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ESRB Rating: Everyone
Publisher: Humble Games
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Steam || Nintendo || Amazon
You follow an unnamed young woman from childhood to adulthood by unpacking her boxes through various moves. She goes from student to girlfriend to single to family life, and you experience it all without ever seeing her.
Unpacking is done in pixel art, which actually isn’t obvious unless you zoom in. It’s very crisp and clean. The colors are vibrant but realistic. It’s easy to distinguish individual items, even the tiniest little coasters and tweezers.
There are several different homes throughout the game. You will see a couple of locations more than once as the protagonist moves through life. Each space has its own furnishings and items to unpack, although you will soon start recognizing special items that she carries with her.
Sound Effects + Music:
The music in Unpacking isn’t anything special. I found that I tuned it out pretty quickly. I did enjoy the theme song that plays during the end credits though. It’s very soothing and fitting to the game.
I did really like how each item makes the correct sound when placed on different surfaces. That was a very nice touch.
Gameplay + Controls:
Unpacking can be played with a controller or a mouse and keyboard. I started out with a controller, but found that using a mouse allowed for more precise item placement. You can adjust the sensitivity of the cursor too.
There isn’t much to this game other than clicking on the boxes to pull out items, then placing them in their correct spot. I use “correct” pretty loosely, because for the most part you have complete freedom to place items wherever you want, within reason. There is some light puzzle solving as well, since as in real life, not everything gets packed in the correct boxes. And there will be some items that do have a specified place which you’ll have to find in order to move on.
Unpacking is a pretty short game. I finished it in just a couple of hours, so it’s not going to be much of a burden to play multiple times. There are a lot of achievements in the form of stickers, which you unlock by completing certain conditions. I got about half of them from my first playthrough. Looking at the sticker book will give you the names of the ones you missed which serve as a bit of a hint without straight out telling you what to do.
I enjoyed Unpacking more than I expected to. I wasn’t really interested in it, but it was getting a lot of good reviews for being a relaxing game. I downloaded with the intent of just checking it out, and next thing I knew I was sucked into this wordless story and reached the end. It’s a very sweet story, and I had a surprising amount of fun decorating this woman’s many spaces.
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