Among the horde of indie games and unreleased AAA blockbusters there was one game that sat quietly in the corner of PAX Australia. Going by the name Unravel this adorable physics based plat-former is created by ColdWood Interactive. The game revolves around this anthropomorphic character made of yarn, affectionately referred to as Yarny.
Originally announced at EA’s E3 conference in 2015, players guide Yarny through a variety of physics puzzles as they explore the world and learn of its many wonders. With Yarny being so fragile, the slightest event could have a serious effect on his well-being which made me cautious and yet curious of everything in the world around me. It was interesting to see how the character interacted with objects that seem so meaningless to humans.
As Yarny explores the world and solves puzzles he slowly runs out of the yarn that keeps him together. This forces the player to backtrack, explore and find new ways to find additional yarn before progressing further. Backtracking usually also includes a puzzle or two that varied from escaping falling debris to object placement and jumping puzzles.
Only fleeting images represent anything to do with the story of Unravel. While playing, Yarny comes across images of what look like previous events within that certain area. It allows the player to make their own assumptions on what really happened before Yarny came to explore this world. Whether it was a kid pretending to be a backyard wizard or a worker being hauled away by a bio-hazard squad there are always assumptions to be made and how they might affect the world.
The sound design is spot on and it really adds that extra level of wonder to the game. When added to the rest of the game it really reflects the amount of attention to detail that has been put in by ColdWood Interactive. Whether I was splashing through puddles, swinging from branch to branch or almost being run over by a car, the sounds really immersed you in Yarny’s adventure.
The whole experience filled me with childlike glee as I watched this adorable character explore the world for the first time. As you explore with Yarny it felt as though the world was scaled around you so that you could see what it was like playing from such a small perspective. I cherished every moment I got to live in that colourful world and I’m definitely excited to see how the story is fleshed out. Hopefully we can discover what really happened around this character.
Unravel is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in February 2016.