Unpacking – Calming House Organisation Containing Deeper Feelings

Have you ever had to move houses only to lose an item in one of the boxes? Maybe you had to move to another country or across states and packed in a hurry. Your favourite stuffed animal, a treasured photo, missing until you unpack every single box. There it is! Now put it in the perfect place in your new home.

Unpacking takes your organisational and rational skills as you unbox possessions and place them into a new home. You the player, have never seen the houses or packed the boxes making what comes out of the next box a surprise. As this journey follows the same individual moving multiple times you can sense a connection, you’ll begin to know what kind of items and personal effects they might bring with them to the next house.

We begin in 1997 and Unpacking takes us through what appears to be a children’s bedroom. As you take apart the boxes you find toys, drawing crayons and plushies galore. Nostalgic game consoles and cassettes beautifully rendered in isometric pixel art. Rotation is possible for items which is perfect for finding the right spot for small or awkward objects.

As the game move towards the second home and beyond more rooms open up to be organised. Bedrooms, lounge rooms, bathrooms, kitchens. Sometimes you will not be able to fit everything where you would like. Just make do with the spaces provided. Making the best out of the situation is part of the puzzle-solving.

One of the first dilemmas that I came across was socks vs. jocks. I never thought that identifying them would be integral to organising someones fictional bedroom drawers. In the initial rooms for me, there was no differentiation between them making it into a socks and jocks drawer. After a bit of time, I was able to identify them and set the drawers up separately.

That is one of the beautiful elements of Unpacking. You get to decide how organised you wish to make each room especially when you have the accessibility option to allow items anywhere. This mode allows you total freedom and is especially good when you’d like to relax. Other accessibility options allow changing of icon sizes, room swap animations and invalid item placement highlight colour.

Unpacking has a photo mode that gives players access to multiple frames, filters and stickers. Take your creations to another level by creating an animated gif of your finished move and show off where you placed your items before their final positions. The gifs are incredibly satisfying and are perfect for a social media post or two.

Culturally I am connected to Unpacking as the developers are Australian and most of the items found within the game are very evocative of our brandings. Seeing something like a simple salt shaker I was familiar with made me nostalgic for home as I now live abroad. Anyone familiar with growing up around the ’90s era will especially connect with the story elements of Unpacking.

Unpacking gets a Stellar Recommendation.


- 9.5



Unpacking revives old memories and nostalgia in a way that no other game has done before. Expressing itself through something as simple as placing objects in their own place and managing to get your heart wrenching by doing so. With beautifully illustrated pixel art scenes you're in for a real treat with Unpacking.

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A Digital Review Key was provided for the purposes of this review.

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