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UAYEB Review

UAYEB Review

The videogame market is saturated with open world survival games, to the point where it’s hard to make a new title that is different and unique from the rest. UAYEB does nothing new. In the ten hours that I managed to plod through, the only word that I could come up with to describe UAYEB is “painful”. Let me explain why.

UAYEB is a first-person open world adventure game with survival elements and a few puzzles thrown in. Developed by one man, Francis Courchinoux. It took Courchinoux three years to make UAYEB, which with its 16km2 open area, is a pretty impressive feat.

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You play as Uayeb. A man who has been frozen in a cryogenic chamber, and awoken in the year 2119. A friendly scientist studying the Mayan civilisation wakes Uayeb up and tells him that the world's economy collapsed, causing civilians to rise up against the politicians. This uprising ended up destroying humanity as we know it. Uayeb was frozen just before the world ended and is now tasked with finding out who he is and what happened to the world.

Objectives are given to you via email from an old laptop. The scientist, named Joanna, asks you to meet her in a city in the middle of a desert. First, you need to find a few items scattered around the house, gather up some supplies for the journey, and create a lockpick to exit the grounds of the house. This is where the crafting and survival elements come into play. Both are incredibly tedious and tiresome. Keeping hunger at bay means finding tinned food, opening up the games menu system, finding the food again, and finally eating it. It’s a laborious process. There is no variation in types of food (that I found anyway). Dehydration occurs rapidly. I was forever running back to a tap to drink from and to fill up bottles, which slowed down the pace of the gameplay. Gathering resources to craft some lockpicks takes forever. To create three pairs of lockpicks, it takes 30 pieces of Carbon and ten pieces of Iron. Finding the nodes to mine from is relatively straightforward. From each one, you can expect roughly around three pieces of each, but in the area you are locked in there is only a finite amount, and you have to wait until it respawns.

Uayeb 3

After finally escaping the house, you are let loose into the big wide world. Guess what it’s full of? Nothing. Nothing but sand dunes, a couple of palm trees and some shrubs. It’s dreary, huge and it’s barren. There is also no map available to you at the beginning (when you do get one it’s useless) so if like me, you start out going in the wrong direction, chances are you’re going to get lost and endlessly wander around doing nothing. There is a car in the game to navigate the space a bit quicker, but it takes you forever to get the components to craft it. Until then, you have to rely on Uayeb’s feet to sprint across the desert. Unfortunately Uayeb has a pitiful amount of stamina, and can only run a couple of meters before he physically stops in his tracks which was insanely frustrating.

UAYEB would have benefitted from a progression or skill tree system. It might actually feel as if you are doing something instead of aimlessly wandering around a drab, uninteresting desert harvesting materials.

There are a few enemies randomly dotted around, although the ones that I saw were all the same character model. Some weird zombie, robot hybrid that is about as good as a Stormtrooper from Star Wars at shooting. Not once did one of them put up a fight. The AI is pretty much non-existent. You can sprint up behind them, and they won't hear you.

Uayeb 010.png

There was one inventive puzzle in the few that I discovered while playing. It involved a bit of math and figuring out Mayan symbols to open up a secret door. This was the only bright and interesting part of UAYEB I could find.

Behind these doors are caverns that lead to a golden Mayan artefact. The caverns are also filled with traps and rickety walkways. However, the traps and walkways, either trigger or give way with no prior warning, and it feels like a bit of a cheap shot, especially when there is no way to manually save – either wait until you find a bed or wait for the autosave to kick in randomly. Also, from what I found, getting any of the artefacts is pointless, as you only melt them down into gold, and you can find gold underwater in places anyway.

Onto the voice acting: it is woeful. The only other people who worked on this game are the two voice actors. If you’re doing a puzzle or trying to pick up an item that you have too many of, Uayeb pipes up with some witty remark, that isn’t funny and is terribly voiced.It consistently made me cringe. The same goes for the voice acting for the character Joanna — cringeworthy and flat.

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Perhaps I am too critical of a game that was made by one person. He does deserve some credit for the amount of effort put into the game, but for me, what it boils down to is it worth somebody's money? At the time of writing, UAYEB priced at £21.99. Nobody should have to pay this amount for an indie title that is this bad.

