Unrest is a role playing adventure game set in a fantasy interpretation of ancient India that adapts to death, failure, and the choices you make. Play as ordinary people in a struggle for safety, freedom, and a chance at peace. Use conversation, manipulation (and rarely, violence) to achieve your goals.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (113 reviews) - 69% of the 113 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 23, 2014

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Reviews

“Ethical dilemmas reminiscent of Papers, Please.”
Edge

“Its heavy focus on the story does wonders thanks to some great writing, and almost every character you meet or play will have understandable backstories, motivations and traits.”
IGN

“Unrest is excellent [...] It’s not often that a game I’m reviewing hooks me so hard that I play it through twice.”
Indie Games

About This Game

Set in a fantasy interpretation of ancient India, Unrest is an adventure RPG focused on story and choices. Play as five ordinary people who are struggling to get by in the famine-stricken city-state of Bhimra.

Brave poverty, disease, treason, political and social upheaval. Face unique burdens and gripping dilemmas as you struggle to survive in each chapter...but choices made to help one character may well make life harder for another.

In Unrest, there are no heroes of legend, there is no mystical quest, and fate has not chosen you.
You're on your own.

Key Features


  • Diverse Characters: Play as a peasant girl faced with an arranged marriage, a priest troubled by his radical temple, a slum dweller with a dangerous past, an ambassador from a militant nation, and a mercenary captain far out of his depth - all as part of the same narrative.

  • Reactive Storyline: Hard decisions made in one chapter have consequences in the next. A choice made as one character may well determine the fate of another.

  • No Right Answers: There are no fail states in Unrest - if a character dies or fails in their objectives, that becomes part of the narrative. You can play in Iron Man mode to ensure there are no second chances, or save/load if you wish (not that we recommend it).

  • Complex Conversations: Unrest's dialogues are organic, branching exchanges designed to offer an unparalleled level of control and involvement to the player. You'll always know exactly what you're saying and how you're saying it, and you'll be able to see how much the person likes, fears, or respects you as a result.

  • Violence is Rarely the Answer: Combat in Unrest is rare and always avoidable. When faced with the possibility of death, it's up to you to decide how much you're willing to risk.

  • Lush Art & Music: Unrest's hand-drawn sprites and environments call to mind a living canvas, while the classical Indian soundtrack perfectly echoes the narrative's emotional core.

  • Mod Support: Create and share your own worlds and adventures.

Notable Mentions

Unrest is a game that makes me think of Bede, of transience and loss...Unrest captures something of the lives of people rather than the bombast of heroes and protagonists.
- Rock Paper Shotgun

One of Time Magazine‘s games to watch for summer 2014

Pyrodactyl’s promises of deep interactivity and role playing freedom have, in fact, been fulfilled - The Cloud Monster

[Unrest] tells the kind of story that very few games are willing (or able) to tell... - New World Notes

…seems really cool. I’m so thrilled that [Unrest] even exists – Jesse Cox

Special Edition Content

  • The Unrest OST, a 12-track instrumental album inspired by Indian classical music. (Preview)
  • A novella set in Bhimra, written by Rutskarn of Chocolate Hammer. (Preview)
  • High-res digital posters, including a concept map of Bhimra
  • Behind the scenes developer footage
  • Concept art & Design documents

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or newer
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible graphics card with 1 GB memory
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Monitor resolution of 1280x720 or greater recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 1 GB memory
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Monitor resolution of 1280x720 or greater recommended
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (113 reviews)
Recently Posted
Onebadterran
( 9.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Curator Review:

Unrest, a text driven role playing game based in fantasy India. Take control of characters from all different sects of the same region and determine all of their fates. The main city of Bimbhra is in a state of turmoil and the foreigners, Naga, are encroaching upon their land. What decisions will you make? Can you change the future of this once great city?

https://youtu.be/DWlY7QOEtTk
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Double A
( 7.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 8
This game is really just a story, but it's extremely engaging. It's cut short and sometimes hard to determine how good your choices are, but Ruskarn's writing is totally ♥♥♥♥♥in and Mikk's art is absolutely breathtaking. I feel like the strengths of Unrest totally outweigh the negatives, and that this game is worth your time and money.
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mallorycktaylor
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 7
super thought provoking. not enough games like this.
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derPat0r
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Other reviewers are too diplomatic; Unrest is a CYOA. It could be fun as such, if you could simply choose who to talk to instead of sloooooowwwwwly wandering over to them on the iso map (which serves no other purpose).

