Some indie games have a real novel approach to entertainment, such as THE LONGING (where you wait 400+ days to finish the game).
And then there’s Master of Pottery or… this! Unpacking, launched in November 2021, is a relaxing puzzle title about unpacking stuff. Huzzah!
Unpacking (the indie game thing)
Unpacking is from indie studio Witch Beam Games in Brisbane of Australia. Launched in November 2021, it’s available on Steam, Switch, and Xbox.
Yeah, we’ve long ranted about the joys of keeping one’s abode in good working order (check out our ramble about A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind). Keeping stuff in order is good for the brain.
And so the result of Unpacking is a meditative experience free from timers, high scores, and rampaging demon spawn.
Instead, what you’ve got to do is unpack boxes. Behold!
Yeah, so there are various different rooms you come across. During which time you come to learn a bit more about the person whose boxes you unpack.
Then you can generally pick where you’d, sensibly, put the items. There are a few goals to meet, such as ensuring some items are put in the place the game wants you to do.
Otherwise, you’re kind of free to just enjoy organising stuff.
Posters on a wall, toys on a shelf, Game Boy into the bedside cabinet, bazooka into the toilet bowl (okay, we made that one up).
It’s a joyous game, really, the vibrant cartoony graphics and satisfying nature of ordering everything makes you swoon for it.
Plus, Unpacking’s retro inspired soundtrack is also fabulous.
It’s by Jeff van Dyck and has vibes of Stardew Valley and A Short Hike, which is no bad thing. As those two and Unpacking are chillout gaming excellence defined.
The composer chucks together lots of retro bleeps and bloops alongside modern soundtrack tech, making for a soothing ramble alongside your unpacking endeavours.
Actually, the sound effects in general got a lot of social media attention.
Many publications were eager to point out the effort that went into generating 14,000 individual Foley sound effects.
In filmmaking, a “Foley” recreates everyday noises (sounds like a fun job, eh?!). Witch Beam Games founder Sanatana Mishra confirmed the total.
There are over 14,000 foley wav files in unpacking. https://t.co/F6CAsSq41z
— Sanatana Mishra (@SanatanaMishra) November 4, 2021
Marie Kondo really would be proud of all this! We hope she plays the game at some point.
She’s been referenced in many reviews of the game (including ours!), with The Guardian and The Sixth Axis picking up on it! Super Marie Kondo All Stars, as the latter put it.
We think this is more Super Marie Kondo 64.
Anyway, we love the game! Witch Beam Games has created something that transcends the gaming world. As with Tetris, anyone can pick up and play this. You don’t need to be a gamer.
It’s relaxing, it looks lovely, it has a soothing soundtrack, and its subtle puzzling action will make you appreciate unpacking stuff a little bit more.