Kick Back, Relax, and Unpack

The Tree Of Life ~ What Humanity Strives Endlessly For, But Cannot Obtain

What seems to just be a relaxing and comforting game, Unpacking shows that it is much more than what meets the eye. We slowly unfold the story never told, by a character never seen to gain a glimpse of life in a new perspective. Immediately setting it apart from other puzzle games, Unpacking has a colorfully appealing aesthetic due to its bright, bold coloring that create a visually appealing appearance throughout the course of the story. Relating to the player’s sense of familiarity when it comes to welcoming in a new part of your life, we go along with P [Protagonist] as she unpacks her life for us.

The game has simple, intuitive controls and is easy to pick up and play, making it accessible to players of all skill levels. One of the key features of Unpacked is its increasing level of difficulty. As players progress through the game, the shapes they must fit into the box become more complex and the available space becomes smaller. This encourages players to think critically and strategize their moves in order to successfully piece together your own version of the game.

Starting off the story in May of 1997, P exclaims her excitement as she finally moves into a house with her own room. Beginning to open each box, we see her fascination with space, her large array of games, and her interest in soccer. In the next following years, 2004, we see that P has moved out into a dorm with multiple rooms. As the player, you sort through the array of items and collect achievements along the way.

Each year we spend with P, we see that she gains and loses friends, relationships, and even damaging her stuffed animal just to fix it back up. Her little quips at the end of each level also show that she grows in a sense of maturity each time she moves, as well as, keeping her favorite plushies for her journey. The final scene shows that P really has grown up and reached true happiness as we finally unpacked her life. Though we never see P nor her family, understanding the base and learning her personality allows for a new experience for every player. And I do not wish to spoil any more, so go ahead and have a play at the game yourself, I am sure you will enjoy it.

Just like Witch Beam, Charles Huettner [and the animation team] use a variety of animation techniques to bring his story to life. This includes traditional hand-drawn animation to computer-generated imagery, in order create an immersive experience. The combination of the two provides a vivid and detailed look at the world that the characters inhabit, while also conveying a sense of danger and mystery. The characters are also well-developed and have distinct personalities that are further enhanced by the animation. Scavengers is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful film that shows the adaptation to ones situation, just like P. While their situations are wildly different, they all learn to slowly grow, but still chase what once was, only to fall back down again.

Overall, Unpacking is a calming and enjoyable puzzle game that is suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Its comforting tone and colorful visual style makes it a pleasure to play and enjoy. And although we will never reach the peak of immortality, growing up is an individual based experience and what separates us all from each other. We see this in we and others perceive life. We can never truly change our nature, but we can try the best we can to get through the day and enjoy what we do have in the moment.

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