The Best Games Like The Gunk to Try Next in 2022

The Best Games Like The Gunk to Try Next in 2022

The year is 2010; Gothenburg-based Swedish developers Image & Form had just released their new game for the Nintendo DSi called “SteamWorld Tower Defense”.

It is a pretty simple tower defense video game, but this game kickstarted their success which inevitably formed the SteamWorld series. Over the following years, they developed more games revolving around the concept of steam-driven robots in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world.

The year is 2019; these Swedish developers had just released a new addition to the series called “SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech”. Many people love it and it garnered a lot of praise and attention.

Still, they knew that this SteamWorld train would not last long, as many game developers had suffered defeat by this strategy. They must make a new one that would outshine their current games.

The year is 2020; they released a trailer featuring their new game pushing outside their SteamWorld comfort zone. Welcome to the world of the video game, “The Gunk”.

What is “The Gunk”?

“The Gunk” is a video game by the Swedish developers, Image & Form which is set to release in December 2021 for Windows, Xbox One, and the Xbox Series X and Series S.

Initially, it was set to be released in September of the same year, but during development, it was delayed. The public got their first look at the game as early as August of 2020. Based on the developer’s comments and the gameplay we got so far, it is a third-person action-adventure video game.

The player plays Rani, a spacefarer who just arrived on an alien planet. Along with her journey is her partner, Beck. As Rani enters the alien planet, they realize that it is a captivating paradise of canyons, jungles, and caves full of wildlife and lush nature.

However, a black slime-like parasite is slowly consuming and corrupting everything. Equipped with a powerful glove that can remove the gunk, they try to restore the once beautiful environment while fighting corrupted monsters.

Looking at the first look of the gameplay of “The Gunk”, it is indeed beautifully artistic and visually aesthetic. Diving into an alien world is always an exciting experience to have, and this video game will let you relive that moment once again.

Still, the game is not out yet. Many fans are eager to play the game, waiting in anticipation for its release. If you are one of those fans and you want to satisfy your cravings, here are some games that you can try out.

How are These Video Game Recommendations Selected?

The Gunk

Because “The Gunk” is still not out yet, we cannot infer in-depth what this game has to offer. All we know are the things that we have seen so far in the trailer and by the developer’s words. Still, we can map out the basic gist of the game and what its key elements are. So, these video game recommendations that are similar to “The Gunk” are based on one or more of these categories:

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Space
  • Puzzle
  • Open World
  • Story Rich
  • Atmospheric
  • Exploration

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds Games like the gunk

  • Categories: Exploration, Space, Adventure, Mystery, Puzzle, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: May 28, 2019
  • Developers: Annapurna Interactive, Mobius Digital
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Outer Wilds is an action-adventure video game set in space. In this game, the player plays as an unnamed astronaut who is exploring a unique solar system. What makes this solar system unique is that it is stuck in a 22-minute time loop.

So, every time the star within the system goes supernova within 22 minutes, it is reset back to the beginning. The player’s role is to explore the mysteries within this system and find the answers as to why this is happening.

Diving deeper into the game would ruin the surprise and fun of the game, as it is heavily focused on its story and exploration. There are plenty of things that you must do to finish the game sort of like a puzzle.

The game is regarded favorably so much that it won the Best Indie Game award in the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards. It even has DLC that expands the lore and mystery even more.

How is Outer Wilds Similar to the Gunk?

  • Both games are set in space.
  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games have heavy lore within their setting.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games let you play as the astronaut exploring the setting.

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

  • Categories: Action, Adventure, Puzzle, Exploration, Atmospheric, Co-op Multiplayer
  • Release Date: March 26, 2021
  • Developers: Hazelight Studios, Hazelight
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

Although quite different from The Gunk’s space and science fiction setting, It Takes Two holds similarities because of its genres and playstyle. The game is an action-adventure video game about Cody and Mary, a married couple planning on getting a divorce.

They suddenly find themselves trapped in their daughter’s doll replica of themselves after she tries to repair their relationship by play-acting.

Determined to get out of this magic spell, the both of them must cooperate and work together to navigate their house as tiny dolls. Throughout their journey, they slowly find the errors within each other.

This game requires two players to play as it is a co-op multiplayer video game. While it is unsure whether or not The Gunk features multiplayer features, it still is a great comparison if you are into exploration, puzzles, and adventure.

How is It Takes Two Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games use a third-person perspective.
  • Both games feature puzzles.
  • Both games have a similar artistic design.
  • Both games let the player travel a whole new world.

Portal 2

Portal 2

  • Categories: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Puzzle, Story Rich, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: April 18, 2011
  • Developer: Valve
  • Publisher: Valve
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Classic Mac OS

A classic game that contributed to the rise of puzzle games and heralded as one of the greatest games of all time, Portal 2 is an action-adventure puzzle video game with heavy science fiction elements.

In Portal 2, you play Chell, a silent protagonist who uses a projectile weapon called the portal gun to navigate her surroundings. The portal gun is a very unique weapon because it can create two portals – one blue and one orange – on specific surfaces.

