I wasn’t a fan of the original Nubla or the re-released version World of Nubla. My review, for another website now lost to the internet trash heap (and incidentally, the wayback machine), gave the game a 2/10 and I called it “well-meaning but poorly designed”. It was with caution then that I approached the sequel, Nubla 2, from Gamera Nest in conjunction with the Thyssen museum. That caution was well warranted because as of this moment, Nubla 2 is unplayable.
What I have played of Nubla 2 was, in my opinion, an improvement on the original game. The “Ism’s” return from the first game, each representing an artistic moment and have their own special ability. In the Chapter 0 of the game I got to play, you use each of the Ism’s in order to find some flowers that’ll be used to create magic paint while clouds destroy a city and an elephant on stilts called Nubla attempts to save people (yes, the plot is still bonkers). Visually, Nubla 2 was far more accessible as a game rather than a piece of art this time around too. Like a living painting, it does look lovely.
There were still some niggles with what I played mind you. Bland and obtuse cut scenes go on for far too long and sometimes without any kind of sound. There was quite a lot of back tracking involved too, at least in Chapter 0.
Then I got to Chapter 1 of Nubla 2 and the issues began. In chapter 1 you get to choose a human character to control. I chose the girl (there’s a boy also) and away we went – only to fall at the first hurdle. The girl didn’t move. She didn’t respond to any of the control inputs. I spent an hour trying to figure out what to do at this point before calling it a night. I then watched a video of someone else play the game and realised I’d fallen foul of a glitch and the human character is supposed to move. Overnight, Gamera Nest released the 1.03 and subsequently the 1.04 patch for Nubla 2 and this caused an even greater issue.
Now I can no longer get past the initial menu screen. No amount of Dualshock button pressing, stick wobbling or angry chuntering at the TV allows me to press on any button on the initial menu to actually allow me to play the game. The game is completely unplayable as of right now. It’s as much use as an inflatable dartboard.
Since we started Finger Guns a year and a half ago, we’ve followed a pretty strict review policy. For the first time ever and following that review policy, we’ve got to award a game a 0/10, a score reserved for games that are unplayable or broken in such a way as we couldn’t finish it. Nubla 2 showed some promise in the half an hour of actual game play I managed to get with it – but a glitch in Chapter 1 followed by the game becoming quite literally unplayable because it won’t let me get past the initial menu means any and all of that potential is squandered.
Nubla 2 is available now on PS4 (review version).
Developer: Gamera Nest
Publisher: Gamera Nest
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. Please see our review policy for more information. The game was reviewed using every available patch from release until v.1.04.