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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Unravel Two is a side-scrolling adventure and puzzle game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs that's a follow up to the original 2016 platformer. The player's characters -- creatures made of positive emotions that have taken physical form as animated "Yarnys" -- aren't aggressive and never attack the darkly glowing negative emotions that chase after them. That said, Yarnys can be destroyed by hazards such as electricity and moving cars, eaten by animals, or disintegrated by their enemies. Both the story -- which centers on a pair of Yarnys trying to assist a couple of kids on the run -- and the play promote concepts of friendship, teamwork, and cooperation. The Yarnys can't speak, but it's made clear through their actions and animations that they care for and want to help each other.
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What's it about?
Llike its predecessor Unravel, UNRAVEL TWO puts players in control of a "Yarny," a creature composed entirely of a single length of yarn. Now, instead of just one Yarny, there are two, and their threads are joined together. Solo players can switch between the two Yarnys at will, while a pair of players can each assume control of one and work together. Whether you play alone or with someone else, the adventure unfolds the same way. The Yarnys travel through a series of intricately detailed two-dimensional environments -- buildings, parks, caves, and more -- avoiding hazards and solving puzzles using their special abilities, such as building yarn bridges/trampolines, swinging from outcroppings, and pulling and pushing objects. With two Yarnys in the mix, most puzzles have been built around the notion of cooperation, but in sequences in which only one Yarny is needed, players can meld them together into one, forming a denser, multicolored yarn creature. Players can also test their skill in dozens of short but challenging stages, as well as customize the look and color of their Yarnys.
Is it any good?
There was no need to change what wasn't broken for this clever adventure-game sequel. Beyond its cooperative theme, Unravel Two isn't significantly different than the original, which was a miniature masterpiece thanks to its lush environments, tight play, and touching story. The sequel keeps and refines all of this: Some of the environments look nearly photorealistic, and the companionship-focused narrative is frequently emotional. It also gives players new ways to enjoy the puzzles that made the original so much fun to play. Seeing your Yarnys work together to sling themselves around a gorgeous world feels like watching a pair of lifelong friends helping each other, even though they only meet at the start of the game. And the puzzles and controls are so cleverly designed that you won't feel at either an advantage or a disadvantage whether you're playing alone or with a friend.
Plus, Unravel Two feels like a more complete package. The inclusion of dozens of bonus levels -- many of which are exceptionally challenging -- gives players plenty to do. And since these challenges culminate with the rescue of additional Yarnys whose features you can borrow to modify your own, there's plenty of reason for customization-loving kids to work their way through the extra content. But what might be most rewarding for returning players is the deeper understanding this follow-up provides of the burgeoning Yarny mythology -- what they are, what they're meant to do, and why they exist. Unravel Two is a rare thing in video games: A sequel you probably didn't know was coming or that you even wanted, but which turns out to be even better than you imagine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. How long do you think is an appropriate amount of time to spend playing a game like Unravel Two before taking a break?
Unravel Two suggests that teamwork between two people helping each other can do more than just one, providing both physical and emotional support. How can this be transferred to real life?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.