevity: Only clicking in at around 2-3 hours, but what a 2-3 hours you will have. I was sucked in from the off right up until the end. Which ending you have is totally up to you. Should I stay or should I go now? You choose.

    Achievements: An easy 1000g to add to your collection. Take a collectables guide with you, as if you miss just one, you will need to start all over again as there is no chapter select.

    Conclusion: The Bunker is a fantastic journey through the story of John's existence, and the terror he faces on a psychological level, to the failing reactor. What is revealed at the end was impressive. A well written script and story, and one game that even though you will likely only play once, but one that if psychological horror is your cup of tea, you will enjoy.

    A review key was supplied for purposes of review.

    Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. I would appreciate feedback, regarding not just the score, but how the review was written. Always looking to improve myself.
  • Spring ShieldsSpring Shields158,269
    18 Jan 2020
    0 2 0
    I honestly thought FMV games largely died out in the 90's. I picked it up on sale for about 40% off on the Microsoft store (played this on the Xbox One). The game is essentially a point-and-click adventure style game within the confines of an FMV game.

    The story, I felt, was good and the acting is done rather well. You play as John who was birthed by his mother Margaret and he has spent his life growing up in an underground bunker since Britain has been ravaged by nuclear war. Fast forward to the present day and John's mother dies of old age, leaving him as the bunker's sole survivour. While going about your daily routine, a failure in the bunker's system triggers an alarm and thus begins the adventure to fix the problem while also learning about the history of the bunker, your childhood within it and why you're the only one left alive.

    You learn about your life and the ultimate demise of the bunker's inhabitants through a series of flashbacks, flavour text left on computers and audio logs played on tape cassettes. The ending has a nice twist and shows just how far Margaret went to protect her son. You're then faced with the choice of leaving the bunker, presumably explore the world and possibly get microwaved by nuclear radiation or stay in the bunker that is also leaking nuclear radiation and honour your dead mother's wishes, even after everything you've learned about what she did to protect you.

    The game has some memorable moments, including one **** hard-to-watch scene which involved the treatment of a serious injury that John suffers while trying to fix an air filter, as well as a rather "troubling" aspect of John's daily routine.

    The game is quite short and I kind of wonder if this would've been better off as a movie, rather than an FMV game.

    I haven't really bothered playing any games that are point-and-click and/or FMV games and I don't think The Bunker has done much to change that any time soon. It's got a good story and it's a technically sound product, but I'm just not convinced this game is for me.

    Overall, The Bunker is a game I'd recommend you take a pass on, unless it's deeply discounted.