Unravel is an upcoming physics-based puzzle platform video game developed by Coldwood Interactive and published by Electronic Arts. It was announced on 15 June 2015 at EA’s E3 2015 conference. The game stars Yarny, a small anthropomorphic creature made of yarn.
The game centers around its protagonist, Yarny, a small apple sized creature made of red yarn. Yarny explores a world around him that makes small everyday things look large due to his small size. By using the yarn his body is made of, Yarny creates rope to form bridges, pull things, swing from items. His yarn is the main medium used to solve complex puzzles. As Yarny moves, the twine which he is made of unravels, creating lines that the must use to solve puzzles to progress through the game. It also serves as an extra challenge, because if he walks too far, he will unravel into a basic frame. This frame can be refilled by interacting with balls of red yarn in the game. On this mechanic, Sahlin has stated, “It’s always fun to play with physics. It’s not just about solving puzzles. It’s also a big part of how you move. Sometimes it’s just traversing, navigating. Since you always leave this trail behind you, you can always grab it and climb on it and swing on it. You can do these really cool things when you combine stuff.
Yarny isn’t an ordinary thread of… well, yarn. No, this tiny, new character has a noble goal: to reconnect the long-lost memories of a family. And he needs your help to do it. Embark on an inspiring adventure in this physics-based puzzle platformer, and guide Yarny past the many obstacles and challenges that stand in his way. Whether you’re using his yarn to swing from tree branch to tree branch, or to hitch a ride on a kite, no feat is too big to overcome. Featuring a heartfelt story expressed without words, Unravel is an exciting tale about the bonds of life.
Experience a Heartwarming Tale.
Unravel introduces Yarny, a new lovable character made from a single thread of yarn, who embarks on a seemingly larger than life journey through the breath-taking environments of Northern Scandinavia.
Using Yarny’s thread and big heart, traverse nature’s obstacles through different physics-based puzzles in this unique puzzle platformer. Swing over a tree gap or hitch a ride on a flying kite, no feat is too big. Along the way, witness Yarny unlock a heartfelt story re-uniting a family’s lost loved ones.
Told completely without words, Yarny is the bond that ties everything together.
During the game’s introduction, an old woman is seen looking out her window, before she adjusts a picture of a baby and picking up a ball of yarn. As she proceeds upstairs, a lone ball of yarn rolls out of shot. Yarny, an anthropomorphic creature made of red yarn, and the game’s protagonist, then walks into shot, and is visibly staring around in wonder of his environment. According to Sahlin, the yarn that makes up Yarny represents love, and that the character unravels as they travel away from what they love.
lthough developer Coldwood’s previous works received unfavorable critical reception, Unravel reportedly showed enough promise for EA’s DICE to arrange a publishing deal with EA. Subsequently, Unravel was announced at EA’s E3 2015 conference by the game’s developer and creative director, Martin Sahlin. During the game’s presentation, Sahlin was noted to have “reacted to his on-stage appearance like most of us would: with shaking hands and a warbling voice.” Sahlin’s nervous and excited presentation of Unravel was met with a positive reception from the conference’s audience. Following the announcement, Sahlin became the focus of well-circulated appreciative posts and fan art on social media website such as Twitter and Tumblr.
The game itself, especially its aesthetic, was also well received after its announcement; VG247 claimed Unravel was, “the most visually-impressive game EA showed”. Initial reactions to the game also drew comparisons to Limbo and Sony’s LittleBigPlanet series.
The game has been announced to be in development for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On 14 December 2015, EA announced that the game is set to launch worldwide on 9 February 2016.
The game’s backgrounds and puzzles are inspired by the landscape of Umeå, Sweden; Sahlin drew inspiration for the game after creating a Yarny doll out of tire wire and yarn during a family camping trip in northern Sweden. Sahlin has elaborated, “We live in the sticks. It’s a very small town, very far north, close to the Arctic circle. There’s not a lot of people, but a whole lot of countryside. I wanted to share some of that, some of the places that I love. I think you don’t really see enough of that in video games. You tend to see more fantastical stuff.”
In addition to its design, the game runs on Sony’s PhyreEngine.
On 21 January 2016, EA abandoned the “Unravel” trademark after their application was rejected by the United States Patent Office. Despite this, the company confirmed that the game would retain the “Unravel” title.