GOTY #5- Unravel Two. This was the best cooperative experience this year. The platforming was very fun, and although all of the puzzles were mostly the same, completing them together with my brother always brought me joy due to Unravel Two’s focus on bonding and picking each other up when you are down. It is about supporting each other to overcome the greatest tasks. While Overcooked provides a great cooperative experience, it is also an outlet for yelling and blaming each other. Unravel Two, however, keeps both players calm and enjoying the experience throughout the roughly five hours of content.
In Unravel Two, both players play as two Yarnys, a Yarny is an anthropomorphic yarn creature which was beloved in the first game where you played as one Yarny. Both players are connected to each other by a string of yarn extending from their bodies. You can use this connection to use the yarn as a rope and pull the other player over ledges, or help them swing from one platform to another. You use these mechanics to solve puzzles and progress through the levels, where you follow the memories of two teens escaping their home and putting themselves in dangerous, yet memorable, situations.
Each puzzle is simple, and each of them requires communication between the two players. None of the puzzles were too difficult, but there was plenty of times when one of us died when jumping over flames due to mistakes in communication. Building cooperative skills, as well as communication and precision skills throughout the journey, made each puzzle solution feel like a true success and bonding moment that improved the relationship and joy of both players.
The theme of supporting each other is rather explicit, but it still has an impact, as I was looking at my life in retrospect realizing the times that my brother supported me and helped me through rough days, holding on to his figurative string of yarn, helping me reach my goals even in my lowest days. It also made me realize the effect I have on other people, supporting them and cheering them up during days of their immense sadness. Seeing them reach their goals they worked so hard to achieve, and seeing their appreciation for my support, and using that appreciation to support me as well.
This never-ending cycle of swinging each other to great heights, and using the moment of success to propel our friends and family to heights even higher is the cycle that is at the core of Unravel Two’s gameplay, and it is a cycle that will get you far in life. Supporting the people you love, and having their support guides you through the roughest times, and it is the only reason that I am who I am today.
Unravel Two’s theme of “pay it forward” makes it great for both players, as they can look back on times they may have not thanked someone for helping them out, and fixing that mistake, or opening up conversations with friends about times they should have been there for them. It brings out the joy of friendships and the memorable moments with people you care about.