The CYOA itself has a fatal flaw. Obviously it's all talk, talk, talk... gathering information, making plans to do something bold, but mostly idle chatter. Then when some authority figure asks if you'll be a good doobie, you don't want to tip your hand, do you? So you say YES, and... that time it wasn't idle chatter, it was a binding commitment WITH NO WARNING. You've just sealed your character's fate as a miserable tool. No, you don't get a do-over. Major WTF.
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Laybunny
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
Honestly, I would have checked "recommended" if you asked me for my opinion whilst playing the game. I did enjoy it. The choices were dynamic and varied, the characters were interesting (albiet a little simplistic), and the story was by all means good. If you like choice games with dialogue, this is great. Literally the only things I disliked was the soundtrack (music looped in a monotonous way) and actual gametime was short, but these are minor issues.

Here's the issue with what I had. I see other people commenting here, "the ending cuts short". When I played, I didn't even know it was an ending.

The story just cuts off out of nowhere and you see the credits rolling and you sit there in confusion like, "... Wait, what? Huh? Is there a second chapter? Did my game glitch?" Because there are so many loose ends and uncompleted story arcs it didn't even feel like a completed game. I actually kind of wonder if they had more planned to be done but simply wasn't. Truth be told, I literally redid the last scene just to see that, yes, that was the ending, and no, my game was not glitching or missing content.

My suggestion? Buy it if it's on sale (like 5 dollars). You'll enjoy it but won't feel like your price tag was too overwhemling when your actual game time is short and cut suddenly. I would say it's not worth 15 dollars.
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sonofthunder73
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
I started playing this game, and was immediately immersed in the story. It's all dialogue, and not action-based, reminded me a little bit of old-school RPG's, the pen and paper type.

Anyways, you play through several characters and are presented with response choices that really make you think. There are a lot different elements that you're presented with, but I'm not sure if it affects the outcome because...

It has the most abrupt and unexpected ending, that I've ever seen in a modern game. I took my time through each of the character story lines, and during the last part I'm talking to someone and it cuts to the end credits!

I have no idea what ultimately happened to the city, and it was just a really poor experience... after so much potential.

It looks like the creators/developers ran out of money.

But yeah, this is not worth $15.00. In reality it's nothing more than a demo that will entertain you for a few hours. I want a refund, and the devs of this game should be ashamed with charging so much for a product that clearly doesn't deliver enough content.

Grades:

Graphics - 5/10. This game is not about graphics. They're stylistic and simple.
Sound/FX - 7.5/10. Easily the strong point of the game, although the tracks do loop.
Controls - 6/10. They work without any bugs, but this is a simple point and click game only.
Story - 6/10. Early on it's interesting, until the terribly abrupt and unexplained ending.
Replayability - 0/10. There's no reason to play a game again when it only lasts (at most) a little more than 4 hours.

