Unravel 2: A Pretty Puzzler

Unravel 2 is a game that is hard for me to describe. Not because it is a grand, obscure title, but because its subtleties make it a really unique experience. It’s a quiet, unassuming story that is inviting even to those who are not seasoned gamers. Playing by yourself or through local co-op (yes, unfortunately, it is only local), you traverse through a variety of landscapes, tackling unique puzzles and challenges to ultimately uncover the ending.

While you are working through these challenges in the foreground, a story is unfolding in the background that is really open to interpretation. In some ways, it can feel ominous and foreboding; in other ways, it can feel light and optimistic. The game does a wonderful job of balancing these opposing feelings, allowing you to experience a full array of emotions as you progress through the various stages.

The game is visually satisfying and the background music is pleasant. Even if you find yourself stuck on a particularly difficult puzzle, I never found myself outright stressed or frustrated playing the game. There will be moments where you feel like a total dingus once you realize how you need to overcome a specific challenge, but that is half the fun.

Personally, I have not played this in single-player mode. The co-op element is fun and working together to discover a path forward creates a lot of opportunity for laughs. The game introduces abilities such as enabling slow motion or allowing one yarn character is jump on the back of another so that if something is particularly difficult, you can try other approaches to getting through. There are some puzzles that are tough and if one yarny dies, the game will automatically put you back at the last checkpoint (which is not usually far away, so don’t worry). Having the ability to slow down time or just have your more seasoned teammate power through it can be a welcomed tactic.

I really find this game to be relaxing. It is incredibly beautiful, the worlds feel full, and the puzzles are fun even when they are difficult to figure out. It’s a game that led me down the path of uncovering gems like Little Nightmares and it’s one that I enjoy revisiting when I need a palate cleanse from more serious, stressful titles.

The variety of stages and the story in the background keep the game interesting throughout. Each level has its own unique aesthetic and interesting environmental elements to contend with. Wild animals, machinery, fires, and vehicles are just some of the many encounters you’ll have as you journey through the story. You’ll find yourself celebrating with your yarny characters as they overcome some serious challenges along the way.

You can customize your yarny character at any time and it’s a relatively easy game to pop in and out of even if you take an extended break. Hints are embedded in the game and can be accessed whenever needed ensuring that you’re not struggling for too long if something becomes too challenging. Working together is the most important part of the yarn story as well as the background story.

I really enjoy this game. It’s a game that anyone can pick up and learn relatively quickly. My 7-year-old niece loves the game too and always asks if we can play it when we hang out together. If you’re looking for a relaxing adventure where there are stakes (but they don’t feel too high), I suggest diving into this game. It is a unique journey you just have to experience for yourself.

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