People Love Unpacking, the Zen Puzzle Game About Moving House

A screenshot from Unpacking
Witch Beam / Twitter @leslee_annsh

Chill games are having a moment, and Unpacking is the latest offering that lets you zone out and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures. Actually, Unpacking creates a pleasurable experience our of something that we normally hate to do: moving house.

In Unpacking, a sweet indie gem from Brisbane-based developers Witch Beam, you simply unpack your belongings from boxes and place them in the rooms of your new house. It’s part puzzle game and part mindfulness experience — there are multiple places for everything to go, so while you have to find the right spot for each possession, you can decide where that is to some degree.

While you play, you’ll learn more about the person whose life you’re pulling out of storage. The narrative is simple but you get an intimate sense of who this person is over the span of a few years. Each level holds clues about their life, especially as you help them move in with partners or decorate a kid’s bedroom.

Admittedly, a game about cleaning the house isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ever played The Sims or Animal Crossing and found yourself wishing you could spend more time decorating, then you’ll find Unpacking to be relaxing and incredibly satisfying. That’s what the developers intended, describing it as “meditative gameplay”. There are no timers or scores and you can’t fail, save for moments like when the game tells you that jar you just placed in the kitchen actually belongs in the bathroom. Even just watching Unpacking streams is soothing.

Because people are falling in love with Unpacking, we’ve rounded up the best memes about the game for your enjoyment and inspiration.

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