Unravel

Unravel

In contrast to literally every other game with their logo attached to it, I was interested in Unravel because it was published by EA. Specifically, because it’s so completely antithetical to the company’s usual output, I wanted to both support it and investigate further to see if they’d just hidden the microtransactions extremely well. But no, it turns out that Unravel is just a very straightforward indie-scale puzzle-platformer with a boosted budget allowing it to look really pretty. It’s not especially good or bad at anything, with the exception of the narrative, which is extraordinarily bland and aimless. But as prices for sold souls go, that’s quite the bargain.

The core gameplay features are all derived from the fact that the protagonist is made of an unraveling spool of yarn, and that’s a more versatile concept than it sounds. Players will navigate and solve puzzles by tying together bridges from knots, using appendages as a lasso and rappel cable, and accommodating the limited resource composing their avatar. All of these ideas are executed with mixed results, however. The use of realistic physics for everything including animation lends a naturalistic feeling that suits the cozy presentation, but it also makes the controls and several puzzles inconsistent and uncooperative. The lovingly detailed environments aren’t great at separating into fore, middle, and background, and the gorgeously textured soundtrack can be so aggressively melancholy that it still manages to be annoying. On average, though, the game is pleasantly distracting, which is impressive considering the company behind it.

5.5/10
5.5/10

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