Defunct – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, agility
Developer: Freshly Squeezed
Publisher: SOEDESCO
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PC

Defunct – Review

Site Score
Good: Fluent game experience
Bad: Short, Steep learning curve on keyboard,
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

If WALL-E’s successful animation movie proved anything it’s that people love cute little robots. Swedish developer Freshly Squeezed got the message and started on this Unity game as a student project. After winning several awards and nominations, they made a deal with Dutch video game publisher SOEDESCO to release the game on Steam in 2016. Later on, in 2017, an Xbox One and a PS4 version were released too.

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You are a little unicycle robot working on a giant spaceship that’s hovering over the surface of Earth. In a real unlucky accident you fall into a garbage disposal pipe and are ejected into the surface below! As you pity the poor sad robot, who communicates nonverbally and show its emotions through gestures, you start to race through varying landscapes trailing the giant spaceship you call your home, looking for an opportunity to get back on it.

Meanwhile you encounter other (fallen?) robots that even have formed small villages and sometimes race along with the player. There are some obstructions that need to be cleared however, but the game shows what the key points are. There are plenty of non-obstructing tutorials that explains the steps to take to perform certain routines well, like how to press buttons and do tricks like hanging from the ceiling.

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The simple polygons do the game justice, but the quality of the robot itself could have been better. It looks a bit dull and rather fuzzy. Having said that, the environments are diverse and huge creating a large open world to travel in. There are many elements that you use for stunts, jumps and speedups which appear to have been laid out randomly, indeed as if also fallen from your home ship. This is well done by the game designers, and adds to the realism of the game.

The areas go smoothly over in each other, and you can blast fluently through the borders regions at full speed because there are mostly no loading times. If there is loading to be done a short rotating spaceship animation is shown, but even though it’s interrupting it’s not disturbing. This gives you a real feeling of freedom, even though that you are mostly following a broad fixed route and you can’t diverge too much from your route.

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Lastly, the menus are well formed and easy to navigate around. You have the option to rerun from any area you’ve unlocked – and you can also see how far you’ve already gotten in the game. The sound and graphics menus are more extensive than you might expect from a smaller indie game, which is a nice surprise.


In-game sound is a combination of the whirring of your robot pal with the theme music of the area you’re residing in. The theme music either consists of noise you can expect in the area you’re in (like in the forest) or some background music that isn’t too disrupting. The other sound effects are fine too, and every action has a corresponding sound. There is nothing outstanding here however.

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Defunct is what you would call an adventure agility game. You race around, while picking up parts and performing stunts. The controls of the robot are quite unique. You move around using the standard keys, but then there is the addition of gravitating and magnetizing. The former works as a tool to increase gravity, which means you accelerate a lot faster than normal downhill. Uphill it works as a hard brake, making it useful for an emergency stop. Magnetizing is used to stick at the surface while doing a wally or a looping. Then there is a key to do a random stunt, one for jumping and another one for a short boost. The boost is charged with power-ups you may collect or by cruising through special ponds.

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All these keys make it quite hard to play on a keyboard instead of using a controller, and it requires practice to be any good at it. This does gives you a sense of accomplishment if you perform long runs and combos. This is important, because otherwise the achievements are a bit underwhelming. You can collect items to unlock skins and stunts to perform, but you can also just roll through the different areas until the end. There are wide open plains where you can go at full speed, but there are also small paths next to a huge drop where the player should thread carefully.

The robot has the annoying habit of bouncing of walls when they are approached diagonally, possibly resulting in a weird ping pong effect in tunnels. Another issue is crashing, when you run against a wall you just come to a standstill. Further you respawn at one of the plenty respawn points if you dive into deep water or into a chasm.

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There are also some simple puzzle elements where one need to trigger several bombs to unlock a gate to the next part. This is a bit disruptive to the flowing gameplay, but of course otherwise the play through time would be even shorter than it is now (which is already less than two hours).


Defunct is a fun little game. It’s nice to whirl around with the robot, and the great speeds you can achieve and the tricks you can perform is enough to hook you – for a while. The story of the sad little robot that’s fallen of its ship works, but the story elements are lacking after the start. There is also the steep learning curve to remember and time the use of all the keys, and they are just laid out awkwardly on a keyboard.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Defunct - Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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