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The Gunk

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

The Gunk (2021) is a narrative adventure where you play one sister of a pair of space explorers struggling for resources, who find a new planet with new alien wildlife. You play by traversing the environment sucking up toxic waste, harvesting materials, solving puzzles and battling enemies. It stands out for its sibling story of survival and the gloopy gunk parasite you need to free the world from.

As you explore the alien planet you discover all sorts of environments: canyons, jungles and caves, but all of these have been corrupted by a black slime-like parasite gunk. Using a vacuum-like tool (reminiscent of Super Mario Sunshine) you clear areas of gunk, revealing healthy life underneath. There are many types of enemies that have formed from the gunk, from small creatures to large beasts. As you progress you discover a mysterious ancient civilisation and work to save the planet from the polluting goo.

As you remove the gunk and clean up each area, wildlife thrives and you can then scan the environment to learn about the world and what to do next. From the developers behind Steamworld Heist, it offers a strong character-based narrative with scenic landscapes but retains a focus on fun and tight exploration and collection gameplay.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked The Gunk 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 6 weeks ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to The Gunk. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Action and Traversal game with Adventure, Collecting, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle elements. This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 4 hours and 6 hours to complete.


This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for Moderate Violence, Mild Swearing.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG).
There are some explosive elements to the game to blow up blockages. You battle different aliens and throw them at each other to make them explode. Characters use the words crap, damn and bollocks.

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Younger players need to be able to traverse the 3D world, be diligent at collecting master the vacuuming up of Gunk and enemies. There are also simple puzzles to solve that require a little lateral thinking and fetching and carrying.


The Gunk usually costs £19.99.

The Gunk

XBox Store Xbox X|S £19.99 Free

Xbox Game Pass

XBox Store Xbox One £19.99 Free

Xbox Game Pass

XBox Store PC £19.99 Free

Xbox Game Pass

Steam Store PC £19.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 16/12/2021

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Traversal (Adventure, Collecting, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle)

Accessibility: 29 features

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: Steam World Games (@SteamWorldGames)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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