It’s official: Unpacking was Game of the Year 2021 (and it’s coming to PlayStation soon)


I’ve said that for a long time unpacking is one of the best games to come out in 2021 – something our own Tom Orry also argued when the title released on Xbox Game Pass in November 2021.

On the surface, unpacking might seem pretty mundane: you move from house to house, unpacking items along the way and organizing them in your new living space. Given how bleak and unfulfilling this task is in real life, it’s amazing to see a game turn it into such a deeply moving – and incredibly immersive – experience.

And we’re not the only ones who seem to think so; Last night, Unpacking won the coveted BAFTA award for Best Narrative (beating It Takes Two, Life is Strange: True Colors, Returnal, Psychonauts 2, and even Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy). That award is given by a pre-approved panel of judges, but the other BAFTA Unpacking award β€” the EE Game of the Year award β€” was the only category across the show to be voted on by the public.

Given that Unpacking seems to have won over more players than even the sublime Metroid Dread, it’s definitely worth talking about, right? Developed by Witch Beam Games, the game is a bit of an underdog indie title… to see it stack up against established industry names like Josef Fares (with It Takes Two) and giant studios like Arkane Lyon (Deathloop) is really reassuring – and it shows us all that there’s certainly room for short, emotionally charged indie games amidst all the triple-A open-world stuff we’re often so excited about.

The game itself is built partly around Tetris-esque items that fit into shelves, closets, and quirky bits of unruly furniture, and partly around a slow glimpse into a person’s life. A silent game that ranges from triumph to tragedy and back again, Unpacking says so much more with its few well-executed mechanics and meager range of levels than some RPGs with over 100,000 lines of dialogue. You can complete it in one sitting if you wish – and perhaps it’s the intensity and brevity of the game that go together so well, and another reason why this lovely little title has garnered so many loyal fans in such a short space of time.

Upon unboxing, it feels like you’re getting an incredibly intimate and understated look at someone’s life; From organizing her underwear drawer to putting out all her art supplies, a great way to show you the details of a stranger’s lived experience is who would have thought? And the way it forces importance and focus on otherwise innocuous items is nothing short of genius. Who knew it was possible to bond with a framed diploma like this (and get so annoyed about it!)? The way you relate to inanimate objects when you unbox it really is as magical as what Pixar did with Toy Story in 1996.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience this delightful charmer of a game yet, there are plenty of options for you: the title can still be downloaded via Xbox Game Pass, or even purchased for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, and it is also available for Nintendo Switch.

But if you’re a PlayStation player, you’ll have to wait a little longer – but don’t worry; A recent press release from publisher Humble Games states that the title will be released on PS4 and PS5 consoles “this spring”. While no date has been announced yet, we’re assuming the launch isn’t too far away as we’re well into April already.

And that’s great, because as we move from spring to summer, it seems pretty fitting to be playing Unpacking again (or for the first time on PlayStation). It’s a game about falling in love with new beginnings, after all. It’s official: Unpacking was Game of the Year 2021 (and it’s coming to PlayStation soon)

Fry Electronics Team

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