A Little to the Left: Cupboards and Drawers – Bang tidy!

Clean canteen.

Get organised with A Little to the Left: Cupboards and Drawers.

I quite liked Unpacking as a minor diversion. It somewhat reminds me of those other recent games about being a grown-up and just doing grown-up things like Power Wash Simulator and House Flipper. A Little to the Left is an interesting specimen, as it takes Unpacking’s idea of needing to place objects in a suitable spot, and combines it with a WarioWare microgame style. No time limits here, but each stage acts like a puzzle focused entirely on tidying up a set of items. The trick is working out what item fits where, and organising them in an aesthetically pleasing manner. It’s a sweet game, and one that it’s easy to sink a lot of time into.

Now we have the Cupboards and Drawers DLC, which implies that you’ll be tidying and organising cupboards and drawers. There are actually far more different things to organise in the thirty included levels, but there are a lot of closets and cases. The mechanics are the same as the base game, with you grabbing objects and putting them in what appears to be the most logical place, without overlapping anything.

A Little to the left Cupboards and Drawers
It’s nice when the levels set things up for you in such a simple to understand way.

I don’t think anything on offer here changes the base game in any meaningful way, so you’re really just getting more levels. This is fine, especially as the original game nails what it sets out to do pretty well, and the price for a few more levels is pretty reasonable. There is still the clarity issue that cropped up before though. Whilst many of the levels are well laid out, some of them are far less clear and need a fair bit of trial and error. 

A good example of this had me putting rings into a case, where I’d identified that the number of colours on each ring determined where they should be placed. It took me far too long to realise that the game wanted me to place them top to bottom rather than bottom to top, and there wasn’t any indication that this is what I was doing wrong. Thank god for the hint system.

With that said, working out what needs to be done on a given level is quite satisfying, and it feels very nice to complete a stage when you initially had nothing but a huge heap of objects, to begin with. If only tidying up in real life was this pleasant. Like the base game, some of the stages have more than one solution, meaning you can go back to do them again to earn more stars. The stars don’t do anything, but it’s some nice replay value that you don’t often get in puzzle games. Arranging objects from smallest to largest may net you a star, but you could have got another star by arranging them based on colour instead. It’s a nice feature that rewards thinking about what you’re doing rather than just rushing in.

A Little to the left Cupboards and Drawers
There’s something about this that appeals to me…

The visuals are as solid as before. They’re fairly simplistic, but everything is clear and has a certain charm to it. I wish there was a little more space on some of the stages though, as objects end up overlapping and you can’t always get to the one you want, or they get hidden underneath opening sections of the receptacle you’re working on. Not a deal breaker, but a spot irritating nonetheless. Sound is nice too, thanks to some gentle, but satisfying snaps and clicks when you correctly place an object or open up a new section of the level. The music is fairly nondescript, but it does the job as some gentle backing to your puzzling.

A Little to the Left: Cupboards and Drawers is a nice, reasonably priced addition to the base game, offering a good selection of new puzzles to play with. It doesn’t change the formula, rather opting to simply give you more of what you likely already enjoyed, and that’s perfectly reasonable for a DLC pack. If you liked the initial release, then this is a great addition to the package.

A Little to the Left: Cupboards and Drawers DLC is available now on Steam.

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