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.

September 17, 2023
Despite Week 2 Loss, Rams Hold Their Own in a Tight Tussle with the 49ers

LA Rams' Surprising Resilience: From a Seahawks Victory to Holding Ground Against the 49ers

Read More
September 17, 2023
Age, Rage, and Redemption: Fading Afternoon (Steam) Review

Indie developer, Yeo, delivers a poignant exploration of age, consequence, redemption, and brutal street fights.

Read More
September 16, 2023
A Penny for Your Burger? Fast Food Giants Go Retro with Prices for National Cheeseburger Day

McDonald's rolls back to 50 cents and Wendy's slings one for a penny! Dive into this juicy deal, but make sure you're app-ready

Read More


January 29, 2023
The Science Behind Why Zombies Like Fresh Meat

Zombies have been a popular topic in fiction and film. Few people, however, know the science behind why these undead creatures are so drawn to fresh meat.

June 18, 2023
Gaming's Finest - Celebrating Father's Day with the Best Dads in Video Games

On this Father's Day, let us gather to honor and celebrate the unparalleled presence of the finest gaming fathers within the vast realm of video games.

March 11, 2023
5 Indie Games That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Reignite your passion for childhood memories and fun with these five indie games! Relive the feeling of playing SNES or Nintendo for only a few bucks.

August 15, 2020
Bound for Greatness - Hellbound (PC) Review

A simple, but fun first-person shooter that pays tribute to some of the all-time greats.

November 1, 2020
A Swarming Good Time - Drone Swarm (Steam) Review

A unique twist to the RTS genre. Unfortunately, a few nagging bugs keep these drones from flying high

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