[dropcap size=big]U[/dropcap]nraveled shares the story of a young girl named Cinnamon whose family works at a ship breaking yard. For the unaware, this is a dangerous job done in countries such as Bangladesh where people dismantle old ships. Accidents are common as is exposure to toxic chemicals by all members of the workforce. It’s a very frightening location to set an RPG, but Unraveled does so with a purpose. All our protagonist wishes to do is find her family – if she can make it safely through the perilous environment. Luckily, she’s not alone. Along for the ride is a plush creature named Marbles. The two keep each other company through this journey.
As such, much of your time is spent exploring environments. Although they begin as rusted, metallic ship sections things change the further in you go. Cinnamon’s imagination takes over and landscapes are transformed into fantastical realms. Now she’s not just a little girl running from workers but can become an undersea explorer or rainforest adventurer. These shifts are cute in a sense that we see the girl’s wonderful imagination at play. On the other hand, it feels a bit sad considering the fact that she is forced to imagine to shield her young mind from a harsh reality.
Throughout each section there are different tasks to accomplish. Mostly, you’ll need to solve some basic puzzles and find X number of marbles to unlock the next area. These aspects could become repetitive, but as of so far it seems like there’s enough variety to keep players from tiring out. Beyond searching around there are also turn-based battles. The Kickstarter page heavily implied that every encounter would “feel like a boss battle.” To me, this means you need to keep fights relatively rare. Although Unraveled does hold true to the concept initially, later areas reveal that enemies are far from scarce.
Even so, battles were much more enjoyable than a typical RPG (at least to me!). There’s this mechanic at play where each move you make changes your character’s mood between calm and angry. Certain attacks can only be carried out with enough anger, while others work with calm. Enemies also have their status bars and if you can hit them with the opposite kind of attack as what they’re currently feeling it’ll be more effective. It might sound a bit weird, and it is, but after a few battles it becomes second nature. Working up to stronger attacks, as well as slamming enemies with super powered attacks, is a ton of fun.
From a visual standpoint the 16-bit world of Unraveled is gorgeous. It offers highly mechanized visuals when it needs to and flighty fantasy worlds with equal detail. Music wasn’t available throughout the entire playthrough (makes sense, as Dale North is probably still hard at work on the soundtrack) but what was included sounded great. Glitches didn’t seem that common, and there’s working save and upgrade systems already in place.
Sometimes looking at preview builds of crowdfunding games is a difficult effort because developers have barely begun work on a title. This is NOT the case with Unraveled. Developer RosePortal Games have proven themselves with a 2+ hour build of their work which has its core components already in place. If a demo build were offered to everyone it would definitely draw more funding. Unraveled, despite its unfinished state, is already an immensely enjoyable experience and deserves far more attention.
Track the progress of the Unraveled Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar. If you’re interested in backing Unraveled you can head over to it’s Kickstarter campaign before it ends on March 21st to learn more.