UAYEB suffers from a vast number of problems, far too many that my word count for this review will allow. The quests are boring. The open world is far too open, no progression, a dull story, and the enemies are a non-threat. Puzzles, for the most part, are uninspired and almost cliché. It’s hard to find a good thing to say about UAYEB, other than the voice acting being so bad it actually becomes quite funny. Perhaps poor Uayeb should have stayed frozen, and spared me from having to play as him.

3.00/10 3

UAYEB (Reviewed on Windows)

The game is unenjoyable, but it works.

A very drab and uninteresting open world adventure game. Lacking in all key areas, and devoid of any fun whatsoever. Although, the creator must be commended on his efforts in making this game entirely be himself, sometimes it's best to leave it to the professionals.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Sean Carey

Sean Carey

Staff Writer

Puts the C in satisfactorily.

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COMMENTS

Alexy Byron
Alexy Byron - 05:27pm, 11th May 2018

Maybe you have tried the demo but you clearly didn't play the full game that's for sure. The game is to find 20 Mayan artifacts in 20 different levels. 

So sad to see so much misinformation on sites like this.

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SeanC159
SeanC159 - 06:04pm, 11th May 2018 Author

Sorry you didn't like my review Alexy. I do have the full version of the game. I played roughly ten hours as I said in my review, and considering UAYEB is supposed to be twenty hours long, I feel as if that's a fair crack. 

I found a couple of the artefacts, and it was a laborious and painful process doing so. Why anyone would want to find 20 of them is beyond me! But if you like the game and disagree with me, that is fine. 

However, this is not misinformation. This my informed opinion on playing this game. I gain nothing from trying to deceive anyone, so why would I do that in the first place? 

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Stephanie Ross
Stephanie Ross - 09:53am, 15th May 2018

I agree that the game is not perfect, but come on it is not a AAA with a lot a budget, it was made by only one guy, the result is pretty amazing in my opinion.

I have played the game until the end and it took me around 54 hours to finish it. So we are far from your 20 hours.

What the goal of finding 20 mayan artifacts? Well this is actually the game, all the 20 levels are different and have their own puzzles and traps. If you don't understand that don't write an article on it. This is an adventure exploration puzzle game you know.

The small amount of gold that you can find in water areas is not enough to craft all your equipment, that's why you go looking for artifacts.

So I was pretty happy with my experience, it is like old school games with not a lot of pointed directions, you have to think to find your way, you get lost, you explore.

The map is pretty usefull though, and the relationship with your friend is interresting enough through the all story.

There are nice surprises in the middle and at the end of the game.

It reminded me of the old indiana jones games, myst, prince of percia or another world.

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SeanC159
SeanC159 - 11:20am, 15th May 2018 Author

Stephanie, you are correct. It is not a AAA title with a huge budget behind it, and yes, it was only made by one person.

However, this does not excuse UAYEB from being a poor game, and should be open to criticism just like any big budget title would be.  Especially considering UAYEB is being sold at £21.99. 

I could list you an absolute myriad of games that are all made by one person and are a billion times more fun and enjoyable than UAYEB - as well as costing a fraction of that £21.99 price tag. 

In regards to length of the game, just because it is long doesn't equate it to being good. Quality over quantity I say and UAYEB lacks quality in nearly all areas.  

But these are my thoughts; I am glad you enjoyed the game, Stephanie.

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Benjamin Ross
Benjamin Ross - 01:54pm, 23rd May 2018

This review is not correct.

From the start, I never played a story adventure puzzle game mixed up with survival and crafting aspects. So saying there is nothing new here is just wrong.

"Few puzzles thrown in", wtf there are 20 levels with puzzles and all the tutorial level, and the endding level. Sure if you don't play the game you won't see what there is in it.

"Crafting and survival incredible tedious and tiresome" well yeah you have to look for crafting resources and stuff to survive, that's all the point of this kind of games dude.

You don't need to go to the inventory to eat or drink, you can eat directly from a banana tree and drink directly from a lake.

If you get all your bottles filled up you can go anywhere without sufering of dehydration. You just have to be a tiny organised.

Making the lockpicks doesn't take for ever, there are plenty of resources everywhere and you don't need to wait that they respawn. Explore a bit and you will get more than what you need, and you get much more than 3 pieces of minerals each time you dig around.

