Culture, Entertainment, Games

Games: Unpacking (2021) review – the perfect game for any overworked student

0 246

Featured image: Witch Beamрко онлайн

Who knew that such a simple concept of taking items out of cardboard boxes and placing them in a room, could make such a captivating game? Well, Australian developed Witch Beam did as they release their newest zen puzzle game, Unpacking. Available on PC, Switch and Xbox One, Unpacking should be in everyone’s library, especially students who need a break from the overwhelming world of work.

As soon as you open the game you are met with an instant sense of relaxation, as the sweet pixelated style begins this mediative quality that is sustained throughout the game. With “no timers, meters or score”, the player can just settle down and play at their own pace, becoming increasingly enthralled in the life of the unseen protagonist. The soothing atmosphere takes away all the stress from the audience, and as a result, I’ve been playing Unpacking late at night after the library to decompress, and I highly recommend everyone else to do the same.

Image: Witch Beam

The gameplay is quite streamlined, as all you have to do is, well, unpack. Throughout eight levels of varying sizes, locations, and difficulties, you decorate the character’s home and learn more about them in the process. The puzzle element stems from fitting the possessions to be both aesthetically pleasing and to make the most sense, but only a few items have a correct place.

The player is in control and can take any method they choose; whether that be the organised and careful play where even the books must be in descending order or the pure chaos of “if it can go there, it stays there”. You decide when you are ready to leave the level when everything has a home but with hidden stickers and achievements, there’s a replayability aspect as you want to find all the secrets in each room.

Unpacking is a masterclass in visual storytelling. Little moments and items create and add to this immersive narrative. You become attached to this character you never even meet, getting happy for their journey and sad for their tragedies. I smiled every time I saw a repeated object; a certain dress, a particular book, or the favourite stuffed animal and got proud whenever her collections grew, piecing together my own story about her life.

The way each level shows the progression through the years is told impeccably, with relevant trends and little easter egg, like how you upgrade from a GameCube to a Wii. Another noteworthy aspect is when the character owns and thrive more in their space, you can change and move more items about, fully decorating your house to make it truly yours. Unpacking shows that sometimes simplicity can be the most impactful.

Image: Witch Beam

On the Nintendo Switch, the controls can be a bit fiddly, and I wish there was more dynamic gameplay as the levels progress but it’s such a satisfying moment when the item clicks perfectly in place.

Witch Beam has been recognized and awarded for its accessibility by including numerous features and opinions to please any audience. It can be played one-handed on the PC; icons can be resized, and the puzzle element can be completely removed to make the gameplay easier.

Overall, Unpacking is beautiful and serene. It is exactly what I need after a long stressful day of university or work, allowing myself to relax and get transported for a moment, where all I do is unpack.

Image: Witch Beam

Unpacking is available on PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One for £15.49. You can follow any updates on Unpacking on Twitter @unpackingalife or follow @witchbeamgames for any future games.

About the author / 

Robbie Drepaul

Writer | Student Editorial Assistant - aAh! | English Literature and Creative Writing Student | Just Happy To Be Here | Not Sure How To Change My Profile Picture |

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Opinion: “Our real legacy at university is the friends we make along the way”

    We all prioritise different things in life: our relationships, academic achievement, and financial success. While these can be great catalysts for short and long-term goals, making us resilient,  fixating on these goals can become overwhelming, even detrimental. Focusing on what we feel we have to achieve can make it easy to lose sight of the…

  • Reading and Leeds Festival 2024: The best bands to see this year

    Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice on offer at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve trawled the lineups to bring you a cluster of acts to watch on the August bank holiday weekend. From jungle to riotous punk, there’s a bounty of brilliant bands…

  • Film Review: The Idea of You – A sappy feel-good rom-com

    Featured image: PA Media In this sappy, heart-warming rom-com, two lovers meet at Coachella as Solène (Anne Hathaway) takes her daughter to a meet and greet at the Californian music festival. Known for her iconic roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The Princess Diaries (2001), Hathaway plays the role of a 40-year-old divorcee…

  • Travel: Tips for multi-country trips abroad while keeping your bank account happy

    Featured image: Georgia Pearson The summer break from university is approaching and conversations about travel plans can be heard across campus. But with the cost of living at a high, students and young people are looking for cheaper ways to travel this summer. Travelling to multiple countries during one trip can be a budget-friendly way…