The Gunk - it had a lot of people wanting to play it on day one and I was honestly not one of those, it did not seem all that interesting although I will admit it did look like a very pretty game with an interesting concept - cleaning up Gunk.
In my head I immediately went with the narrative of "oh, Slime Rancher but dirtier" mostly because I did no research, read no descriptions purely went on a trailer, however one day I'm on my Xbox browsing the GamePass library and was looking for a single player game figured why not looks decent .. worth an hour....
Just shy of 5 1/2 hour later I had completed the game in one sitting and was feeling very content about the whole experience too, I wanted more from the game as I was enjoying running around doing the little puzzles and unravelling the story but at the same time I feel that had they added more to the game it would have ended up with a lot of repetition.
The game is still fairly new so I'll do my best to try not reveal too much of the story - you play as Rani and have a co-captain Beck, you land on a planet looking for loot and energy to salvage and sell on to make a payday, you quickly encounter some form of Gunk aka The Gunk (it has another name but .. story)
You spend the first part of the game exploring the local area and trying to figure out where the loot is while of course clearing out The Gunk - eventually things do get deeper as you progress through the chapters. The Gunk has 8 chapters in total which take around 5-6 hours to complete depending
1 How quick you solve the puzzles
2 How much you look around
The game is fairly easy to play and is probably fine for most all ages although I do recall at least two mild curses near the end of the game so should be safe for most young people, but of course YMMV.
The game deals with some real world issues, the most obvious being pollution but you also have things like friendship, betrayal, false promises even debt...
Visually I thought the game was great, it was very pretty the lighting and flowers and even the one or two creatures you encounter all look great. When you go deeper into the world the subtle lighting the reflections not to mention the good sound track and overall excellent controls.
SO what did I not like about the game? Was it all wonderful and great? No, the upgrades were far too easy to get, I had no idea I could die until I did (wasn't sure where health was indicated) Kinda wish I could have made the game a little harder and I wanted more - but I'm happy with what I got.
Anyway that's my experience of playing The Gunk - A solid fun platform that looks fantastic!