Unpacking stormed onto the scene in 2021, gaining large amounts of praise for its unique way of storytelling and enjoyable tasks. Since then, returning to the puzzle-laden but relaxing sorting sim has been something of a ritual of mine when I need help passing the time.
In this indie life unpack-'em-up, you follow a character through various stages of their life, such as settling into your childhood bedroom, your first night a university, and moving in with your first partner. At each stage, you empty out various boxes left in different rooms. Soon you find out that no matter how many nicknacks you have lying around, there's a place for everything.
There's no voice-over for Unpacking, no overt story at all really, but luckily it doesn't need one. Once you start rummaging through the boxes for the umpteenth time, you start to notice what is obviously held dear to the main character, such as their pink pig cuddly toy that looks more and more loved each time you take it out of the box. You also get a glimpse into their life as they move in with people who obviously share interests and those who clearly do not.
You can currently play Unpacking on Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. However, soon you'll also be able to play this engaging and adorable organizing game on mobile. In an announcement trailer, Humble Games said that Unpacking for iOS and Android would be available to play later this year.
Find zen in cardboard boxes, wherever you are! 📦@UnpackingALife is coming to mobile this year!! 🧘♀️ #TrailerTuesdaypic.twitter.com/ygIOLUyA41July 18, 2023
While there's not been any more signs of life for the mobile version of the title, we still have all the other platforms to enjoy in the meantime. I started playing Unpacking when I first moved into my flat eight months ago, and despite completing the game more than a few times, I'm yet to have properly unpacked and moved into my new flat.
As I finished emptying the boxes in the character's newest apartment, I briefly looked around my own and realized that, unlike the game, I do not have things in order here. Rest assured, I'm not just existing in an empty room, I have furniture and all the necessities, but that's the limit. This means that all my trinkets and photos have sadly been condemned to boxes under my bed.
If I've learnt anything from Unpacking it's that that isn't good enough. I'm not backing down this time or getting distracted every time I find an old DS game. This time I'm going to unpack my flat and finally get rid of the cardboard boxes that have been haunting me from the corner of my room.
The attention's in the detail. Whether that's color-coding your bookshelf or organizing your collection of physical games. Spending a little extra time on something will usually make a real difference. So I'm going to take everything I've learnt from this cozy sim and make the most out of the space I have, even if it means dragging my coffee table from one room to the next.
If you're looking for more life-like games, then check out our best simulation games list for more realistic titles that are often more fun than the real thing.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.