There are some video game characters that you simply can’t help but love from the first moment you see them, such as Kirby or Ragdoll (from Little Big Planet games). Yarny, a small anthropomorphic creature made of yarn, and its blue buddy are quickly becoming another staple in the “unbearably cute” subgroup of video game mascots, and there is a sparkling brand new game, Unraveled Two, to solidify their position even further.
You all remember the original game, right? Yarny is a tiny creature, roughly an apple tall, and you, the player, have to help it make its way through the ordinary world which seems gigantic when compared to it (cough Monster in my pocket cough). Yarny uses the yarn from his body to build bridges, pull things closer or swing from objects, solving puzzles along the way. There is a catch, though – as Yarny moves, its yarn disappears, and once there is no more yarn to use, it is game over, man. The end. That’s why there are balls of red yarn scattered throughout the levels, to replenish your health. Puzzle solving, messing around with physics, plus beautiful sights and sounds. What more could a gamer ask for?
Well, judging by Unraveled Two, the sequel, what the original game was missing was a buddy to help Yarny on its journey. The game, released on June 9th for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One can be played in single and multiplayer mode (via old-school local co-op). The main story takes the two creatures across an island that has much more variations when it comes to the environment that can be interacted with – there is a forest, a factory, rooftops, meadows, and much more. There is a Challenge mode with much more demanding levels that you can try out once you master the main game.
The creators, people from Coldwood Interactive, say that they’ve used their childhood dreams and shenanigans as the main source of inspiration, and it is apparent. Compared to the original, the game is much faster paced, with a bigger focus on platforming and precise jumping and swinging. Another thing that is new is that there are now shadows, enemies that you have to avoid in order to stay alive. In the first few levels, there is also a star-like spark that serves as your guide in puzzle solving.
In single-player mode, the two Yarnies (who are initially red and blue, but their colors and looks can be customized) can help each other by serving as a bridge or an anchor for each other. There are even some puzzles that can only be solved by combining them into a single entity.
Just like the original, Unraveled Two has a story that is just the right mixture of melancholy, sadness and good feelings. After a shipwreck, our pal Yarny the First finds itself on a desert island where it meets the Blue Buddy, and, together, they embark on a journey through the memories of a pair of teenagers who are on the run from some very bad people, with each level representing a different memory that takes place in new surroundings. New memories are mostly unlocked by getting both of the creatures to the same point, though there are some levels where they have to end up on different parts of the level in order to progress further into the game. All in all, there are seven main chapters in the game, and finishing each one unlocks that chapter’s respective Challenge mode. Once you are done with those, there are twenty more bonus levels, even harder than the Challenge ones.
Sadly, it seems that EA has left the Nintendo Switch players out in the cold once more. The Creative Director of Coldwood Interactive, Martin Sahlin has tweeted that bringing Unraveled Two to the Switch simply exceeds the resources of their small team, though he has also stated that there is still hope for this port to see the light of day.
Seems like Unraveled Two is a successor worthy of its original. While the story might not be as compelling as it was the first time around, the game makes up for it by having beautiful visuals and music and sounds worthy of an AAA title. If you are an experienced platformer and puzzle solver, completing the main storyline should take you just a couple of hours, but this game has so much more to offer.