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Unravel: Nine Minutes Of Grappling With Yarn

First hints of a story

I had seen Unravel's E3 reveal but not its Gamescom video, which means that the nine new minutes of footage below was the first time I realised the yarn-starring platformer was more than simply cute. It was the first time I realised it was also a smart, physics platformer about grappling hooks.

The footage is from IGN but without narration, and skips around different segments of the game to show the kinds of things you'll be doing in Unravel [official site]. Kinds of things like: using your yarn to swing across ravines, to form rope bridges, and to tether and pull useful items around. I think it looks pretty wonderful. Grappling hooks are the best part of any platform game - see: the Trine series - and the physics puzzles here look Limbo-ish but with methods of progression which can be gleaned without Limbo's necessary and deadly trial-and-error.

It also shows some of the first hints of story. As you travel through levels, images are formed in the background by floating motes of light, which main character Yarny then seems to collect. I hope the story is about nice people having a nice time and nothing bad happening to anyone ever.

Although the physics look satsifying, please don't think I wasn't interested before. Unravel is being developed by ColdWood Interactive, a small Swedish studio, and is inspired by creative director Martin Sahlin's time spent camping with his family. The environments that Yarny has to traverse are modeled in part after forests he visited, and that sounds a lovely origin for a game all on its own. The presence of a grappling hook merely stoke the woolly flames that were already burning inside me.

Unravel is due for release sometime in 2016.

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Graham Smith

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Graham is to blame for all this.

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