Since its announcement, Unravel has always intrigued me, I knew that it was a platformer, and like i’ve said before, as much as i’m not a fan of scrolling platformers, i’ve always been wanting to find that one platformer that has blown me away and brought something new to the genre.
In Unravel you play Yarny, an adorable little character made surprisingly from Yarn. As you play through each of the levels Yarny will unravel… surprisingly… and you will have to collect more yarn in each of the levels to be able to progress.
The levels are beautifully designed and the amount of details that has gone into them is incredible, this is one of the most scenic and beautiful games I have seen in a long time. The cinematic scenes as well as sensational and to me played out smoothly and elegantly.
The amount of care that has gone into designing each stage as well as the house is amazing, and you can tell that this was a labour of love for Coldwood Interactive.
With the story I can see it was meant to be emotional and pull on the heartstrings as we learned about the person through memories etc, however I found that sometimes it could fall quite flat and the emotion is was meant to bring out and make us feel just didn’t reach the heights it should have.
The music within the game is absolutely fantastic, the conditions it helps create within the levels is simply fantastic, and you can tell that just like the design of the game there has been a lot of love that has gone into the music for this.
This brings me now onto the subject of the genre. Does this game bring anything to the genre in terms of technicality? For me, no it doesn’t, the puzzles are pretty basic for what they are, and what are generally found in others scrolling platformers. Pulling items into place, pulling things to activate etc.
However, on a technical note, the way the game uses what Yarny is… which at the end of the day is a ball of string…. is amazing, using the fact that he only has a certain amount of yarn to use throughout the level before having to collect more. The developers could have easily have made the game so that he was a ball of yarn and could use it whenever to make bridges, tie to things etc and make it unlimited. But they didn’t, they added that dimension to it which as I said above was amazing. These are the tiny details that this genre of games needs, add more depth and meaning to the game. Anyone can run through a 2D platformer and blaze it away with guns and other things, but to have that level of depth where you have to think about not wasting resources (or yarn) going round and round finding things and getting stuck without extra brings the best out in games as well as gamers.
Some of the puzzles do get a bit repetitive and boring to do over and over again, but that’s what I have found with this genre, there always seems to be elements that are repetitive and that’s what grinds my gears over these type of game. Imagination in terms of puzzles goes away and dev’s tend to use the same formula throughout and not keep things fresh.
There were a lot of times when playing this game that I found myself just playing like a zombie as the same type of puzzles we’re coming up and I was finding myself swinging from place to place.
The game overall is one of the most beautiful I can say that i’ve seen, it’s cinematics and general level design are out of this world and I feel honoured to have been able to witness such beauty.
This doesn’t however take away from the fact at how repetitive and uninventive some of the puzzles are throughout the different worlds.
I’m going to give Unravel an 8