When Martin Sahlin first walked on stage at EA’s E3 presentation, you could see just how nervous he was, not only was he making a presentation to a huge audience, he was introducing us to a new character that went on to capture the minds and hearts of gamers.
Meet Yarny, a small creature made of yarn, who takes us on a journey that will send you on an emotional roller-coaster. The journey last around 6 hours, but with plenty of secrets to find you could spend much more time playing. Yarny belongs to an older woman whose memories you explore and collect, the different photos in her house contain the levels that you will explore.
It doesn’t seem like it, but Yarny is quite capable of getting around a world which would be difficult for anyone his size. You’ll need to use the environment around you to reach higher ground ,as well avoid a horrible gopher, birds looking for a snack and some awful weather. You are also restricted by Yarny himself, after a while he cannot progress any further because thee is nothing left of him, so you’ll need to find extra balls of yarn, which also act as checkpoints. It’s rare you find yourself with no yarn left, but if you do you will need to retrace your steps to help you along.
Some of the puzzles are very simple, but there are some in which the game zooms out showing a more complex puzzle. Yarny can throw yarn above him like a lasso to hook on to, he can tie knots that allow him to swing to out of reach places and he can also build neat little bridges that can help him jump or move real life objects along to solve some of the puzzles. One thing Yarny cannot do, is swim, you’ll use logs, little ice islands and even an actual speedboats to help him along. In the air, there are kites, carrier bags and birds that sweep you along the levels.
For all the fun I had with the puzzles, there were plenty of times where I was left feeling quite frustrated, some of the chase sequences feel a bit out of place. Also Yarny suffers some silly deaths from height, but then can thrown across part of level without a mark on him. These frustrations were fleeting though, because I’m a sucker for games that are as charming as this.
Despite his size, plus the fact he only has two eyes, I always knew how Yarny felt. He shivered in the cold, he jumped for joy when he reached the end of a level and you could feel his sadness at certain parts of the game.During the game, you’ll see pictures that get added to the photo album back in his owners home. Yarny take time to stop and look and these memories during the level, you find yourself doing exactly the same.
Unravel is stunning to look at, there is so much detail in each level .Wooden floorboards warp and splinter, the way the snow sticks to Yarny as he walks through it makes such a difference in what is essentially a giant world for Yarny. The different environments you have to conquer range from beautiful forests to underground caverns, each level has its own unique despite the fact the platforming is fairly repetitive.
When you combine the visuals with an equally brilliant soundtrack you’ll struggle to find reasons not to like this game. The musical score sets the tone for each level in such a wonderful way, and I struggle to remember a game that has managed this in a very long time.
Unravel is my favourite platfomer in recent years, you can feel the love that Coldwood has put in to the game it’s definitely worth your time.
If the review doesn’t do enough for you, then fear not, as you can play the first two levels for free through EA Access
Thanks to Xbox for supporting TiX