Publisher: Humble Games
Developer: Witch Beam
Release Date: 11/02/2021
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I love games like these. Short little indie games that do something AAA games don’t care to notice or even glance at. Unpacking is what you get on the tin. There’s no story here at all, no characters, you just get put into various years from the late ’90s to 2018 unpacking a person’s belongings in various homes. It seems dull on paper, but it’s actually quite satisfying, but the enjoyment solely comes from you wanting to decorate everything correctly and not just put things where they go.
Bedrooms consist of era-appropriate computers, lots of clothing, knick-knacks, plants, posters, frames, shoes, workout equipment, you name it. Bathrooms will have bathroom items, and kitchens will have things like food and utensils. There are also living rooms that have video game consoles, knick-knacks, frames, pillows, blankets, plants, and other items. There are a lot of items in this game, but here lies my biggest complaint about this game. It’s incredibly repetitive. After the second “album” that I completed, I pretty much saw every single item. Sure, unpacking boxes and putting things away satisfies an OCD in most people, but out of the six levels how many dozens of underwear, bras, and clothes do I need to hang? Things only got interesting later on when new objects did pop up or large items. Laundry baskets, trash cans, umbrella stands, and dish racks were far and few between, and it wasn’t until the last level where you get every room and pretty much unpack every item in the game.
As you start off in 1997, you may get a bit of a nostalgia hit, there are a lot of 8-bit style items laying around from the era. CD players, cartridge game systems, old stereos, crazy teen angst posters, and anything else you can think of from your childhood. The game is set in an isometric perspective so you can zoom around and that’s about it. There are numerous boxes in various rooms and when you click on a box it opens and inside you just see packing paper. Clicking the box has an item pop out and most are regular everyday household items, and most of the boxes are to be unpacked in that room with the occasional item being misplaced. You can rotate items and even activate some items for achievements, and the snapping feature works rather well. A book can lay flat or if you push it up against a shelf it will stand up and stack.
There are a few challenges when it comes to space. Some rooms will be very minimal with a lot of items and you have to be clever and organized to get everything to fit. Once you unpack every box items that are in the wrong place will flash red and most of this made sense, but some didn’t. Why do I have to put a backpack on a shelf when on the bed makes sense? There were a few cases in which I couldn’t make out what the items were at all and had me clicking and placing it on everything until I found the right spot. I also wish I could unpack the furniture and literally unpack an entirely empty home. Maybe some outdoor areas would have been nice like backyards, sheds, garages, or other settings like offices would have added variety.
What’s here is still rather charming with some nice music, that seems to stop for long periods of time which I hated, and there’s a seemingly pointless photo mode in which you can add borders and stickers. This feature just felt like filler content to me, but this is a very unique game and there’s nothing else out there like it. The game is so short that you can finish it in less than two hours, so it won’t offend anyone despite the repetition. What’s here is fun, charming, and satisfying.