Moving house is a nightmare. From dealing with landlords to hauling your junk halfway across the country, it’s more stressful than anything the world of videogames could throw at you. Fortunately, upcoming chill puzzler Unpacking skips all that for the good part of settling into new digs – the moment where you finally get to spill boxes all over the floor and start turning a sterile showroom into a messy, intimate home.
As someone who’s been in a state of perpetual unpacking since leaving uni three years ago (oh no), I’m really feeling the power fantasy Witch Beam’s selling of getting it all done at once.
As spotted by the couriers over at PC Gamer, Unpacking is a “zen puzzle game” about fitting your old life into a new home. Think of it as a spiritual sequel to Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment, but with a far more… concise, title.
Moving flats really is a sort of puzzle game in itself, isn’t it? Unpacking wants to capture both the logistical nightmare and existential weirdness of inhabiting a new space – at once trying to turn a new house into a new home by putting your fondest treasures on display, while also working out where the hell you’re s’posed to put all the rubbish jeans you’ve accumulated over the years.
You’ll move eight times across Unpacking’s length, and the devs note there’ll be a light narrative playing out as you shift from cell-like student bunks to full homes. If I do have a complaint, it’s that Unpacking’s cardboard boxes vanish into a thin air – a shockingly unrealistic part of the process, I reckon, staring at the mountain of cardboard in the corner of the office.
It’s one hell of a tonal shift from Witch Beam’s last work, frenetic twin-stick Assault Android Cactus. But if you’d like to make a house a home without having to deal with estate agents or landlords, Unpacking will arrive on Steam and “other PC platforms” next year.