He’s so cute though!
UPDATE: I considered renaming this article to vent my frustration – I decided against that. We’ve encountered a crippling bug whereby the game crashes part way through the final level. I’ve done many-a things to try and fix it but none have worked. Seems rare but it is something to look out for if considering purchasing.
I had tremendously low expectations for Unravel Two. Having not really liked the look of the first game, combined with the sequel being shadow dropped at EA’s E3 press conference, I could care less about it. That was until Ellie said: “They’re so cute, I want to play it”. Blast, I thought to myself, Yarnie you cute little shit, you’ve done it again — goodbye $30. You know what though? It’s actually pretty fun.
Just to preface everything I’m about to say, Unravel Two is best played with, you guessed it, two players. I can’t really imagine having as much fun playing through this whimsical adventure without my partner. That being said, let’s look at why its affected me so profoundly.
There’s something to be said about the impact that charm can have on the enjoyment of the game, and it should certainly be written about here. Despite the lack of any vocalisation, the animations; body and hand gestures, give character to these tiny strands of yarn. Their scared facial expressions when running from a wild turkey, along with their adorable waving as they usher each other through puzzles, go a long way to imbuing the game with a unique sense of character. Even as the little yarn balls slam into walls, or get eaten by fish, they do so in such style it makes you want to scream, cry, and NAWWWWW all at the same time.
Gameplay wise, I had heard through the grapevine that the controls of the first Unravel were a bit unwieldy, so I went into the sequel with tempered expectations. Fortunately, the controls feel very tight, and I can’t think of any instance where I blamed the game, for missing a ledge or overshooting a jump. However, the momentum on swinging picks up VERY quickly, which has been slightly frustrating on occasion.
What helps any minor grievance though, is the incredibly forgiving nature of the game. Because both characters are joined by yarn, players can climb up one another, meaning that if one person makes the jump and the other fails, they can just climb to victory. The ease with which it is to traverse this 2D world works in concert with the beautiful backdrop and ‘behind the scenes’ story, which is increasingly easier to pay attention to as you and your friend become more comfortable with the controls. Even the music which I can best describe as ‘inspiring Irish guitar’ mixed with orchestral tunes and calm singing (I’m no expert), accelerates and dips to accentuate the silliness or sombre nature of what’s on screen at the time.
Unravel Two is an endearing glimmer of light in a gaming industry which sorely needs more of these puzzle-platformer adventures. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it rolls it with consistency and flair that makes it a pure joy to hop on board. If you’re looking for something adorable to play with someone else who doesn’t need to have any skill at video games, I think Unravel Two might be for you.