Unpacking has you moving into spaces, putting your life together.

When it comes to adorable, relaxing games I can’t seem to get enough of them lately. I enjoy spending my evenings on the couch — not having to think too much — while Dann and I play video games together. Our latest adventures took place in Unpacking. Unpacking is a puzzle game where you are unpacking boxes, placing the items that are within into their respective spaces.

When you first start Unpacking, you are given a childhood room, slowly tapping boxes so that an item appears, seemingly at random, from the box. You can then rotate the object and place it down wherever you think it should go in your room. I always put books on the shelves, toys hidden inside cupboards (as you can click to open these) and desk stuff on top of the desk. 

When a box is empty, the cardboard gets broken down, and you are able to open one that is underneath. Once you have placed all of the items into the world, there is a quick check to make sure everything is in a good place. A few items have specific homes, which becomes more important when you move into bigger houses, to be honest. Items that are in the wrong place will flash until you place them in the right place. You can then earn a sticker, a picture is taken in the room you ended up in, and you hear a line of story as that picture is added to a photo album. 


The next chapter of your life is moving into a new place. Following these chapters, you are mainly moving into new rooms, never packing items up. Some of the things from your childhood room are kept, as you upgrade to a larger house, move in with your partner, move back home, and eventually get your own home and family. Following the story is quite interesting, as most of it is left up to your imagination.

When you start moving into places that have multiple rooms, you can move between these rooms, unpacking and placing items as you please. Often, you will find, in your rush to pack the box in the living room, there will be a bottle of shampoo for the bathroom or a pan for the kitchen, so you will need to navigate to that room and place them in the proper place. Unpacking is very forgiving when it comes to placement of items, but items from specific rooms do need to go in their proper rooms! 


There is something really relaxing about having an empty room and slowly placing your items into it, rotating them and putting them in the perfect place. This game does a really good job of item placement, making it easy to move the item around and see it change it’s direction to fit automatically, or in the case of books, slot itself between several books nicely. It feels satisfying as you build up your own place.

We finished Unpacking in a single evening, building through this person’s life and experience — and honestly, I could have played more and more levels. I really enjoyed our time with Unpacking, I liked the gentle hint at the story, the persistent items, and the growth that I got to go on through different time periods. Hopefully there are more games like this in the future!

You can play Unpacking on PC, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.


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