Overall - 3.5/10. Save your money unless wasting $15 for a 4-hour game is your thing.
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sand11lions
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
This wonderfully absorbing game needs a proper ending! Perhaps something not so abrupt. Loved it anyhow.
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kloddant
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 27
I got this game because I was looking for an RPG that did not use fighting or collecting loot as a mechanic, and that is what this is. It is all dialogue-driven, and the choices you make have consequences that affect how the rest of the game plays out. The dialogue in this game, in and of itself, is some of the best and most realistic that I have seen. The character scores that each choice affects are, however, not intuitive and seem to have no bearing on the final state. The game is also quite short and anti-climactic, with an abrupt ending. Considering its length, it would probably have been better if it had fewer character arcs so that you would be given a chance to play each individual character more and bond with them.
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Atarvos
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
I recommend this game at its sale price of $5, but not $15. Most of the game is really interesting. It lets you play in the point of view of all the sides, which I really liked. There are also lots of choices that are available. However, it felt like these choices didn't add up to much. There's really no gameplay, however thats not bad. The story keeps you interested. However, the ending is very disappointing. It feels like they wanted to add more to the game but ran out of budget. I would recommend buying the game when it's on sale for $5. I think that $15 is too much. Play the demo and if that interests you, pick it up on sale when it's $5 or less.
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supercrazy
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
The tumultuous city of Bhimra comes to life through the eyes of five of its citizens, all of whom fight amidst collective madness to make sense of the role they've been cast. They are avatars providing framework for the politics of Bhimra, which is the central subject of the game.

The game functions like a tabletop RPG where a writer prepares a scenario in which the player acts out a character. Circulating the paradox of Bhimra, the player views it from different vantage points. The dialogue lacks a true unique voice, but with a terse diction the game delves into a full palette of social complexities: class, racism, famine and so on.

The developers show us, to an extent, how to have your cake and eat it too. Achieving the thematic goal has come with a cost of elegance in art and audio; tailored animations and looping music would have elevated the game. Nonetheless, I laud the developers for realizing their vision in a package that delivers just what it needs to, and nothing more.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Other reviewers are too diplomatic; Unrest is a CYOA. It could be fun as such, if you could simply choose who to talk to instead of sloooooowwwwwly wandering over to them on the iso map (which serves no other purpose).

The CYOA itself has a fatal flaw. Obviously it's all talk, talk, talk... gathering information, making plans to do something bold, but mostly idle chatter. Then when some authority figure asks if you'll be a good doobie, you don't want to tip your hand, do you? So you say YES, and... that time it wasn't idle chatter, it was a binding commitment WITH NO WARNING. You've just sealed your character's fate as a miserable tool. No, you don't get a do-over. Major WTF.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
This game is really just a story, but it's extremely engaging. It's cut short and sometimes hard to determine how good your choices are, but Ruskarn's writing is totally ♥♥♥♥♥in and Mikk's art is absolutely breathtaking. I feel like the strengths of Unrest totally outweigh the negatives, and that this game is worth your time and money.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
super thought provoking. not enough games like this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
156 of 179 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with this game, but it did end up disappointing me by the end. It basically plays as a Bioware game (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc.) without the combat and item management elements. You walk around an enviroment talking to people, picking up quests, and making decisions. You switch to playing various characters thoughout the story, which allows you to see the complicated state of affairs from different sides as the story unfolds.

The story is pretty good, and I liked how it constantly pits you up against morally ambiguous dilemmas. More than once I actually found myself questioning the principles I had chosen to stand by. I was engaged in the dialogue pretty much the whole time, even when speaking to side characters who didn't contribute much to the story.

I think, in the end, I just expected more from the game. There's a lot of build up with not a lot of payoff, and a lot of things that I expected to matter just didn't matter at all in the end. Most of the choices you make don't come back to you, longterm, in any way. I doubt that this would be different with a different playthrough, the game is just too short. Characters will aquire traits based on the decisions you make, but these don't seem to have any effect on subsequent dialogue or decisions. They're badges, basically. The opinion, admiration, and fear you get with characters through dialogue doesn't seem to affect dialogue or decisions either, and it doesn't come back to haunt you or help you later on. Most characters don't get more than one playthough, so you don't get to follow up on their story. As it stands, I can only get but so emotionally invested in them.

For what it is, this game can still be fun for the right kind of person, and I'm happy to support games like this as they have so much potential. I can see myself recommending it to a few people I know, but knowing what I know now, I doubt I would have bought it for myself.
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84 of 101 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 23, 2014
So I wasn't sure what to expect when playing through this game, I went in completely blind, but I was pleasantly surprised. The game is heavily text-based, so be wary of that before purchasing, it's not your typical modern RPG.

