Impressions – Unravel

Those of us lucky enough to subscribe to EA Access were given a treat yesterday when it was announced Unravel was available as a trial ahead of its release next week.

We’ve spent a little bit of time with the two level demo and have to say that the game looks to be a beautifully realised journey.  Our introduction to the game’s character, Yarny, is a soft focused pan into a household where an old woman looks to be reminiscing over old memories and photographs.  As she makes her way upstairs in the house, adjusting an image of her family, knitting basket in tow, we see a red ball of her wool roll out the basket and fall back downstairs under a sideboard.  From this point we’re introduced to our little red protagonist and straight away are in control of his (we’re assuming it’s a he) actions.

It’s a beautiful way to start the game and conjures up a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings.  It’s also helped by the amount of character and personality built into Yarny from the off.  He’s an inquisitive little soul who looks to be taking us through the history of this old lady’s family and memories.

The initial area you’re introduced to looks to be the main hub of the game, with Yarny’s skills being used to reach different memories (essentially the levels of the game).  The game itself, from what we’ve played of the trial, reminds us of the likes of Max and the Curse of Brotherhood or even the darker Limbo, although it comes together as a far more gentile puzzler than either of those two.

Yarny’s world is gloriously imagined as well.  It’s full of character and life.  The great thing is, it gives you time to appreciate these moments too given its nature. Be it a butterfly lazily flying away from a flower, a hedgehog snuffling through the under brush or a woodpecker going about his business in a tree behind you there always seems to be something going on.

Unravel
Yarny is beautifully imagined and full of character

Your leisurely sojourn through the garden and beyond is beset by obstacles you can overcome by judicious use of your attached yarn.  You have to be careful though, Yarny can unravel too much if you use too much of him to make your way throughout the game.  Thankfully, scattered across each level are additional amounts of yarn that allow you to replenish and progress.  Yarny can jump, climb and lasso swing his way across obstacles like a little red Indiana Jones.  He can also use his yarn to tie two points together to make a trampoline that can be used to reach higher areas.  It’s all done with so much character and personality too that you very quickly find yourself falling in love with him and how he perceives the world around him.

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Making good use of the world around him

It’s looking to be a wonderful break from all the brash noise and violence that tends to be the norm on console, with a charming and emotional story to boot.

Unravel will be available from Feb 9 and you can find more information on the game here

 

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