Unto the End - Switch Review

"When frustration outweighs fun."

Unto the End - Switch Review
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Pick up your sword, journey into the harsh environments and engage in what the developers 2 Ton Studios describe as "read-react combat". In Unto the End, immerse yourself in a handcrafted adventure about a father doing everything in his power to return home to his family; and when all else fails, just remember, read-react-survive.


From the get-go, Unto the End tells the player to expect the unexpected; combat is literal and will rely heavily on the player's instincts and watching their opponents' movements. The protagonist has an upper and lower attack and must also block with this in mind from their opponents. It's possible to even make enemies flinch in combat by faking high and low, allowing the player to get the upper hand. Players can even lose their weapon, resulting in being defenseless until it's picked back up.

The frequent campfires act as rest points so that you can heal your wounds, see to your inventory and craft new items. As an obvious homage to the Dark Souls series, it's oddly nostalgic whilst acting as a nice resting point inbetween the intense combat sequences.

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The Switch version saw a week delay which initially had me concerned that this version would have some technical issues. I'm delighted to report that the game runs as smooth as butter on the handheld hybrid. The only Switch issue to come from the Switch port is more of a visibility issue in handheld mode as the dark areas can be difficult to see on the tablet's reflective screen.

World Design

Unto the End is a 2D action platformer with simple puzzle elements. These can involve simply finding a key to unlock a door, so nothing too mind-bending. Other than that, a lot of the game is simply running in certain directions until you find the next enemy. Its quite barebone and likes to concentrate on the ambience rather than on engaging design.

Story / Personality

This story is told entirely through action, meaning that there is no dialogue to be read. Other than trying to get home, there's not too much to say about the game's plot. Unto the End is clearly focussed on the combat and its atmospheric storytelling methods which are certainly commendable but if you're hoping for engaging plot twists and a story to immerse yourself in, then perhaps take this as a warning to temper your expectations.

Graphics / Art Direction

After just a few minutes into playing the game, the player falls into an underground cave. To navigate through the darkness, a lit torch is required which can be made from materials gathered. While the atmosphere and reliance on survival tactics created an ambience that only the uncertainty from darkness can make, the caves are very dark and for a player with the slightest bit of light in the room or reflecting on the screen (especially in handheld mode) is sure to make the player feel like they're simply staring at a black screen.

This also makes the gameplay awkward from the get-go. Now maybe this game is telling me that I'm bad at games but on the flipside, having a dark cave be the opening segment is just counter-intuitive. This opening cave section is also not the only one as in the game's short two hour runtime, approximately 50% of it is spent in the dark.

Moving on from the cave sections, Unto the End has a gorgeous 2D hand drawn aesthetic that seeps into your screen lovely. With a Skandinavian-inspired setting, the backdrops are largely based on the nature from a cold winter, with deep snow and sombre colours. Couple that with supernatural themes with a popping hand drawn aethetic that deliberately lacks texturing and Unto the End is a treat to behold.

Music / Sound Design

Unto the End relies heavily on the natural sounds of the world, meaning that the game draws you in with sounds of falling stones in caves, the crunch of snow beneath your feet and the screeches of monsters to keep the player on edge.

Click here to read our review of Monster Sanctuary

Final Score: 60%

Unfortunately, Unto the End is a prime of example of when frustration outweighs fun. Its gorgeous artwork is often sullied by its frequent dark cave segments to the point where you'll often breath sighs of relief when you escape from them. The interactive combat is a great starting point to create a more accurate depiction of combat and yet, it simply feels clunky and with the game's short runtime, the game is over before you grow accustomed to it. However on the other side of the coin, maybe I'm just bad at video games - who's to say?

Thank you for checking out our Unto the End Switch review, thank you to Big Sugar Games for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: