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Another yarn with Unravel Two

18 Sep 2018

Two’s company in this delightful sequel to Coldwood Interactive’s acclaimed platformer.

It’s been out for a little while, but you, like I, may have not yet made the time to play this gem of a game.

Coldwood Interactive’s first game, 2016’s Unravel, also published by EA Games under their EA Originals banner, had players controlling Yarny, a small humanoid creature made from red yarn.

The Yarny character is based on a make-shift toy that the game’s designer and director, Martin Sahlin, made for his children whilst on vacation. 

For this sequel, players control one of two Yarnys, solo or in local co-operative multiplayer. In a similar way as before, Unravel Two follows Yarny and his companion’s adventures as they make their way across a photorealistic 2.5D landscape filled with obstacles and hazards. 

Following a glowing spark, highlighting their route from left to right, the two tiny woollen creatures must overcome both the unforgiving terrain and mysterious enemies. 

Many of the puzzles require the two Yarnys to work together. In solo mode, player can switch between the Yarnys and have one carry the other. This co-operative gameplay, whether played on your own or with a friend, adds another layer to the game’s puzzles. 

The two Yarnys are connected by a strand of yarn, the yarn that you use to negotiate the creatures across the levels. By tying one end of the yarn to the terrain, bridges, ramps and swings can be created to get around objects. Having the two Yarnys took a bit of getting used to.

The difficulty occurs when you end up literally tying the two characters in knots, leaving not enough yarn left to actually make the swing/bridge whatever. Having the Yarnys connected in this way does have the advantage of allowing players to use a tethered mountain-climber-type swinging action to overcome a lot of the obstacles.

The platforming is old-school in that is doesn’t pull its punches. If you lack patience and/or require instant gratification this game is not for you. But, despite some intense areas, on the whole the game seemed easier than before. I’m not sure if it was that the game was a bit more polished than the first one, of that my time with Unravel had better prepared me for this sequel.

The game does have a plot, and you really need to watch what is going on in the background and it’s influence on the environment. There’s as mysterious element like that of the amazing Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture about the game. 

The graphics are quite beautiful, the Yarnys’ world is large, reflecting their diminutive size. It’s clear that the designers have had a lot of fun enlarging everyday objects and inserting them into the game. 

This sequel takes the wonderful gameplay of the first game, polishes it up and adds multiplayer to foot. Unravel Two is a delight to play and we see more of the Yarnys in future.

Unravel Two is available now on PC, via EA’s Origin Service, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game was reviewed on PC using a copy of the game provided by EA ANZ. 

Verdict: 9/10

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