Unravel was quite the success story when it released a little over two years ago, with the adorable Yarny capturing a lot of hearts. Now there’s two of him as Unravel Two was surprisingly announced and released over the weekend at EA Play. It aims to keep many of the same mechanics but reworks them in a way to allow for a cooperative adventure, while staying true to the original’s vision.
Unravel Two’s story starts with a living ball of yarn known as a Yarny sailing the ocean during a story, but his ship capsizes in the middle of a storm, leaving him stranded by a lighthouse. However, he’s not alone, as another Yarny has washed up nearby. Together, they intertwine and embark on a journey together through the woodland, meadows and factories where this game is set.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Unravel Two’s mechanics are largely the same as the first game’s. You’re able to use a character to swing to a knotted area and pull both Yarnys up, as well as still being able to make bridges between two points to bounce on and reach higher areas. What is interesting and new though, is that you’re also able to intertwine with the other character and carry them, which is a great solution to controlling two characters at once. Despite being able to carry the other character, you’re still expected to control two separate Yarnys for the puzzling sections of this platform game, but switching between each character is easily done by a press of a button.
Though you can happily play it solo, this game is really all about co-op. It’s a lot of fun with two players, as there’s room for mutual experimentation with the abilities of the two Yarnys and the game’s physics. Unravel Two is easier to play as a co-op experience as you’re only having to focus on your own character and come up with solutions for the obstacles you face as a pair.
My co-op partner found the game easy to learn and this was partially due to improvements made to the characters as movement speed is increased and you have more control when jumping, making it a bit more forgiving than the first game. What also makes it forgiving is that the other character can act as a checkpoint. If one of the two Yarnys makes a difficult jump, but the other doesn’t make it and falls, they can pull themselves up using your linked yarn. On the other hand, if one of you hits one of the hazards or gets gobbled by an angry turkey, both of you are reset to just before that point to try again.
The levels in Unravel Two definitely feel larger than the first game’s, which helps to compensate the fact that two people can play through them and breeze through some of the puzzles. It’s just right as a co-op experience, but they feel a bit too long when played solo with all of the character switching and carrying characters. There are also 43 collectibles to earn and 24 speed medals to acquire for the speed runners out there. The game’s difficulty spikes are much more balanced across the main game’s seven levels this time round, but things are ramped up further with the twenty challenge levels that you can find in the lighthouse hub world, testing your puzzling and platforming skills.
The game still looks as gorgeous as ever and the attention to detail given the small size of the Yarnys and large world around them is impressive. The opening level of Unravel Two is a bit too similar to environments in the first game, but this soon improves as the game will have you traversing rooftops, meadows and more. The levels feel a bit more cinematic this time around too. People and animals will interact with the environment as you’re working your way through the levels and this is a nice touch as it makes you feel integrated into the world. The game also allows players to customise the colour and look of their Yarny, which is nice touch and something I’d hoped for when playing the original game.
Unravel Two is everything a sequel should be. It stays true to the original but adds co-op which allows you to play and experiment together as you find your path through the beautiful environments. Unravel was already a very enjoyable game, but with co-op feeling as natural in this game as it does, Unravel Two is a delightful playground for fans of puzzle platformers.
Version Tested: PlayStation 4 Pro – also available on Xbox One and PC