The closest thing I can compare it to is Heavy Rain. And that's a good thing. You have a lot of freedom within the choices you make and all of those choices can have heavy consequences. You play as multiple characters, and you can see the effects your choices from one character has on another, albeit never directly interacting.

The main game took a good 2 or so hours to complete, however with the amount of branching dialogue choices and I imagine endings too, that's pretty impressive. There's a lot of replayability here, especially with the mod support.

Closing words would just be to try the demo, it's there for a reason. If you like what you see, then the game will deliver!
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64 of 75 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 30, 2014
An interesting game idea regarding execution (you handle nearly all the game via dialogues and choices) as well as for the scenario (indian setting, mixed with a bit fantasy) .

Throughout the game you play different persons, which are all in some way involved in the troubles of the kingdom, your way will lead from the poorest to the highest and you can lead them to different ways how their life and the future of the realm will play out.
This way you also get to see the conflict from different sides.

The stories and choices regard many problems, beside the main problem of unrest in an old kingdom. You have a priest which has to decide between idealism and beiing a father to his kids/ a daughter between following the path her parents choose for her or striving for freedom and so on.


It´s hard to categorize the game.. maybe a mix of adventure and visual novel, for an rpg, there is a bit too few interaction imo. You have an inventory but rarely use it, the same for the characteristics your actual character develops.. they are more for story than doing anything.

As a warning for everyone, Unrest has no remarkeable graphics, and the sounds/music are, while quite nice, not that various.
Also as mentioned you have to read through the whole game and just choose how your actual character will response. This may be too boring for many people, but i enjoyed the storyline and the concept.
Also the writing is good enough to carry you through the story.

Last but not least the game is not very long.. you can complete it in about three hours and while the end is a bit sudden, you get enough disclosure.

So maybe check the demo first or wait for a sale, but i liked it and would glady see more from the developers.
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43 of 47 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2015
First of all, this is a low budget indie title. Doesn't hurt to know that before, because half an hour into the game you'll just forget that fact.

I went in without much of an expectation and ended up absolutely loving every minute of it. Great story, beautiful writing, a LOT of freedom to shape the characters personalities and their fate. Best of all: the ambiguity and inherent realism of this fantasy. Do not expect a conventional good vs evil epic. Or even better: expect it ;)

If you're infuriated by the rather unsatisfying end, do a little research about what the developers had in mind artistically and judge then. It is a matter for debate still and seems much less thought through than the rest of the game, but I get their idea. Unfortunately it reduces the motivation to replay a little. Also on the downside: Ingame movement could be a lot faster, I came to loathe staircases, because they slow you down like you're wading through a swamp. Having to stand in certain spots before being able to talk to someone got on my nerves too. But these are minor issues.

Clear recommendation to buy. I can't wait for their next title.
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50 of 59 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Review will contain mild spoilers: Please be wary.

This game is an RPG based entirely on dialogue choices. You can also move around the map outside of dialogue. This is how the game plays and some people may not find that fun. I, personally, did enjoy this system. I didn't want fancy mechanics, I wanted a story and this system was a brilliant way of doing that.

Through the duration of the game you will play a handful of different characters at different sections in the story. The story is broken up into several scenes and you will play one character until it is finished at which point both the scene and the character you play will change. And, unless the character is Asha (the princess of the human kingdom), you will never play as them again.
The way you end the scene, and the things you do during it, will effect future scenes in what characters appear (I have only noticed one instance of this but there are probably more) and characters will reffer to what your character did. For example you can run away from your marriage as a peasant girl in a farm village and the owner of the farm will mention that she has had trouble with a peasant running away in a later scene.
There are alot of examples of this that I could give which is wonderful. I love feeling that my choices mattered.

