“Unpacking” is the perfect game to play to unwind and relax. The indie game was released on Nov. 1, 2021, and was developed by Witch Beam. It is available for the Nintendo Switch, Mac, Windows, Linux, and the Xbox and retails for $19.99.
The game has received and been nominated for a variety of awards. It won the AGDA 2021 Game of the Year award and was awarded for Excellence in Accessibility.
“Unpacking” doubles as a zen puzzle game and a decorating simulator. As the name suggests, you must unpack a home, ranging from a kids’ bedroom to an entire house. Players will discover the main character’s story through all the items she takes with her or leaves behind as she moves to new homes.
That being said, “Unpacking” is not very narrative-driven and instead lets the player uniquely discover the underlying story. “Unpacking” doesn’t use any cutscenes or voice-over, but it does give little insight into the character’s mindset when you finish a level.
At the end of each level, a screenshot of the last room you finished is added to a scrapbook with a sentence or two about what she was thinking about at the time.
The game has a charming yet highly detailed pixel art style. Each room has a ton of items and details within them – from items already placed, to dust collecting on appliances, to all of the knick-knacks, clothes, and other things the main character takes with her from home to home.
“Unpacking” also has a lovely soundtrack to accompany it, by BAFTA award-winning composer and audio director Jeff van Dyck.
“Unpacking” is technically a puzzle game, but it likely won’t leave players wholly stuck at what to do. The puzzle is essentially just finding the correct room for everything to go in.
It allows the player a lot of freedom, but every item should go in roughly the right area to finish the level. Dishes can’t go in the bathroom; clothes can’t go in the kitchen.
While “Unpacking” does have many features to boast about, it is not a perfect game. For a $20 price tag, it is short. The game’s narrative ends abruptly and can be completed in under five hours.
Most players can likely complete the story in roughly three hours. “Unpacking” is a great game, but it is probably better to wait for it to go on sale because it is so short.
Additionally, the more significant levels can get mildly infuriating trying to find every item to go in a room. Everything is packed into the boxes is somewhat chaotic – you can find clothes and plates in the same box.
With the more significant levels, this can get annoying, having to continue going between all the different rooms just to put one item in the correct room.
Outside of the short gameplay for the price tag and slightly annoying levels later in the game, there isn’t too much to complain about in “Unpacking.”
“Unpacking” has next to no bugs and always runs smoothly, allowing players just to relax and immerse themselves in the game without having to worry about something crashing or going wrong.
“Unpacking” is a fantastic game to unwind with; it is relaxing, and players can do everything at their own pace.