Nintendad

[Review] Unravel Two – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Coldwood Interactive
  • Publisher: EA
  • Release Date: 22/03/2019
  • Price: $19.99 / £24.99
  • Review code provided by Coldwood Interactive

Unravel Two

A quick confession, I’m a little late to the Unravel party. I didn’t play the first title, in no small part due to my Nintendo affiliation. My initial impressions of Unravel Two when I saw the E3 trailer in 2018 was that it would be a sure thing for Nintendo Switch, I mean how could it not? The Yarnies were even the same colour as the Joy Con, it was a given, right? Well, better late than never, that’s what I always say.

The tale Unravels before our eyes

Unravel Two begins with our pair of protagonists surviving a ship wreck and washing up ashore. Whether this correlates to the original Unravel offering is unknown to me because, as I mentioned earlier, playing through this wonderfully imaginative and prepossessing little adventure was my fist taste of the proverbial cherry.

Once we were safely on dry land it was onwards and often upwards, as we set out from left to right on an adventure that felt as free flowing, once the initial tutorial period was over, as any that I had played in quite some time. When in full swing, there is something beautifully organic about the way Unravel Two plays. The synergy between Red and Blue reminded me of how a Bassist and drummer work together to hold a good rock song together, however in this case, the rock song is an awesome little video game.

Unravel Two – gether or on your own

Unravel Two works flawlessly both in single player and co-op. In single player, switching between Yarnies is as simple as tapping X. The eb and flow never suffers as a consequence and puzzles remain intuitive. Unravel Two shines as an example of how you build a game that can be enjoyed by all.

Unravel Two is inherently a very euphoric experience, however there were puzzles that genuinely had me scratching my head. I often found that, in extreme cases, I wouldn’t ever be able to work out what to do. In these instances I simply put the Nintendo Switch into sleep mode and approached it the following day with fresh eyes. Nine times out of ten the answer was staring me in the face and I was able to continue with my progress, unhindered until I hit the next wall.

This actually made my time with Unravel Two incredibly enjoyable as it prolonged the experience tenfold. Despite my play through clocking in at 6 hours to completion, Unravel Two has taken me far longer than it should have done to complete, especially for the purpose of review. My point is however, that it is in no way a bad thing as I was able to relish this delectable romp for many evenings.g

Entering the halls of Valhalla

Unravel Two looks sublime. Aside from our knitted duo and the yarn points scattered through out the seven chapters that make up this adventure, everything is of a realistic hue. In much the same manner that Pikmin uses textures from Miyamoto-San’s own garden, Unravel Two’s locales are all of the homeland of the exceptional team behind the title, Coldwood Interactive, which for the record is Sweeden. Unravel Two does suffer from some slowdown in certain, particularly frantic moments. Because of this a performance mode has been added which drops the resolution whilst increasing the frame rate. Once activated, certainly in my own experience, it stayed activated.

The music offered by Unravel Two was heroic and fantastical and really lent itself to the title, paving the way for a beautiful adventure across an appealing and varied land, full of pitfalls and peril at every turn. Thankfully, Unravel Two utilises a checkpoint system. That means, if you do fall to your untimely demise, drown or even get eaten by a fish as you attempt to traverse a water hazard, you are swiftly returned to a very close point nearby.

Conclusion

I was expecting Unravel Two to be akin to Yoshi’s Woolly World, albeit a very good indie version. What I actually encountered was a unique and wholeheartedly wholesome puzzle platformer that produced moments of joy throughout. There was a darker tale running parallel, portraying bullying and violence through adolescent youth. In all honesty this was a bit lost on me and felt muddled and confused. Regardless, Unravel Two is an uniquely enchanting offering that works just as well in local co-op as it does in single player. The story that unravelled might have got a little lost, but the gameplay was a sheer delight.

Pros

  • Beautifully presented
  • Seamless transitions between single and multiplayer
  • Clever and thought provoking puzzles

Cons

  • Framerate suffers in visual mode
  • Muddy story
  • Not overly lengthy

Verdict
Unravel Two shines as an example of solid level design and works just as well as a single player experience, all wrapped up in a very pretty package. With a bow on top!
4/5
Fifield

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