Once someone enters one portal, he goes through the other one. It is a very simple concept but has a very complex gameplay execution. Each stage is built differently and you can encounter robotic enemies on your journey.

You would have to use your wits and brains to reach the end of the game. If you are a fan of puzzle games or if you are attracted to The Gunk because of its puzzle elements, then Portal 2 is a good game for you.

How is Portal 2 Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action and adventure.
  • Both games have heavy lore within their setting.
  • Both games let you use your gun to navigate the setting.
  • Both games are 3D platformers.

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

  • Categories: Exploration, Space, Adventure, Action, Story Rich
  • Release Date: October 25, 2019
  • Developers: Obsidian Entertainment, Virtuos
  • Publishers: Private Division, Take-Two Interactive
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Not to be confused with Outer Wilds, The Outer Worlds is a different action-adventure video game altogether. If you are less of a fan of the puzzle elements and more of a fan of the space exploration setting, The Outer Worlds is for you.

The player has the freedom to make their character much like how Fallout 4, Skyrim, and other RPGs work. The player then plays as an explorer exploring new lands in space.

In this game, you are known as The Stranger, found in a colony ship known as the Hope which mysteriously vanished during transit. You will meet various people in the game as well as a lot of new, unfamiliar creatures.

You will also encounter many enemies along your way as you help others in their duties. Your actions as an explorer will soon become a legend as you dive deeper into the story.

How is The Outer Worlds Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games are set in space.
  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games have heavy lore within their setting.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games let you play as the astronaut exploring the setting.

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

  • Categories: Exploration, Space, Adventure, Action, Survival, Open World, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: August 9, 2016
  • Developers: Hello Games
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Android, Microsoft Windows

Another game focused more on the space and exploration elements, No Man’s Sky is an action-adventure video game that forces you to survive, fight against opponents, and explore the vast galaxy.

In this game, you play as The Traveller, who starts on a random planet in an uncharted universe. You slowly collect resources from the planet to travel to other planets and through this process, you get stronger and more well-equipped.

The beauty of No Man’s Sky is that nearly everything in the universe like the planets, stars, plants, animals, and more is procedurally generated; in other words, these elements are randomly generated through the game’s algorithm.

You survive by collecting resources and making structures to help you fend off hostile creatures. Each planet is unique in its way so the thirst for exploration and adventure will surely be quenched.

How is No Man’s Sky Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games are set in space.
  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games can be played using the third-person perspective.
  • Both games let you play as the astronaut exploring the setting.
  • Both games let you explore alien worlds.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Categories: Exploration, Space, Adventure, Story Rich, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: October 27, 2021
  • Developers: Eidos-Montréal
  • Publishers: Square Enix
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Everyone knows what Marvel is and a lot of people love the franchise. Unexpectedly, one movie did very well and that movie is Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now, you can experience the feeling of being in the space setting of the movie since Square Enix published their new game called Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. If you are a fan of space exploration and a lot of action, this game is definitely for you.

In this game, you play as the charming sharpshooter Peter Quill also known as Star Lord. When playing as Star Lord, you can use their elemental guns to defeat the bad guys as well as the jet boots to soar through the air.

The game also features the other members of the party, namely Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. While you cannot play directly as them, they tag along with you as they are controlled by the game’s AI.

How is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games are set in space.
  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games are story-rich.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games utilize the third-person perspective.
  • Both games have a protagonist that can use a weapon.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn Games Like Gunk

  • Categories: Adventure, Action, Exploration, Story Rich, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: February 28, 2017
  • Developers: Guerrilla Games
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action-adventure role-playing game that lets the player control Aloy, a hunter who travels through a post-apocalyptic world dominated by robot-like creatures.

As a hunter, she can use different types of weapons and methods to kill her opponents such as various traps. Although the game occurs on Earth in the 31st century and not in space, it still has a lot of science fiction elements evident in the robotic creatures.

The setting of Horizon Zero Dawn features a lot of forests, jungles, deserts, and mountains. The vast world encourages the player to explore the land and discover the mysteries within the game.

Aloy, the playable character, is an outcast of the Nora tribe and is set out on an adventure as she meets various characters that will aid her in her travels. Originally only released on the PlayStation 4, it was eventually available for PC as well by 2020.

How is Horizon Zero Dawn Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games have science fiction elements.
  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games are story-rich.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games utilize the third-person perspective.
  • Both games have a protagonist that can use a weapon.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

  • Categories: Exploration, Adventure, Action, Puzzle, Story Rich, Atmospheric
  • Release Date: November 10, 2015
  • Developers: Crystal Dynamics, Feral Interactive, Cameron Suey, Eidos-Montréal
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia, Macintosh operating systems

Another video game that is heavily focused more on the puzzle aspect rather than the space and science fiction aspect is Rise of the Tomb Raider. It is an action-adventure video game that lets you explore various settings with a lot of puzzles to work with.

