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Played in 2023
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I really enjoyed the gentle environmental storytelling here, so many details that can be inferred from what items stick around between moves and which ones fall behind which in turn informs how you choose to sort and decorate these rooms, making the practical layout line up as best as possible with your understanding of the protagonist and how they'd use the space. There's some really lovely stuff here about how as we grow we both keep some parts of ourself whilst shedding others, and how moving home can be a moment that brings these changes into focus.
As much as those aspects of the game resonated, I'm filing Unpacking under "I wish this was a bit less of a game". At the end of every level, after decking out your new home, the game will highlight any objects that are out of place with a red outline if they're in the 'wrong' place, and then you get the job of placing each of those items in however many locations until they're in the 'right' place instead. So many of these placement rules feel arbitrary or even downright silly, and whilst I understand that the developers don't want you doing nonsense like putting toilet paper in the kitchen sink I did find myself wishing that I could be trusted a bit more to place things where they feel right to me. Not dissimilarly, everything feels a bit too neat to me at times; so often the amount of underwear you have will perfectly fill exactly one drawer, for example, which does partly undo the feeling of this as a life being lived.
Still very much liked the vibes of this game, and generally enjoyed the experience.
Very charming and chilled out. I can definitely understand criticising this game for not doing enough with its concept (in particular the puzzles are all incredibly simple), or having the levels be so deeply linear (in stark contrast to the Katamari games), but considering how many games nowadays are Far Too Long it was lovely playing something so confident in its concision.