- + Yarny is adorable
- + Levels feel authentic and present a great amount of detail
- - Repetition with puzzles dampens the excitement
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Strung Along”
Unravel is an adorable platformer. It features a cute character crafted out of a stray ball of red yarn, appropriately named, Yarny, and through the use of this yarn you must traverse across the open outdoors.
At its heart, Unravel is a platforming puzzler that’s full of charm. Its campaign focuses on memories that its creative director, Martin Sahlin, built up through personal moments with his family. During its announcement, and any subsequent demos, Sahlin always showcased himself as a father that feels very passionately about his family; the quality seen in Unravel’s smaller details is a testament to that.
Each level is accessed through pictures within a old woman’s home. Yarny springs to life shortly after falling out of a basket of yarn. The house this woman resides in therefore becomes your hub, and progress through the campaign places Yarny further away from the comfort of home.
Outdoor locations present their own obstacles that require simple puzzle solving to overcome. Of course, the yarn that Yarny strings along is paramount to progress. Anything from pools of water to a lone crab will need to be circumvented.
It’s clear that Unravel is a concentrated experience that packs in detailed and charming locals, but fails to provide enough variety. The puzzles tend to repeat themselves, and don’t push the boat out when it comes to creativity. That said, the graphics are commendable and give a great sense of atmosphere.
Swinging through the underbelly of a forest feels authentic via the addition of vibrant scenery and a persistent focus on Yarny’s vulnerability. It almost feels like a light hearted version of Limbo, with more of a focus on colour than darkness. Not only that, but the music helps set the scene for a peaceful and heartfelt journey.
For most players Unravel may fall flat when it comes to substance. It’s delicately detailed and packed with cute ideas, but ultimately its large scale ambitions are cut short by repetition.