Pulling strings is bet­ter in twos

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - BOOKS - with Ro­nan Price

Hang­ing by a thread en­cap­su­lates the theme and game­play of this se­quel to the charm­ing but slight in­die plat­former by Swedish stu­dio Cold­wood from 2016. Re­leased on the same day it was an­nounced at EA’s pre-E3 event last month, Un­ravel Two springs from a sim­i­lar well as the orig­i­nal, as a woolly char­ac­ter named Yarny over­comes ob­sta­cles in a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

But as the ti­tle hints, the twist here re­lates to the pair­ing of a sec­ond an­thro­po­mor­phised ball of yarn to as­sist in travers­ing the land­scape. The duo rely on each to act as swings, levers and coun­ter­weights for their high-wire acts, set­ting up a game of co­op­er­a­tion re­quir­ing two play­ers to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively in terms of tim­ing and puz­zle-solv­ing.

It’s pos­si­ble to com­plete Un­ravel Two en­tirely in solo mode by switch­ing be­tween char­ac­ters, but it feels un­sat­is­fac­tory, as if some­thing’s miss­ing. Cold­wood built U2 with couch co-op in mind, en­vi­sion­ing an adult help­ing a younger gamer, or two friends look­ing for an un­de­mand­ing chal­lenge while they chat. In that mode, the se­quel achieves what the orig­i­nal strug­gled to do: hold the in­ter­est be­yond the novelty of its set-up. More com­plex puz­zles and a greater de­gree of in­ter­ac­tion in­tro­duce some wel­come va­ri­ety.

Oc­ca­sional dif­fi­culty spikes, par­tic­u­larly to­wards the end of U2’s short run­ning time, can fray your tem­per un­til you’re fit to be tied. But you’re bound to en­joy this be­guil­ing lit­tle yarn if you have some­one to play with in a close-knit com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.