Friday 31 May 2019

Unravel 2 ★★★★☆

‘Unravel’ was such an exciting and different game when it first came out in 2015 – free from crazed violence and fast-paced scenes like many other games it was focused more on being simply an enjoyable and emotionally charged side-scroller filled with brain-wracking puzzles that required discipline rather than reaction speed. The general reception for the game was very good, so it’s no surprise that ‘Unravel 2’ has also gained many a positive review already.

If you played the first one you’ll remember Yarny, the adorable little creature of string that you controlled through a series of puzzles and distressing events. This time around there are two Yarnys as ‘Unravel 2’ has been designed for two-player, and so both Yarnys must come together to make their way through many different challenges and obstacles. The game can still be played solo by controlling both Yarnys individually, however, I love what two-player has added to the game – there’s a really different dynamic and the addition of teamwork makes completing each puzzle somehow more satisfying. You really have to communicate and work together to get anywhere with it and the game is very good at allowing both players to find their strengths.

Like the first game it still has very similar mechanisms of swinging, trampolining, building bridges, and so on, but the movement feels more fluid now.  The two-player aspect is really the biggest change – I found the difficulty level to be similar, and the graphics are still just as beautiful. There seemed to be more variation in the background which was nice, from woozy forests to shadowy alleyways in the city. Once completed you can access some additional levels which add a little bit more frustration to your gameplay, and I’d certainly expect multiple attempts to be needed for these. I also appreciated the hint system, which I didn’t really need too much but is super useful for when you find yourself in a bit of a bind.

The one thing I wasn’t so big on was the backstory – it was interesting to watch of course, and I liked how the gameplay mirrored it, but I wasn’t sure quite what it was supposed to add. I found the narrative of the two Yarnys to be much more emotive and gripping… It’s hard not to connect with two ultra-adorable yarn creatures, especially when in dangerous situations.

‘Unravel 2’ is a short game at just four hours long and contains only seven levels, but the puzzles are challenging and require persistence and dedication if you want to reach the very end. Despite this, it’s still a good game for kids, and a lovely choice if you’re fed up of so many intense and mentally demanding alternatives that are so present in games nowadays. Step back from the mayhem and indulge instead in the simple yet intricate world of the two Yarnys.

Hannah Read

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  2. Challenging puzzles are the mainstay of this game, although there are a few jumps to make here and there. It's short at just four hours long and contains only seven levels, but if you’re looking for a puzzle game that doesn't need too much commitment and is rewarding when completed then Unravel 2 is worth your time.