COMPLETE Unpacking Game Guide + Walkthrough & Review

Wendy’s Game Summary

  • Cost: Fair for the length of the game: 3-5 hours.
  • Difficulty: It’s a very simple game, though it can be tricky to work out where some objects go. I did have to consult Google a few times to progress.
  • Coziness: Unpacking hits those nostalgic notes and its core gameplay loop was a cathartic experience.
  • Pros: I found joy in the simple act of unpacking boxes.
  • Cons: Music became repetitive after a time.

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Unpacking is the experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and where you explore domestic environments with all their nooks.

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When it comes to video games, some experiences go beyond just having fun. They have the power to make us feel deeply and leave a lasting impression on our hearts. 

Unpacking is an exquisite zen puzzle game that invites you to create a satisfying living space as you move your belongings into your new home. It has meditative gameplay with no timers meters or scores. So you can relax and enjoy how satisfying this game is.

I have included the Unpacking Guide at the end of this post for you to complete the game in its entirety.

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Witch Beam won the BAFTA Games Award for EE Game of the Year 2022 in recognition of Unpackings’ innovation and the impact it had upon the public. 

What is the story of Unpacking?

Unpacking is a part block-fitting puzzle and part home decoration.

Throughout multiple house moves, you build a sense of intimacy with the character’s story through their belongings. Set to a calming soundtrack you have to find the right place to position all your books, clothes and more to progress the game.

As you fill out your living space, you also uncover clues about the characters’ transformative journey and significant life changes throughout the years.

Unfolding over 21 years and across 8 levels, Unpacking’s story begins in the main character’s childhood bedroom and takes you on a poignant journey through each stage in her life through the apartments she moves into.

The entire game takes 3-5 hours to complete but may take you longer if you wish to replay the levels to collect all the achievements, play around with photo mode and have fun placing items wherever you want. 

​Is Unpacking Worth Playing in 2024?

As you progress through the game, the art of unpacking becomes a cathartic experience as it explores themes we can all relate to in our own lives. The meditative gameplay is not simply about organizing belongings but about unraveling the layers of your character and who they grow into. 

It’s a metaphorical journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

At the beginning of Unpacking, you learn to appreciate the artistry in the simple act of unpacking itself. The game invites you to slow down, savor each moment, and feel the nostalgia around every item.

It is an invitation to forge a deeper connection with your possessions, to rediscover the stories they hold, and to embrace who you truly are, without compromise.

So I encourage you to discover the zen gameplay of Unpacking as it’s one of those games that will still be relevant in 20 years, because nostalgia never ages.

Unpacking is available for Steam users, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox Game Pass.

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UNPACKING WALKTHROUGH GUIDE

WARNING – This walkthrough contains spoilers for the game.

If you don’t want the ending spoilt then I suggest playing the game through at least once before going back to get all the achievements.

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1997 – Beginnings

The childhood home.

There is no introduction, no narrative at all.

In the distance, you can hear school bells and children outside playing.

All you know is that the year is 1997, you’re in a single bedroom in various shades of purple, and in front of you are 3 large cardboard boxes. 

With only 1 room on this first level, it’s quick to complete.

You’ll receive the following 3 achievements:

  • Solve a Puzzle – complete the Rubix Cube
  • Make Some Memories – Unpack the Polaroid Camera
  • Beginnings – Complete the Level
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2004 – Get Smart

It’s your first time away from home! 

You’ll receive the following 4 achievements:

  • Strike a Pose – Unpack a mannequin and make it dab
  • Electrical Hazard – Put the toaster in the bath
  • A Sometimes Food – Put the cookie jar on the top shelf
  • Get Smart – Complete the Level

2007 – Fellowship

Moving in with roommates.

At this level, you’re presented with 5 rooms to unpack. A daunting task! You’ll find it easier to unpack a little bit at a time by focusing on one room as some items will need to be moved to other rooms.

As you can see from the map there are 2 other people living in this flat and you’re going to have to share your space for the first time.

You’ll receive the following 3 achievements:

  • Game On – Turn on the blue GameCube Console
  • Hat On Head – Put a hat on a mannequin head
  • Fellowship – Complete the Level

2010 – Too Cool

The boyfriend’s apartment.

This isn’t a new place, it looks like he’s lived here awhile and very much settled. There’s very little room in his 1 bedroom flat and he’s not prepared to give up his space for your things.

Some items are unmovable so you’ll need to work around them, finding different places to place your belongings to fit around his life.

You’ll receive the following 4 achievements:

  • Blast Some Tunes – Turn on the music player
  • Make Some Coffee – Place all the coffee equipment on the counter
  • Tidy Whities – Put all his underwear in the same draw
  • Too Cool – Complete the Level

2012 – Homecooking

Back home again.

A bitter-sweet level as you realize that your character has moved back to her childhood home having broken up with her boyfriend. A short level as this seems to be only a temporary stay.

You’ll receive the following 2 achievements:

  • Rediscover Childhood – Put the poster on the wall
  • Homecooking – Complete the Level
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2013 – Independence

Her first apartment.

Finally your own space again! This whole level feels like a fresh start, albeit on a budget. This is the beginning of her career. 

You’ll receive the following 3 achievements:

  • 12:00 – Set the time on the microwave (Tip: It needs to be in the right place to work)
  • Brilliantly Solved – Complete 1+2=3 with the fridge magnets
  • Independence – Complete the Level

2015 – Love

Moving in together.

Rather than moving to a new apartment on this next level, you are introduced to a new person. Someone is moving in! As you unpack their new things and fill up your space it soon becomes apparent that you have a girlfriend.

You’ll receive the following 3 achievements:

  • Green Thumb  Place all the plants on suitable surfaces
  • Fuzzy Friends – Sit the tiger and pig side by side
  • Love – Complete the Level
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2018 – No Place Like Home

​The forever home.

The last level in the game is where you are again introduced to a new person… however, this is just a little surprise.

You and you’re partner have bought an entire house and are settling in for the arrival of your new baby. All the sentimental items that you’ve unpacked throughout the game make a final appearance and the main character is a professional artist now. 

You see a published children’s book featuring a pig and duck design.

You’ll receive the following 3 achievements:

  • Gotta Flush ’em All –  Flush all 7 toilets in the game
  • Baby Builder – Stack blocks 5 high
  • No Place Like Home – Complete the Level

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many levels of Unpacking are there?

Unpacking has 8 levels which are themed around important years in the life of the protagonist.

How long in Unpacking?

It will take you 4-5 hours to complete Unpacking.

Why can’t I hang the diploma in Unpacking?

SPOILER: There is no space on the walls in the boyfriend’s apartment to hang the diploma because it’s symbolism for him not having room for the protagonist in his life, they do not fit together.

Is unpacking a queer game?

Unpacking is based on the real-life events of its developer whose bisexuality was portrayed respectfully. Although the ending of the story is different from her own.

Wendy
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