Unravel is one of the few games out there that really pulls on your heart strings.
A story of a grandmother who feels she has become lost and disconnected from her family, she yearns to relive her happy memories in order to be reunited with her loved ones once more.
What’s most beautiful however, is how the story is told using only music, pictures and Yarny, an adorable tiny creature made of yarn. He serves a metaphorical purpose of representing the ties that will bring the family closer together again.
No dialogue is used, which can be quite difficult to get the intended message across to the audience, but the developers at Coldwood Interactive, a Swedish indie studio, have pulled it off excellently.
Playing as Yarny, you traverse through old memories, solving the physics-based puzzles using the yarn that you’re made of. There is only a finite amount of yarn however, so you must use it wisely otherwise risk unravelling at the seams.
The controls are easy enough, with only a few actions to learn; lasso yarn to reach higher places or to swing from branch to branch, grab hold of your yarn tail that constantly flows behind you and use it to abseil down ledges, the ability to tie your yarn to specific points, to act as anchors and you’re able to jump and also push and pull certain objects.
No game would be complete without collectibles and Unravel encourages the player to think outside the box to reach secret locations to gather up collectible flower head coins.
The graphics come second to none. It’s only a 2.5 D platform side-scroller, but Coldwood Interactive have really out done themselves. Inspired by the beautiful country of Scandinavia, players are treated to absolutely jaw-dropping environments.
Each memory takes place in a different landscape, from boggy swamps to seagull-infested beaches. The harmonious soundtrack that plays out the raw emotions of the memories, compliments the realistic graphics, combined with gorgeous lighting effects, even more.
The game definitely does what its genre intends to do… puzzle you… a hell of a lot. The difficulty gets increasingly harder and conquering the obstacles requires some dedicated effort, really putting your puzzle solving skills to the test.
There are multiple puzzles that will have you well and truly stumped, using the yarn in various ways until you finally discover the solution. However, that triumphant feeling of solving each obstacle is well deserved, and players feel rewarded by just being able to advance along the idyllic scenery of the beautifully detailed environments.
Unravel is a definite must-have for any puzzle game fans. Coldwood Interactive have really put their heart and soul into making this a game that’s not just a real joy to play, but is utterly beautiful and has a deep, heart-warming and meaningful story.
With plenty of content to keep you satisfied and the replayability factor of getting every last secret collectible, Unravel is a must for those mellow gaming moods. And of course, Yarny is just too adorable!
By Molly Colyer