I always think out of the box is one of the best games to launch in 2021 – something our own Tom Orry countered when the game launched for Xbox Game Pass in November 2021.
On the surface, unpacking may seem cliché: You move from house to house, unpacking items and organizing them into your new living space as you go. Given how dreary and impossible this task is in real life, it’s awesome to see a game that makes it such a deeply and incredibly engaging experience.
It’s not just us thinking that, it seems; last night, Unpacking took home BAFTA’s coveted Best Narrative Award (beating It Takes Two, Life is Strange: True Colours, Returnal, Psychonauts 2, and even Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol). The award was presented by a pre-approved jury list, but another BAFTA Unpacking, which took home the EE Game of the Year award, was the only category in the entire show to be voted on by the public.
Given that Unpacking seems to have won more players than the sublime Metroid Dread, it’s definitely worth mentioning, right? Developed by Witch Beam Games, the game is a small indie game… Seeing it triumph over established industry names like Josef Fares (it needs two) and big studios like Arkane Lyon (Deathloop) really makes a difference People reassured – and showed us that in the midst of all the AAA open-world stuff we’re constantly hyping, there’s definitely a place for short, emotionally charged indie games.
— Unboxing 📦 Now out! (@UnpackingALife) April 7, 2022
The game itself is partly built around Tetris items to fit on shelves, in cupboards and wacky stubborn furniture, and partly around a slow peek into one’s life. From triumph to tragedy and back again, Unpacking is a silent game that, with its few well-established mechanics and meager level selection, is much more than some RPG games with over 100,000 lines of dialogue. You can do it all in one go if you want – maybe it’s the intensity and simplicity of the game that go together so well, and that’s how this cute little game has won so many loyal fans in such a short amount of time another reason.
With Unpacking, it feels like you’re taking an incredibly intimate and secretive look at someone’s life; from organizing their underwear drawer to organizing all their art supplies, it’s the details that give you insight into a stranger’s life experiences A great way – who knows? The way it emphasizes importance and focuses attention on otherwise innocuous objects is nothing short of genius. Who knew it was possible to form such an attachment (and be outraged!) to a framed diploma? Indeed, the way Unpacking lets you connect with inanimate objects is as magical as Pixar did with Toy Story in 1996.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience this delightful game yet, you have plenty of options: the game can still be downloaded via Xbox Game Pass, or indeed can be purchased for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, or at Nintendo Purchased on Switch.
However, if you’re a PlayStation player, you’ll have to wait a bit longer—don’t worry though; a recent press release from publisher Humble Games states that the game is coming to PS4 and PS5 consoles “this spring” . While no date has been attached yet, given that we’re already well into April, we’re going to assume the launch isn’t too far off.
That’s good, because as we move from spring to summer, it seems fitting to play Unpacking again (or on PlayStation for the first time). After all, this is a game about falling in love with new beginnings.