After you escape the house you don't have to get lost in the wide empty world because your objective is to go find a golden Mayan artifact. Oh yeah if you want to get lost you can, but what the point of moaning if you don't follow your objectives?

You get the map at the begining of the adventure berfore getting the second artifact, knowing that there are 20 levels to finish the game. So yeah the map is pretty usefull as it shows your position and the next objective position with icons, the next clue and artefact to find, the next blueprint.

Yes you need some time to gather the needed resources to craft your vehicle (like all crafting games), and you get well rewarded as you get lots of fun with the buggy.

The tree skill system is actually replaced by the equipment that you are building with all the blueprints and weapons you get (2 vehicles, 12 blueprints and 3 weapons).

The autosaves are everywhere in the mayan sites, so when you die with a trap you get your savepoints just before it. 

I like the voice acting and found it pretty funny actually. 

When I see early access which are not finished games around $25 usd, I really don't understand why I shouldn't pay $29 for a full game.

All in all it is a game that won't seduce all the players for sure, like old shcool puzzle games but it doesn"t worth a 3/10.

I have found a more accurate review here:

https://www.zeepond.com/zeepond-reviews/uayeb

7/10

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Platinum
Platinum - 04:09pm, 23rd May 2018

Hey here is a thought, your opionion is different to the reviewers, who would have thought that was a thing?

Just accept that he has different thoughts on this than you, how dull would it be if all reviews were exactly the same, I for one like to see reviews with different views on the game before purchasing, I have seen many reviews where the reviewer said it was great and I thought it was crap or the other way around.

These comments make it seem like you guys are getting paid to promote this game or something....

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Benjamin Ross
Benjamin Ross - 06:55pm, 23rd May 2018

I agree with you, all opinions are good to read. 

I'm just giving my thoughts after having played to the full game that's all. And I have added another review link to have other people opinion too. 

No offense to the writter here. Keep up the good job.

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SeanC159
SeanC159 - 08:10pm, 23rd May 2018 Author

Hey Benjamin. Thank you for the lengthy rebuttal. Are you related to the Stephanie above by any chance, or is that just a happy coincidence? 

I'm afraid I will have to disagree with all the points you made. I do not believe UAYEB warrants a 7/10 as Zeepond suggests, even after reading their review. I still stand by my review score. 

However, that is my opinion, and you are more than welcome to voice yours too! If you enjoyed UAYEB, good on you. For me, UAYEB is a sub-par experience at best that I couldn't delete from my Steam library fast enough. 

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Benjamin Ross
Benjamin Ross - 08:30am, 24th May 2018

Yes Stephanie is my wife, what's the deal with that?

And yes you are free to give your opinion as I am, and other people too, and other press like Zeepond even if you don't agree with it.

I am not asking you to change your opinion but just listen to others, that's what sharing experience is about.

Cheers.

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SeanC159
SeanC159 - 11:22am, 24th May 2018 Author

Duly noted Benjamin!

I hope you and your wife enjoy playing UAYEB together. My girlfriend played through a bit of UAYEB and found it terrible. It pushed our relationship to the absolute limits. There were tears, anger and in the end, sheer disappointment in ourselves and UAYEB. We ended up in a dark place. A place devoid of any light, until I could uninstall UAYEB from my Steam library. 

We made it through the pain though Benjamin, albeit permanently scarred. 

You and Stephanie must be made of stronger stuff! I hope you two enjoy UAYEB for many moons to come. 

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Benjamin Ross
Benjamin Ross - 04:03pm, 24th May 2018

Sad for you.

When I finish a game I don't play it again thanks. I've moved on something else now.

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Platinum
Platinum - 04:34pm, 24th May 2018

Writing yournext game? 

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eagletrance
eagletrance - 10:52pm, 24th May 2018

I actually torrented this game as I was unsure based on the videos I saw.  

Wasn't really worth picking up unfortunately, another years worth of development work and it may have given a more complete expierience but felt it lacked in a few areas.

Maybe the sequel would be better, think who ever developed it was too excited to get the game out and rushed it.  

£21.99 for a game that's not polished yet... plenty of better similar games on Steam be it in early access or not.  

They should have released this as an early access and got some feedback from the community.

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