Unravel. © Electronic Arts

Unravel is a game published by Electronic Arts and developed by Coldwood Interactive, belonging to the puzzle platform genre. The game revolves around the adventures of Yarny a tiny creature made entirely out of yarn navigating the environment. Players are supposed to solve various puzzles, find a way out of mazes and avoid various creatures that post a real threat to the tiny anthropomorphic being.

Key facts about Unravel

  • Unravel is perhaps the best looking puzzle adventure of the decade, with amazing sceneries that dazzle the eye.
  • Yarny is the central character of the videogame, a tiny creature made out of yarn but destined for greatness.
  • Unravel promotes complex mechanics and Yarny is gifted with fun abilities that make it easy to navigate the environment.
  • Unlike other puzzle adventures that focus exclusively on the game mechanics, this videogame is emotionally rich.
  • The Unravel single player experience is supposed to last up to 6 hours, but has excellent replayability.

The Unravel games

When playing this puzzle platform videogame, players explore the world from the perspective of the tiny yarn creature. The developers chose to intentionally restrict the camera’s focal point, so that players can focus on the details and enjoy Yarny’s view of the world. The Unravel games are fast-paced but whenever players have a couple of seconds to admire the surroundings, they are bound to be fascinated by the rich textures and attention paid to details.

The action in Unravel is not a roller coaster and players have plenty of opportunities to catch their breath, while watching Yarny’s reactions to the changing environment. Speaking of which, bright sunny days alternate with violent thunderstorms and the character reacts to all these changes differently. The developers diligently work towards creating a videogame that is action-packed, but the focus is actually on the natural world the character explores.

Yarny’s adventure is actually an emotional journey as he discovers the world surrounding him one step at a time. The excellent environmental puzzles have a two-pronged effect, on one hand highlighting the beauty of this tiny world, on other giving players a run for their money. Some of the challenges require perfect timing and good reflexes, but the tiny character is well-equipped to overcome these obstacles. The special abilities help him advanced from one level to the other and interact with other creatures.

What is Unravel

Unravel is the latest puzzle platform game released in February 2016 by Electronic Arts and developed by Coldwood Interactive. Players assume the role of Yarny and set out on an epic quest that will take them around an ever-changing environment. The unique setting is what makes the videogame special, with players embarking on an ambitious and emotionally charged adventure. The fun game mechanics and the physics-based puzzles provide the much-needed challenge for those who seek a truly original game.

Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts

Gameplay of Unravel

Unravel abounds of puzzles, but they are brilliantly linked so that players don’t get the feeling they are doing any hard work. Yarny makes it possible to enjoy the voyage just as much as the destination and he uses special abilities to navigate the world he just discovered. His tiny body creates rope and the tiny creature adeptly uses it to create bridges, or swing away when needed. The fact that he is so small, creates the illusion that regular objects are blown out of proportion and many of them act as obstacles.

A lot of time is spent pulling objects and swinging and these happen to be the most entertaining moments, as players have plenty of time to appreciate the surroundings. At the same time, the gameplay of Unravel pits players against complex puzzles and once again the yarn comes in handy to solve them. They range from relatively easy ones to pretty difficult challenges and if players are not careful, they risk to unravel completely. Luckily for them, this is not the end of Yarny as his body can be reconstructed.

The balls of red yarn scattered across the world explored by the tiny creature are used to refill the frame if the character unravels. To prevent this outcome in the first place, one should make sure not to wander too far away even when traversing wide gaps. The gameplay of Unravel is made even more exciting by the fact that players can always use the trail left behind. The fine red thread proves useful on many occasions, as Yarny can climb on it and swing out of harm’s way, while performing complex maneuvers.

Plot of Unravel

The entire game shouldn’t take more than 6 hours and the story is beautiful, so we wouldn’t hold it against you if you chose to skip these three paragraphs altogether. Yarny is born when an old woman picks up a ball of red yarn, which ends up rolling down the stairs. The tiny creature is amazed by the world he discovers and one step at a time he starts exploring the house, then the garden.

Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts

He embarks on a voyage that will take him back in time as he revisits many of the memories that were significant for the house owners. Players get to share a powerful mix of happy and sad memories and the most exciting part is that all of them are revisited from a truly unique perspective. Yarny never stops exploring and after learning more about the house owners, he continues his voyage by going over more and more photographs.

Pretty quickly, players will realize the fact that Yarny is actually trying to find the second half of a heart-shaped badge. This is when Unravel gets truly emotional, as the tiny creature proves to be relentless in his quest and does everything in his power to bring the two half together. In the final levels of the game, action unfolds in a cemetery and players will come painfully close to securing the other half of the badge.

There is a silver lining to what appears to be a sad ending and those who keep playing until the credits roll will finish Unravel with a smile on their face. There is of course a strong possibility for a few tears to roll, but after all, not all tears are bad.

Development of Unravel

Coldwood came under heavy criticism after the previous game failed to meet expectations, but the developers didn’t falter. They decided to spend more time working on this game and chose Electronic Arts as a publisher, which proved to be an inspired move. Martin Sahlin was the game developer and he was kind enough as to give multiple presentations, in an attempt of drawing attention on the game. In the wake of the official unveiling, Unravel was well received by the audience as well as the critics.

Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Unravel. © Electronic Arts

Players had the chance to watch a couple of trailers as well as experience the thrills of the Unravel gameplay prior to the official release. The abundance of fan art and short videos kept players interested, despite the fact that the game was delayed. The challenge was to meet the high expectations and the developers were optimistic about the game enjoying the same success as Limbo.

Where can I download Unravel?

Unravel can be downloaded from the official website as well as from Electronic Arts, where it was also available for preorder. EA is also the publisher for many of the anticipated games of 2016 as well as some of the best shooters, strategy games and MOBAs. From the same website players can acquire Battlefield 4, Mass Effect Andromeda, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Dragon Age II and Battlefield Hardline among other video games.

What are others saying about Unravel?

Unravel was well received by the critics as well as the players, with some regarding it to be every bit as good as Limbo was nearly a decade ago. The reviews scores surged in the wake of the official release and there was very few criticism regarding the short game time of less than 6 hours. The few complaints were in regard to the sometimes awkward game mechanics while some were not satisfied with the difficulty of most puzzles.

Unravel tournaments

Unravel is the kind of game that should be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, focusing exclusively on the story and the exciting puzzles. It was not meant for multiplayer, not even for cooperative play so it comes as no surprise that Unravel tournaments are simply not possible.

My rating of Unravel

Unravel was a heartwarming experience that I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to take some time off from the hassle of modern video games. I enjoyed the puzzles, the gameplay as well as the beautiful environments and I didn’t get frustrated by failure, not even once. Melancholy and nostalgia will engulf you when playing Unravel and many days after completing the storyline I’m still under its spell. I’m itching for a perfect 10, but I won’t allow emotions get the best of me and settle for a honoring 9.5.

Overall Score