Oh Unravel. You beautiful, beautiful thing. Whilst people are bickering about that Star Wars game and its in game purchases, and lamenting the lack of good, honest games, they’re not buying you.
Unravel is a moving tale of a small yarn doll called Yarny (oh dear…) who sets off through the memories of his creator, seeking out pretty decorations for a photo album that fills as you progress, filling out the story. The memories start off happy, involving playing children, family holidays and the like, but quickly turn darker as you go on through the old lady’s life.
Similar in some ways to Nintendo’s yarn-based adventures, the building material of the protagonist forms the basis for gameplay. There are two main mechanics – lassoing (and subsequent pulling, swinging or climbing, and the main challenge to progress, limited yarn. Once you run out you can’t run any further into the level, until you find more yarn. Each new yarn acts as a checkpoint in the event of tragedy, and also counts as a new starting point for your new maximum amount of yarn.
Puzzles in the way of each level’s end require sometimes clever use of your abilities, and a little backtracking to make the most of your yarn to get to each checkpoint. Death comes in the shape of various creatures, pools of water, strong winds and toxic chemicals.
The soundtrack is beautiful, almost as much as the graphics. Backdrops look as close to real as about anything on this generation of hardware and Yarny himself is fantastically emotive, responding realistically to the changing environments. Especially good-looking are the later snow levels, with Yarny coated in a layer of powder as he rubs his arms across his body to stay warm.
I picked the game up cheap, and I believe is is still on sale for a few more days on PSN. I wouldn’t begrudge it its full price, this is a quality game.
Have you played the game and enjoyed it? Perhaps you didn’t like it much. Let me know in the comments below, or find me on Twitter for a chat.