Gaming Review: Unravel Two

While everyone else was feeling the hype for the new Halo and Gears of War games post the first couple of conferences at this year’s E3, I couldn’t help but be the most excited about an unexpected sequel to a much smaller game.  Move over, Master Chief, Yarny is back!

Moving away from the tranquil home full of familial memories of the first game, Unravel Two kicks off in a much more turbulent manner. For some reason, Yarny finds himself out to sea, being thrashed about by a perfect storm. With his body’s contents torn asunder, Yarny drags himself from the water and into the arms of another anthropomorphic craft project.

With a new friend in tow thanks to the two yarn beings fusing their bodys’ lengths together, Yarny and Co. set out on a journey that, to my best guess, goes as follows: during his years at sea, Yarny’s long forgotten children fall into the grasp of the foster care system. Having only each other in a broken and neglectful system, they run away into the night, a night that ends in tragedy. Hearing all of this upon his return to land, Yarny attempts to put their spirits at ease by reliving the events of that night, doing his best to fight off sparkly demon wisps and course correct their path so they are no longer doomed to endlessly repeat their last hours in the world beyond.

Yep, this is definitely what Unravel Two is about. No further questions. …Especially if they’re about the bird paintings.

Whatever the phantoms in the background of Yarny’s journey are up to, one thing is clear, this game is all about teamwork between the two yarn dolls. You still have all the tools and skills that helped you through the first game, but now there are puzzles that can only be solved by working together. Often it’s as simple as acting as an anchor while the other swings below to reach a path that one could not reach alone, other times it’s running around diverting the attention of the demon dust while the other moves a step leading to a new path into place.

That said, no matter how complex or challenging certain obstacles may be to hurdle, and no matter how integral teamwork may be in each level, this game can be played very easily as a solo player. In my experience of playing through the game on my own, I never once felt overwhelmed controlling the two beings while navigating the world. The controls are simple enough to master, and once one doll has completed their part of the task they can simply piggyback the other until they are needed once more, happily singing “I can be your backpack while you run” to their tiny heart’s content.

As much as I lost focus on the story occurring in the background, I never lost interest in my foreground buddies. The simple, yet detailed animations of the yarn dolls working together, shifting their weight as they pulled each other over ledges or pointing out an item of interest, kept me invested in their journey as I traversed these imaginatively designed levels. If I had one complaint it would be that I wished the main campaign went on a little bit longer, but at least the game has provided additional challenge levels to test your skills with, making the $20 price tag a little less painful.

So while you wait for Halo Infinite or Gears of War 5, I recommend giving this little puzzle platformer a go. Coldwood Interactive is more than deserving of some love with these two games in the Unravel series.

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