Written by Twisted Ideas
Unravel is a new puzzle platformer with a unique visual style. With a unique main character made of yarn and beautiful levels, does Unravel substance match its style?
Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
What is it about?
Unravel starts off with an elderly woman making scrapbooks using old photographs. As she finishes, a ball of yarn falls out of her basket and a little yarn boy is created. Yarny looks at the woman’s photos and enters them, revealing significant aspects of her life and adding to the scrapbook
How does it play?
Unravel is a 2D, physics based, puzzle platformer. Unravel is similar to LittleBigPlanet in many respects. Yarny is a small protagonist in a huge human world. He can interact with objects smaller than him to tackle obstacles much bigger than him.
Yarny is a unique character because he slowly unravels himself as he travel through the levels. Eventually Yarny will have to find bundles of yarn so he can keep moving forward or he will reach the end of his rope. This bundles of yarn also act as checkpoints. Yarny can use his yarn to grapple across gaps and tie himself to certain points. Occasionally if you tie your yarn between two points you can stand on it and use it to launch yourself high into the air. It can also act as a bridge to carry objects across to solve puzzles.
Each level has five secrets in the form of a flower made of yarn and a button. They serve no purpose other than the collections sake but some of them are cleverly hidden.
How does it look?
Unravel goes for a photo realistic look. The world is incredibly detailed with a variety of environments. There’s an amazing amount of detail with the lighting as well as how Yarny interacts with the world.
Yarny is a fairly unique character. The trail of yarn that follows him move realistically behind him and wraps around objects. When his yarn starts to run out you can see it on Yarny’s body. There are few enemies in the game but the animations when they interact with Yarny is great.
How does it sound?
The soundtrack reminds me of Braid’s. Many tracks are soft and soothing with their instrumentals and very harsh when the darker levels of the game demand it. The sound blends well with the game but isn’t very memorable as a result.
What do I think?
Unravel is pretty good game with a charming visual design, good controls and creative puzzles. It’s a much longer game than I was expecting too. There are 12 levels that most taking 15+ minutes to complete if you already know what you’re doing. The platforming isn’t too difficult but some of the puzzles can leave you stumped. If you’re looking for a challenge, there’s an achievement/trophy for completing every level without dying as well as finding all the very well hidden secrets.
Unravel’s puzzles are largely simple but occasionally you can get stuck. Sometimes key objects can blend into the background or you can forget about certain mechanics because they haven’t been used too often. The some physics based puzzles can be challenging due to some unique situations. Puzzles occasionally involve unique objects that can be manipulated in unclear ways or the makeshift pulley systems where the solutions won’t come clear to most people at first. It can be frustrating to be stuck on puzzles especially when portions of the level are fast paced but it’s enjoyable none the less.
Should you get it?
Unravel is a very good and creative game that won’t blow most people’s minds. It has great visuals but as a platformer, it doesn’t good too much new. The biggest strike against Unravel is the price. It’s $20 (at least in Canada, don’t know about other countries). While it justifies it’s price with its length and production values, that’s always hard to communicate to gamers. But if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing platformer and can afford it, then you should take Unravel for a spin.