Tomb Raider is already a staple video game franchise, and Rise of the Tomb Raider is no exception from being one of the greatest among them.

In this game, you play as the archeologist Lara Croft who is set out on an adventure to find the Forgotten Cities in northwestern Syria, trying to find the tomb of the Prophet of Constantinople.

The game has a heavy focus on its story as well, giving clear motivation for Lara Croft in her adventure to becoming the tomb raider that she is. The developers also mentioned that they made the game to let the players feel a personal connection with the character.

How is Rise of the Tomb Raider Similar to The Gunk?

  • Both games are heavily focused on action, adventure, and exploration.
  • Both games are story-rich.
  • Both games are open world.
  • Both games have puzzles.
  • Both games utilize the third-person perspective.
  • Both games have a protagonist that can use a weapon.

Other Video Game Recommendations

Little Nightmares

Video Games with a Heavy Focus on Puzzles and Adventure

  • Superliminal: A puzzle video game that utilizes the first-person perspective. The player plays a participant in a dream therapy program, but throughout the study, the character becomes caught in a recurrent dream cycle and is coached on how to escape by the voice of the research’s administrator, Dr. Glenn Pierce.
  • Little Nightmares: A puzzle-platform video game with heavy elements of horror. The player plays as Six, a nine-year-old girl wearing a yellow raincoat as she moves across the world using various platforming components, occasionally encountering puzzles that must be solved to progress.

Video Games With a Heavy Focus on Action, Adventure, and Exploration

  • Sea of Thieves: An action-adventure multiplayer video game that utilizes the first-person perspective. The player chooses a randomly generated avatar at the beginning of the game and must sail through the open seas using their ships and galleons. Gamers may occasionally come across hostile players who assault them with cannonballs or board their ship.

Video Games with a Heavy Focus on Space Exploration and Adventure

  • Starbound: A 2D action-adventure video game that takes place in a procedurally-generated universe that the player can interact with and must survive in. The player can explore this universe through various means but must also survive against hostile creatures and dangerous elements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: When is The Gunk’s Release Date?

Answer: The Gunk is expected to release by December of 2021. Initially, it was set for September 2021 but during development, it was decided that the game needed more time for that extra polish and was delayed to December 2021.

Question: Is The Gunk Co-Op Multiplayer?

Answer: So far, there have been no mentions of The Gunk being co-op multiplayer. The trailer only shows the protagonist exploring the new world that they find themselves in. Still, a co-op multiplayer mode can exist as the protagonist has a partner called Beck. Then again, news of having co-op multiplayer has not yet reached the public.

Question: Is The Gunk on Steam?

Answer: As of the time of writing, The Gunk is not on Steam. Image & Form’s other games though such as the various games of the SteamWorld franchise are in Steam. So, The Gunk being in Steam is not a farfetched idea.

It would probably arrive on the shelves of Steam when the game is finally released for Microsoft Windows. There is also the possibility that The Gunk will not be on Steam but instead will be on the Microsoft Store since it is being developed with the help of Microsoft.

Question: Is The Gunk Time Exclusive?

Answer: The Gunk is expected to release for PC and Xbox, and it is expected to release in December 2021, but it was not stated which platform will come first. So, for now, there is no clear indication whether or not The Gunk will be a timed exclusive for the Xbox or if it will release on the same day for both Xbox and PC.

Summary and Conclusion

To summarize the 12 video games with similar elements to The Gunk that have been recommended in this guide, we have:

  • Outer Wilds
  • It Takes Two
  • Portal 2
  • The Outer Worlds
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Superliminal
  • Little Nightmares
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Starbound

Of course, there are readers out there reading this guide who cannot play all of these games soon may be due to lack of time or lack of money. When choosing the video games that you should be playing, it is important to know what elements of The Gunk you are invested in so that you can pick video games with similar elements.

For example, if you want the space exploration feel of The Gunk, you should try out Outer Wilds, The Outer Worlds, No Man’s Sky, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you are attracted to the survival and crafting genre while still retaining the space exploration feeling, Starbound and No Man’s Sky are good games to experience that. If you want a rich story, Outer Wilds, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Outer Worlds are the ones to go for.

If you are more interested in the puzzle elements of The Gunk, you should try out It Takes Two, Portal 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Superliminal. Note that It Takes Two needs two players to play it, so you must have a friend willing to play with you. You can also play Portal 2 with a friend as it supports co-op multiplayer.

If you want the action-adventure feels while still having the puzzles, go for It Takes Two and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Superliminal and Portal 2 are for those who purely love puzzles. Little Nightmares adds horror into the mix for a change of pace.

If you are attracted to the idea of exploring new and uncharted worlds, then Outer Wilds, No Man’s Sky, Horizon Zero Dawn, Sea of Thieves, and Starbound are good picks. If you are not a fan of 2D aesthetics, then you should avoid Starbound.

Otherwise, it is a really good and well-polished game. Horizon Zero Dawn is very beautiful and atmospheric, so if you want an immersive experience, you should try that.

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