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Unravel, the Puzzle Game

Last week, I finished Unravel. Unravel is a side scrolling puzzle game created by Coldwood Interactive, and published by Electronic Arts. Since it is published by Electronic Arts, I received the game for “free” as part of the EA Access subscription I have active. Overall, I really enjoyed this game.

What I Enjoyed
As mentioned, I really enjoyed this game. It was a great twist to the side scrolling puzzle genre. You play as “Yarny”, a character who is limited by the amount of yarn he has available. This is what makes the game interesting. Each level you begin with a set level of yarn “Yarny” is able to use. As you run to the right, you unravel the amount of yarn you have available. If you run out of yarn, “Yarny” will start to become weak and eventually cease to move any further to the right, since you are limited by only having a certain amount of yarn. However, you can move back to the left, which will ravel the yarn you just unraveled back up. The interesting mechanic here is that “Yarny” constantly needs to create bridges and jumps, which limit and reduce the amount of yarn he can use. As mentioned, if you run out of yarn to the right you can walk backwards to the left which gives you the opportunity to find another path by destroying bridges and jumps that you don’t need anymore. This makes you think about your path a bit more, and offers a bit of difficulty to the game. Of course, there are “checkpoints” along the way which allow you to replenish your yarn.

I also really enjoyed the art style from this game. For such a simple side scrolling game, it was great to see the amount of diverse level designs from the game. Each level was beautiful, and all levels had a story within which connected back to the overworld. In one of the later levels in the game, the environment limits the amount that the “Yarny” character can do and forces you to take the level slow (which I really enjoyed). The overworld itself contains a book which goes over the game’s story, however I didn’t focus on this much. Each level had it’s own story (which unlocked it in the overworld), and from what I gathered (again without reading the whole story from the overworld), the game was about realizing what you currently have and how quickly things can change, and that you should be grateful and thankful for what you have currently (in the game they focus on family a lot).

I played the game on my Xbox One, and I thought the achievements were at a perfect level of difficulty. You can view a list of all the achievements here. Each level you complete unlocks a 20G achievement, however there are level-specific achievements that make you replay the level if you didn’t complete the requirements the first time. There are also “secrets” hidden in each level, which may cause you to replay the level for a third time. The game is also available on PS4 and PC.

What I Didn’t Enjoy
While I believe the yarn mechanic is a great idea, I think the creators could have implemented it a bit better. Throughout the whole game, there was only one section that really stumped me on what I had done wrong with my yarn path. There didn’t really seem to be a challenge to be cautious with your yarn. The game was a bit too heavy on those checkpoints I mentioned above. Even with this, I enjoyed the mechanic however really wished they made it a bit more difficult.

Overall, if puzzle games interest you I would highly recommend checking this game out on your console / PC of choice!

4/5 – highly recommend

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