When I first heard about it, I did not think Unpacking would appeal to me. Released today, it’s a casual game about unpacking moving boxes and loading all items from a person’s life into their new home. I have never liked unpacking in real life, it feels stressful and annoying to try to find space for all my stuff. But I’m starting to think that Unpacking (the game) might make me feel more comfortable. Maybe next time I move home, I should go into it with the energy of this casual puzzle.
When Alice Bee demonstrated Unpacking last year, she said it was “a very satisfying and sweet game of Tetris-with-things” that was good enough to make you enjoy moving home.
It also sounds like a pretty intimate thing. On the website, developers Witch Beam (who previously made Assault Android Cactus) explain that there is a kind of story here, but you are never explicitly told what it is. While playing, you will review eight house moves and learn about a character you never see, solely from the things they have and the places they live.
It’s funny, I’ve been to my “new” place for almost exactly a year now, and I’m 90% sure I still have a unpacked box of technical stuff under the stairs that never found a home. I’m not sure what kind of story would tell other than, ‘Imogen had lots of wires and did not know what any of them were connected to’. I’m sure Unpacking’s narrative is much more interesting and heartfelt, and I look forward to trying it out.
Unpacking is out now and you can grab it on Steam, Humble and GOG for £ 16 / € 20 / $ 20. It’s also on the Xbox Game Pass for PC (along with a bunch of other good’uns this month). You can also grab it on the Nintendo Switch and Xbone.