Canyon Echoes

Unravel is a Masterpiece

A+view+on+a+game+that+deserves+more+credit+than+it+got.
A view on a game that deserves more credit than it got.

A view on a game that deserves more credit than it got.

A view on a game that deserves more credit than it got.

Evan Tucker, Reporter

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To those who don’t know, back in 2016 came a video game from the team of Coldwood Interactive, a Swedish game company who put their heart, soul, and dedication into a little game about a little thing of yarn. With the EA game being announced in 2015, Unravel is one of the most notable games from this small Swedish company. The puzzling platformer is a one of a kind experience that I’ll never forget. Spoilers ahead, so for those who haven’t played it, I highly suggest you do.

In this heartwarming tale, we start off with a young creation named Yarny, small red and made of hand-knitted yarn. An old grandmother looks at the lonely picture and proceeds upstairs with a basket of yarn. As she walks up, the woman adjusts a picture of a young infant on her stairway. Smiling, she continues the walk upstairs, with a red ball of yarn quietly falling from the basket and rolling off on the floor. Suddenly, Yarny is born, and full of life. Examing his surroundings, it opens a scrapbook of pictures on the woman’s table. Yarny is surprised to find many of the pictures missing, and memories left forgotten. So he ventures forth to recover the memories of the now hollow life that is in this scrapbook. And thus, the game kicks off.

The levels in this adventure are truly unique, seeming to be based on photographs taken by the development team. When collecting a yarn badge for the area, finishing the level, the photos taken are now in the scrapbook followed with a poem written about the area. A great feature with this mechanic is how the player can recognize the photograph as a section in the level. Certain land structures and animals can be seen in both the photographs and levels. It’s touching to look back in the scrapbook at the final frontier of the game, as the regained memories are shared with you, and the grandmother. Most of the story is represented in this book, making the story powerful yet simplistic. And believe me, this story is powerful.

An example of a level based on a photograph

From an art standpoint, the graphics might be the closest you can get to real life. The enhanced graphics takes the feeling of immersing yourself into the game to a new high. With beautiful art also comes clean and fluid controls, and carefully placed physics in everything. Everything in terms of visualization and feeling feels natural and comforting in this tale.

An example of a fun and creative puzzle that fits with the environment.

These levels that are based on photos really do feel like photos. The structure of the levels feels like an actual place you’re traversing with Yarny, from traveling across sheds and Trash Compactors to find these memories. Most of the game, however, are puzzles that make sense and heavily add to the experience. Some argue that the puzzles take away from emersion, saying that they’re too difficult. Most of the fun challenges in the adventure take trial and error, taking different views and ideas for the big threats.

 

I suggest Unravel to anyone who wants a rememberable experience. It’s fun, immersive, and gives a touching tale. The levels are fun and long and add so much to the story. The art is some of the best I’ve seen in a while. I love the mechanics of yarny and how natural and understanding it is. The little things make this game so much better. This game is a masterpiece. Unravel is a masterpiece.

Yarny, finishing a level by collecting a badge.

About the Writer
Evan Tucker, Reporter

Evan is a writer at canyon echoes. He's a real cool cat. He likes such entertainment like Over the Garden Wall, Kirby (not the anime) and good beats. Also...

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