Unpacking is a Zen Puzzle Game about Moving In and Moving On
I have never had a good relationship with moving. My family has never been able afford to move between small, rented apartments located within a 1.5-mile radius from each other throughout my entire life. Moving has been a constant part of my life in recent years. I have had to move between my home, which is a comfortable but stressful environment, and my college campus, which is a place that I only consider during therapy sessions. Our previous landlord, who had been with us for almost a decade and gave us a funnyly brief window before we were kicked out during the pandemic, made my most recent move a breeze. It will happen, but I know it well in advance.
It’s unfortunate, because I don’t dislikemoving. It’s not something that most people hate. They don’t like the stress of trying to understand so many logistics. Moving is an experience that can be transformative. It’s a sign of the inevitable changes in our lives. Unpacking has a zen appeal. Its charming art style and bright colors are not what makes it so appealing, but rather the way it removes the unneeded and unpleasant complications that go with the complicated and necessary process of changing.
Unpacking is a much simpler task than the tedious and time-consuming process of moving. You will be playing the part of a character you don’t see and who you can’t hear. They still have the ability to express themselves. Unpackinginstead rely on the tried-and-true tool of environmental storytelling. It does so very, very well. You are your everyday protagonist and you live in various situations. You begin in a bedroom from childhood and move to college to find a place she calls her own. Your life is narrated through the spaces you fill with items you have unpacked.
Play mahjong – These pieces are puzzle pieces that you place where youthink they belong. You can play Unpacking this way. Each level ends with an overview of which items were correctly or incorrectly placed. You must ensure that everything is placed correctly before you can continue the story. If you feel this is too restrictive, you can switch an option that allows you to place items wherever you like — creating your own personality and the world they live in.
While I was playing the demo Unpacking, I also played the full game in its default setting. It was interesting to see how messy my adult brain can be and how unprepared I am for furnishing a home. It would have been worse if Unpacking had pixel art that wasn’t as adorable, uplifting or relaxing.
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Each item has a story to tell as you open boxes after boxes. As she experiences life’s many changes, I was happy to see some of her childhood items — such as her stuffed animals or game consoles — still in boxes that I had emptied years ago. As I watched her grow her art supplies in sophistication and variety, I felt the same way.
It was also sad that the game showed a portrait I had previously displayed, and that I assumed was meant to remain that way. As I saw that certain items she had undoubtedly treasured (and which I unknowingly had grown attached to), I was also sad. Unpacking is the act of packing in that you are often surprised at what you get out of each box. You also have . This surprise can be as heartbreaking as it is delightful.
This piece seems to primarily sell Unpacking rather than the former. However, I believe the experience has stayed with you because it’s not completely true. I was proud to see this character transform spaces into her own. Some more successfully than others. She was a model for me. I was curious if this would ever happen to me. I also wondered if I will ever have my own space. It will be mine to share with the person I love. Will I ever decide that I don’t want to share it anymore with them? And, unlike many women before me, will I be able to go my own way and start over?
Unpacking forces me to think about what I really want, but which are still out of reach. It let me pretend that they aren’t for five hours. Unpacking focuses on unpacking boxes. It is a great little puzzle game with its fantastic audio design.
It’s about unpacking my visions of a life that I love and creating a path to achieve them. This exercise has helped me to see that I am not too organized to color-code my clothes. Yes, I enjoy the idea of hanging my diploma high above the toilet. Yes, I am not an adult yet. It may be a while before I figure it out.
I felt calm as I finished Unpacking. I had become acquainted with the faceless woman whose world I had been trying to decorate — but not enough to feel that she was exactly where she belongs. She was always moving forward, in the right direction, every time she moved in or out. I trust that I will unpack my things in the future, despite any surprises.