Unravel Two sees the return of Yarny in another adorable 2D platformer, but this time, you’re not alone. Following the spark of adventure, you must work together to overcome the numerous puzzles standing in your way – you jump, climb and fling yourself through the levels, none of it possible without the two animated bundles of wool working together.
After making it to the lighthouse – your hub location- you pick your way towards to top, playing through each level and unravelling each part of the story in turn. The levels increase in difficulty as you go, asking you to piece together everything you’ve learned thus far to progress. I will say that while Unravel Two isn’t the most difficult of platformers, it’s smart, it makes you think; and for the times you really can’t figure out what to do next, you’re given the option of hints and tips, which will quite literally list the moves you need to make step by step for you to progress.
Ghosts of the past accompany you on your journey as shadowy apparitions re-enact a story that unfolds in front of (or technically behind) you. No dialogue is used so it’s up to you to piece together the story and come to your own interpretation of the events. I will be honest, even after finishing the game, I’m still a little unsure as to what exactly the narrative was, I found myself getting a little too caught up in trying not to miss a grapple point or nailing the jump to the next platform.
While the majority of Unravel Two is a fairly unthreatening jaunt through picturesque levels, later on, the pressure is turned up somewhat as monsters made from fire will hunt you down as you try to traverse the landscape and at times the floor quite literally is lava. Even though dying has very little in the way of consequence, the addition of this fiery antagonist gives Unravel 2s late game more of a sense of urgency, you don’t have the luxury of time unless you want to end up as a bundle of ash.
With the addition of Yarny’s friend, comes the ability to play Unravel Two co-op, your friend can grab a second controller at any point during the game and jump straight in, meaning if you get stuck on a particularly complex puzzle, you don’t have to struggle alone. However, if you’re anything like me, and find puzzle games exponentially more stressful with the addition of another person trying to ‘help’, then Unravel Two is more than doable solo, giving you the option to jump between Yarny and Yarny 2.0 fluidly.
While Unravel Two runs beautifully on the switch both docked and handheld, I did find the loading times to be a little… excessive. If at any point I quit out of the game fully, I was punished with staring at a loading screen for a good 45 seconds. Luckily though, if you do end up prey to the aforementioned fiery monster, the ‘death’ loading times are almost non-existent, and you’re back into the fray within seconds.
Ultimately, Unravel Two is about following light through the darkness, it’s about the bonds that tie us together and using those bonds to help us excel in life, it’s a smart little platformer that at times will let you sit and think over a problem for as long as you need, and other times asks you to make a snap decision and trust that you’ve made the right one. And on a more corporeal level, it’s a really fun little puzzle game both for those already acquainted with Yarny, and those yet to be won over by his slightly too big eyes…
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*