This adorable little indie adventure from Coldwood Interactive in Umeå, Sweden, is a charming little bastard. You star as two Yarnys who are joined together, meaning you must work together to complete each stage. Yes!
The sequel to Unravel (2016), it launched a year ago but we’re catching up with it now on the Nintendo Switch. It was super-cheap thanks to a post E3 sale, but you can get it for about £15/$17.
There’s a basic plot in the form of the Yarnys getting stranded on an island. They must then explore their way out of there – it’s an excuse to have a bloody good romp, no?
There are many elements of platforming in the SNES heyday here, such as the Donkey Kong Country 2 feature of picking up the other player for assistance.
But Unravel Two takes this option way further.
There’s a major emphasis on puzzle-platforming. You get a bunch of movies that include industry standard tricks – and otherwise – such as:
- Wall jumping.
- Swinging from yarn like Indiana Jones.
- Creating bridges to cross gaps.
- Lassoing trees to clamber up walls.
- Hugging each other to stick together.
It’s all very cute and engaging, yet many of the puzzles are tough. Especially later in the game (non-gamers: traditionally games get tougher as you progress).
You have to work out your environment and see the various physics-based objects you can manipulate to get to the next sections.
For the whole it’s challenging and great fun. Although, occasionally, you do want to just run around untroubled and enjoy the scenery. But Unravel Two isn’t that types of game – it sets out to make you think.
Complementing the engaging gameplay is a beautiful visual style. It reallly looks stunning – the attention to detail is exquisite.
And although it’s a cute game, there’s a certain melancholic quality to the title. The fantastic soundtrack adds to that. Perhaps it’s the solitude the two yarns face – two lost souls out there alone in the world. It adds an edge to it all.
But the main thing is there’s a unique and charming premise and every aspect of the experience adds to a rewarding little romp.
Video games are home to many amazing soundtracks these days. Indie titles have particularly excelled, as you can hear above.
Frida Johansson and Henrik Oja are responsible for the work – they also produced the music from the previous game.
The duo relied on Scandinavian folk music and traditional instruments to great effect.
Many non-gamers like this might expect a bleepy boopy type soundtrack. But this hasn’t been the way for decades, really, something that David Wise began with the Donkey Kong Country trilogy.
It proves a point that these aren’t “kids games” – they’re imaginative and engaging titles.