Hello friends and gamers,

Click on the podcast above to listen to my beautiful voiceover of the article post. Great for people who live life on the go, people who have visual impairments, or if you just don’t like to read. And if you fall asleep while listening to it because it sounds like those monotone documentaries on TV—I’m glad you got some sleep!

Today, we dive into today’s game gush, where I explore the mystery behind The Gunk! Like so many other great titles, I had the glory of trying this one out through Xbox Game Pass. The indie treasure was my last video game played for the year, 2021. And what a great game to finish on before I start the new year of gaming.

the gunk

What Exactly is The Gunk?

The Gunk is a third person adventure game that starts by dropping the main protagonist and space hauler, Rani, and her NPC partner, Becks, onto a seemingly untouched planet brimming with life. Hoping to earn some space bucks from a quick roundup of resources, it appears our scavengers hit the jackpot in value. However, as Rani uncovers the dormant secrets of a shattered civilization, she must use her Power Glove to reverse the corruption of toxic gunk. Can Rani heal the planet from the threat of the gunk? Let’s find out!

Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned

The Gunk is oddly satisfying and I’ll get to why that is in a moment. So first off, I took control of Rani and we are inside a cavern system on the “untouched” planet. Cool story, bro. Dialogue ensued between Rani and Becks while I followed a linear path. Luminescent spores lit up a wall at a dead end. Aw, how nice and vibrant purple they were. I scanned the spores and found out they were worth absolutely nothing. Garbage!

Throughout the short prologue, I identified other plants with my scanner. There were materials available to gather like organic fruit, plant fibers, and metals. Nothing out of the ordinary like similar exploration games. Then boom, I walk out to an open area and there it is—the gunk. A large mass of dark-red shadowy blobs all mushed together. The moment right after this gameplay cutscene is what effectively coerced me into playing the rest of the game. Sucking up gunk into Rani’s little vacuum glove was so satisfying. It’s like power washing simulator or any of those videos where you can’t help yourself. You sit there and you go, “This is nice.”

Power Glove, Pumpkin

Rani calls her power glove, Pumpkin, which I think is one of the best things about the game lol I don’t know why. What’s not adorable about how she feels about her glove? She treats Pumpkin as being an extension of who she is. Not a lot of indie games show small details like this about their characters, so I was very surprised by this interaction.

the gunk

Nature & The Gunk

The planet has a strange aura of beauty. The surroundings are not necessarily beautiful, and that is important because the gunk is supposed to ruin that aspect of a beautiful environment. Vibrant greens and yellows outline the fauna. Later on, alien structures and ruins are weaved into the foliage and grassland. On the other hand, the toxic gunk has saturated the color right out of the ground. What once was an area of life has now dried up completely into a soft, barren wasteland. Honestly, restoring nature back to its true purpose just feels rewarding in and of itself.

Additional Game Gush Games

The Gardener & The End

By the end of the game, we learn that there is an important alien known as the Gardener. The Gardener was a scientist who had good intentions to save his race, but lived long enough to become the villain. He convinced the alien population that siphoning energy from the planet would sustain alien life for generations, which technically was correct. However, there is always a balance. Siphoning the energy helped the aliens all live in peaceful hyperbolic chamber pods, but at the cost of destroying the planet itself. Rani tried to reason with the Gardener but he was too far gone.

In terms of difficulty, The Gunk is one of the easiest games I have played in a long time. And that is not a bad thing. After coming home from work, just the thought of tackling Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, Mortal Kombat 11, Back 4 Blood… or you know, any handful of persistent and tough video games… Yeah, I do not even have to finish the rest of the sentence. The Gunk was therapeutic and healed my mind last week just by being easy and straightforward with a touch of beauty restoration.


That’s right! Another Xbox “platinum” bites the dust! Because Xbox has a weird Gamerscore completion system, The Gunk is somewhere around my 40th-45th Xbox 100% completion. Only 6 hours 39 minutes wrapped up for this completion and none of the achievements were even a chore. Short, sweet, and simple!

the gunk achievement score

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