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Review: Unpacking (The Ultimate Stress Reliever)

Unpacking is a game about well…unpacking. 

It doesn’t sound like much but this point-and-click game by Witch Beam has become something of a quiet hit

The premise is simple – you play as an unseen person who has just moved into a new apartment. (Fun fact: The game is set in Brisbane!) Using your mouse, you grab items outside of a cardboard box and place them where you think they should go. It feels a little Marie Kondo-ish. 

As the years pass, you continue to move into different apartments and into different scenarios. But some things remain the same. 

For anyone who has moved into their own place – they will understand the tiny thrill of excitement when you decide which item goes into which spot; if you want to leave your pots out or keep them on shelves; if you want to leave your stereo out on a table or on a shelf.

Unpacking reminds me of when I first moved into my apartment. I was in a new city, it was the middle of the year, and terribly hot. The apartment’s floors were grimey.

But the feeling of unpacking in a new apartment is one I never forgot. Unpacking was almost meditative, almost zen as you put away items in areas you know they should go. Shoes go into the cupboard by the door; your clothes go into the wardrobe; jackets go up on hangers; stuffed toys are placed either on your couch or your bed. Everything has its place.

The game also packed an unexpected emotional punch – at least one review called it a “wistful game built around nostalgia”, while others reported being moved to tears.

In a nutshell, Unpacking tells a story by letting you see what you’re unpacking. If you’ve played the game and have feelings about it, I’ll love to hear from you!

*Featured image from Witch Beam

By Samantha Chan \ 15:05pm, 28 December 2021

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