Oh my, what a wonderful little thing Unfolding Tale is. The origami-styled explorer stars some kind of ant-sized fishbird thing, but – more than anything else – its main character is motion. You soar through water and swim among the clouds, gracefully hopping between musical lanterns and bounding ever-upward like a deep, throaty laugh. Once you establish a good flow, it feels quite nice, and you’ll see some magnificent natural sights in the process. Unfolding Tale is 15 minutes of relaxation tinged with exhilaration. Download it here.
I do so love stumbling across tiny virtual treats like this. I mean, I guess I could critique the drag-based mouse controls for feeling a bit slow to react every once in a while, but they never really frustrated me. Unfolding Tale isn’t about challenge, and while it may look like some kind of platformer, it doesn’t really play like one. It feels like a mixture of Echo The Dolphin’s movement and a waterfall: fast, powerful, inevitable.
In some ways the floaty controls just absorbed me into the contagiously rhythmic flow even more. Nicely placed water globules and wind currents, meanwhile, helped create a wonderful sense of speed, but thanks to a gentle soundtrack, I never felt rushed. I just sat back, breathed deep, and flew through something far larger than me.
And I do mean that. Unfolding Tale, depressingly brief though it might be, establishes a serious sense of scale. I was the very smallest of the fishbirds, and the camera pulled back at just the right times to accentuate that.
Unfolding Tale moves from sea to cloud to sun in the blink of an eye, lasting a mere two levels. I was absolutely left wanting more, but I also very much enjoyed where it ended. Given that it’s a student project, I can’t really ask for much more. Bravo, Digipen folks. More things like this, please.