However I didn't get that feeling. I once tried to refuse to do something as one of the characters and the game pretty much said, "It is plot essential that you don't refuse so you did it anyway." In a game like this having control taken away from your character is pretty much the worse thing you could do.
The core selling point of this game is that the choices you do matter and if the moment you try to do something that will significantly alter the narrative of the story the game takes away your choices and forces you down a path then something has gone wrong.
The amount that your actions affected the world would be sufficient for a more combat-oriented game (in fact I would love it there) as the subtle strokes are so nice sometimes. But for this game it doesn't cut it.

But perhaps the worst feature of this game, the one that made me hate this game, was the lack of a suitable ending. In fact I thought I was still playing the game (the ending is done through dialogue between your character and another) and then it cut to credits. In this ending I learnt almost nothing about anything but the fact there is still tension between the humans and the naga; in every 'ending' that I got. (Even in my most naga-friendly playthrough it said, "The naga army may march on the humans." or something similar)

To summarize:
It was a neat idea about civil unrest and allowing you to play as characters who influence the story but I felt as though I had little impact on the narrative.
There was no closure on the stories of any of the characters (except for maybe Asha; but even then it is still weak) and I felt punished for being invested in them.
And the 'ending' was poorly executed and uninformative.
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49 of 58 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
I got this game in a bundle, and was really excited to play it because I love story-driven games with multi-faceted consequence/decision trees.

If you like immersive, narrative-heavy games with a good level of consequence/decision trees, then you will enjoy this game.

The aesthetics are good, the backgrounds and artstyle can be fairly charming. The storyline seems to be pretty fluid, changing in the most subtle nuances depending on your choices - definitely warranting at least a few playthroughs. After playing the extreme let-down known as Postmortem, Unrest really, really satisfied my consequence-based gameplay hunger. The music and sounds are very good, and I left the audio on for the entirety of my playthrough.

The controls are very simple, you mostly walk around and converse with different people. There are maybe one or two combat instances, which are also easy to play through. There isn't really a tutorial, however, learning the mechanics of the game is not challenging; the learning curve is minimal to moderate. Understanding and realizing the consequences of your actions, however, may take some time (and even one or two playthroughs).

Something that really interested me was the pacing of the game - as you develop a connection with your character (I am a very immersion-oriented gamer), you will find yourself put into the perspective of a new person as the story progresses to critical moments. As a psychology research assistant, one theme my lab likes to look at is bias - and something very, very interesting is experiencing the biases as you jump from character to character. I try to play RPGs as true to how I believe I would act (meaning I usually go for evil playthroughs first), but as I jumped to different perspectives, making decisions became very difficult, knowing that the consequences would most likely affect the very first character I played as. When I realized playing this way would be difficult if I did it for each playable character, I decided to take a different approach - I made a backstory for each character and played them using those stories as references. This made the experience much more enjoyable. Eventually, I also had to pick which characters were my "main" or favorite characters. This game made me better appreciate how George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones), must feel when deciding which characters to kill/make miserable.

The different character POVs allows you to really get a more complete scope of the overarching story, and the presentation of everything is refreshing and well-done. Overall, a satisfying experience if you are the least bit interested in this type of gameplay.

If you enjoy consequence/decision trees and story-driven games, you must give this game a try.

Highly recommend!

Cheers,
DJSF @DJSF's Rogue Reviews
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61 of 78 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 23, 2014
Unrest is a story-driven, text-heavy adventure set in a fantasy version of India. You play as a group of different individuals, each with their own stories and problems in the world, and the choices you make greatly affect how each tale plays out. As you walk around and interact with the people around you, you'll learn information and make decision, which will ultimately lead each of your protagonists down good or bad paths.

If you're not the sort of person who likes text-heavy games, Unrest probably isn't going to win you over. If you do like your story games, though, this is well worth a punt. Note that the game does suffer from some technical issues, with stuttering and crashing, but not enough to take away from experience. You can watch my playthrough here: http://youtu.be/UVJUl4_jTxs
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