Unravel is an Indie title from a small developer Coldwood Interactive and then published and distributed by EA. Unravel is a side scrolling platform adventure. The game harkens back to the classics like Pitfall, Sonic, Mario and Adventure Island (look it up, a fantastic NES title starring a skateboarding islander). However, this particular adventure has a slight twist. Instead of hopping over or on many enemies to avoid being harmed the world is more exploratory and obstacle driven. The main protagonist, Yarney, uses physics and resources to solve puzzles and progress through the worlds..
Yarney is a red bipedal cat looking creature made of yarn. He uses this yarn to lasso, swing, slingshot, and bridge over obstacles in the environment. As Yarney progresses through each level he uses up his yarn and if too much is wasted he’ll be too skinny to progress any further. Luckily within each level each checkpoint Yarney can tie off and add more yarn. Sometimes leaving very little wiggle room to complete each level.
The plot of Unravel hinges around Yarney restoring the faded/damaged memories and photographs from a scrapbook by returning to the locations of those memories. These locations are rich, vibrant, and alive; the music which accompanies them is extremely gorgeous evoking a wide range of emotions happy, sad, nostalgic, and pure excitement. Yarney a silent protagonist reacts to his environment with wonder and amazement as if he’s seeing it for the first time right along with you. Beyond being beautiful the environment has its own dangers falling objects, animal life, and deep waters all providing different elements for solving the puzzles which you encounter.
If video games are truly considered a creative artform, Unravel is a masters class. The storytelling through visual and musical mediums is in my opinion extremely successful and carries a great deal of emotional weight. The one criticism I have for this game is the ending doesn’t completely wrap up and totally resolve; I fell there are still remaining questions left that have been left unanswered about Yarney’s family. I look forward to see what will come out of Coldwood studios in the future. They definitely had a huge success with this title.
I’ve recommended this game to everyone even remotely interested in gaming. I‘ve gotten my wife to play along with me, she is quite good at collecting some of the secret buttons I’ve missed. It is extremely enjoyable to pass the controller back and forth completing all the different levels together trying to piece together the story of this family. Yarney’s puzzle solving adventure is very enjoyable, heartwarming, and visually beautiful. I highly recommend it. At the time this article was written, the game is available on Xbox One and Playstation 4 for $19.99, and PC via EA Origins for $11.99. This prices are from the Uravel game website, but if you look around, or wait you can pick it up on sale.
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Decent Game Play
Good Family Fun
Was hoping for a more complete ending.