November 7, 2021

We're Finally Home - Unpacking (Steam) Review

This post may contain affiliate links from places like Amazon and Green Man Gaming — and we may earn a small commission when you click these links. All earnings will go to keeping this website as minimally ad-free as possible. Learn more here.

We're Finally Home - Unpacking (Steam) Review

By Joel | November 7, 2021

Unpacking is an intriguing game, and in many instances, a very delightful one. It takes the best components of a puzzler, home décor, and inventory management to create an engaging and unique experience without overstaying its welcome. In a world dominated by bloated graphics and rushed gameplay, Unpacking comes in with the subtle and acute observation of simple, yet imaginative storytelling.

So what are the delightful parts? That would be through the execution of indie developer Witch Beam Studios and publisher Humble Games, who do a brilliant job of fusing together the four elements that bind us as human beings: innocence, love, companionship, and the need to find a home. The developers break out of the traditional gaming mold and with audacious originality and heartfelt emotions, run their programming skills like butterflies let loose to fly free.

Unpack the Goodness

Unpacking has multiple scenarios but it pretty much follows one core theme: the act of moving on. I surmise, that we live much of our lives in a state of confusion between the belief that there must be something better out there and the fear of abandoning what we know and are familiar with.

You start the game looking through the eyes of a young girl and view her life through the content of her possessions. You don't unpack belongings, but the memories of where she started and where she is destined to go. The game is not a compelling drama per se, but it is a poignant observation of situations and events that you try to interpret.

Unpacking offers many shots of individual household items, journals, books, and childhood memories, that beg to tell a story. While many might read my impressions of the game and be convinced that the game is boring, it actually is the opposite.

If there's any quibble to be had with Unpacking, it's that the inventory mechanics are slightly off in a few places. For one, some items can only be moved to certain rooms which limits your ability to place them anywhere you want. And two, the game is quite short, so anyone with experience in this type of game will probably experience all it has to offer in just a handful of hours.

Unpacking offers an immensely satisfying experience that should be experienced by anyone looking to find their own way home.

Home Sweet Home

Excluding those minor gripes, the storytelling is so subtle and completely embodies a person who we see growing up before our eyes. There is a tendency, perhaps, with these types of games to spend a great deal of time combing through the multiple layers to simply find a story. This type of coding trickery is often used to conceal its lack of creativity, and Unpacking absolutely shows no signs of it.

While many of this year's best games will feature ultra-realistic graphics and characters resolved to live on their terms, Unpacking deserves to be mentioned alongside those games and not get lost in the year-end awards hysteria. It does not try to reinvent the wheel but merely shows how appealing a game can be by hitting all the right emotional notes and letting the player interpret the story on their terms rather than the other way around.

Not many games like this are made these days because they are hard to execute and the financial risk to find an audience that will resonate with this particular niche can be costly. Unpacking, however, has qualities that are hard to analyze, but impossible to miss and it offers an immensely satisfying experience that should be played by anyone looking to find their own way home.


July 19, 2024
Blurry But Cute - First Pictures of Bigfoot Jr.

Are they real or just another blurry hoax? Find out in this article about Junior's photo press debut

Read More
July 18, 2024
Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess (Steam) Review

Relive retro gaming glory with a nostalgic helicopter shooter blending classic charm with modern twists

Read More
July 16, 2024
The World After the Dinosaur Apocalypse

Explore the ten events following the extinction of dinosaurs, from climate changes to the rise of new species, and how this paved the way for modern life.

Read More

POPULAR POSTS

July 10, 2023
Home Sweet Home - The Best Gameplay Moments of Homeworld

The Best Gameplay Moments of Homeworld offers a captivating exploration of the most unforgettable moments in the renowned video game franchise

December 29, 2023
Step into the Ring with a Smile: Casual Pro Wrestling (Steam) Review

Pile Drive into your way into the world of Casual Pro Wrestling. This indie title offers a unique blend of retro, arcade style wrestling, and ragdoll physics.

May 18, 2021
Mayhem in Single Valley is Coming to PC on May 20!

Mayhem in the valley Mayhem in the Valley is a 2.5D puzzle-platformer that follows the chaotic story of Jack Johnson, a teenager who wakes up one day in his small, quiet hometown, and accidentally causes a catastrophe. Wildlife and townsfolk become infected and try to brutally kill you every chance they get, and you (having […]

June 23, 2023
Time Travel Back to the Finest Sid and Marty Krofft Intros

Buckle up, time travelers! We're rewinding to the era when Sid and Marty Krofft's intros were dancing puppets had more glitter than a disco ball factory

May 7, 2023
Nintendo to LIVE Stream "Tears of the Kingdom" on May 11

Tears of joy, tears of laughter, and yes, even tears of frustration - it's all part of the journey in Nintendo's latest game

envelope
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram