Unpacking is an isometric puzzle game by Witch Beam, an Australian developer, published by our very own sponsor Humble Bundle. You are a third-person clicker, looking down into an empty room with a stack of boxes sitting in the middle of the floor. There’s no direction or impetus, but as you open the box, intuition sets in, and you start to place objects from here and there. Before you know it, you’re an artisanal thing mover. You may take solace in a simulation of this if you’re particularly neat, or simply like no-pressure puzzles. The game starts off in the year 1997, then soon 2004. Certainly, there are enough years on the timeline to keep you busy! But no rush, nor absence of themes. When you play Unpacking, you’ll have plenty of time to put things as you like.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, macOS, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Getting Started With Unpacking
A keyboard and mouse, or controller, both work fine in Unpacking. When you start off in what appears to be a young person’s either bedroom or dorm, you can place your books, toys, supplies, and other knick snacks on shelves, desks, closets, drawers, beds, or even the floor. It doesn’t really matter too much how you arrange things, but when the boxes are empty, the game will give you red borders around whatever should be placed somewhere more thoughtful. It’s almost as if there is a right way, even though there isn’t. They’re not mutually exclusive in Unpacked.
Personally, I loved the bright colors and chill music in Unpacked. And even though I wondered if I’d have the patience for a game about keeping things neat, I understood what they were going for here. The fact that I could arrange the stuffed animals on the bunk above the owner’s desk just seemed mindful and right.
Here are some screenshots of the game.
Features of Unpacking
From the Witch Beam press pack:
- “Unpack a home — from a single bedroom to an entire house”
- “Meditative gameplay with no timers, meters or scores”
- “Explore domestic environments with all their nooks and crannies while you stack plates, hang towels, and arrange bookshelves”
- “Discover a character’s story through the items that come with her to each new home (and the items that get left behind)”
- “Soundtrack by BAFTA award-winning composer and audio director Jeff van Dyck”
- Personally observed features: Just endlessly fun to experiment with and look at!
How This Game Feels
The devs used something they knew about personal space maintenance that seems almost educational or motivational but is full of minute, yet pleasant, surprises. Does the diary belong on the bookcase, or in a drawer? Watch the video above if you want to find out. Or pick it up for yourself.
Everything you need to know about this game is already here for you, so if you are feeling into this one, please support a number of great folks behind this game, and pick it up here, there, or over there!
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