Based in Brisbane, Australia
November 2nd, 2021
Unpacking is a zen game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Part block-fitting puzzle, part home decoration, you are invited to create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking. Over the course of eight house moves, you are given a chance to experience a sense of intimacy with a character you never see and a story you’re never told.
Unpacking was inspired by some real-life unpacking, when Tim moved in with Wren. The two began prototyping the game in late February 2018. In May it was selected for the Stugan game accelerator program, taking Wren and Tim to Sweden for two months where they created a playable demo of the game. A week after the end of Stugan, an animated gif of the game from the official Unpacking Twitter account went viral, achieving over 10,000 likes and attracting 6,000 new followers in 48 hours. Since then Unpacking has been presented at the Freeplay Festival's Parallels Showcase, Day of the Devs 2018, GDC 2019's Mild Rumpus, BitSummit 7 Spirits, the PAX AUS Indie Showcase and more. In November 2021 the game was released to critical acclaim and commercial success, selling over 100,000 copies in its first 10 days. Unpacking has won 18 awards including 2 BAFTAs and the DICE Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game.
- Unpack a home — from a single bedroom to an entire house
- Meditative gameplay with no timers, meters or scores
- Explore domestic environments with all their nooks and crannies while you stack plates, hang towels, and arrange bookshelves
- Discover a character's story through the items that come with her to each new home (and the items that get left behind)
- Soundtrack by BAFTA award-winning composer and audio director Jeff van Dyck
Unpacking Launch Trailer (November 2021) YouTube
Unpacking Accolades Trailer (December 2021) YouTube
Logo & Icon
Awards & Recognition
- "Winner: EE Game of the Year, Narrative; Finalist: Original Property, Family" -BAFTA Game Awards 2022
- "Winner: Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game" -D.I.C.E. Awards 2022
- "Winner: Best Audio, Innovation; Finalist: Best Narrative" -Game Developers Choice Awards 2022
- "Winner: Game of the Year, Accessibility; Finalist: Gameplay, Art" -Australian Game Developer Awards 2021
- "Winner: Game of the Year, Best Short Game" -Indie Live Expo Awards 2022
- "Winner: Indie Game of the Year; Finalist: Game of the Year" -NME Awards 2022
- "Winner: Matthew Crump Award for Cultural Innovation; Finalist: Indie Game of the Year" -SXSW Gaming Awards 2022
- "Game of the Year" -Eurogamer 2021
- "Winner: Best Game Design; Finalist: Best Game, Best Narrative" -Develop:Star Awards 2022
- "Winner: Jury Prix; Finalist: Narrative Design" -IndieCade Festival 2022
- "Winner: Best User Experience, Family & Kids; Finalist: Best Game Design, Puzzle, Strategy & Trivia" -Webby Awards 2022
- "Winner: Best LGBTQ Indie Game; Finalist: Game of the Year, Authentic Representation" -Gayming Awards 2022
- "Winner: B.I.G. Diversity; Finalist: Innovation" -Brazil Indie Games Festival 2022
- "Winner: 2D Environment Art, 2D Animation; Finalist: Narrative Design" -Global Industry Game Awards 2022
- "Winner: Best Indie Sound Design, Best Indie Audio; Finalist: Best Game Foley, Sound Design of the Year" -G.A.N.G Awards 2022
- "Winner: Best Cognitive Accessibility; Finalist: Indie Excellence" -Can I Play That? Accessibility Awards 2021
- "Finalist: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Audio" -Independent Games Festival 2022
- "Finalist: Outstanding Video Game" -GLAAD Media Awards 2022
- "Finalist: Vermillion Gate (Best of Show), Excellence in Game Design" -BitSummit 2022
- "Finalist: Second Channel Award, Ability to Bypass Award" -Accessibility Awards 2022
- "Finalist: Best Pro Console Game of the Year" -Game Development Championship Awards 2021
- "Finalist: Sit Back and Relax Award" -Steam Awards 2021
- "Finalist: Innovation" -Taipei Game Show 2021
- "Finalist: Vermillion Gate (Best of Show), Innovation, Sound Design" -BitSummit 2019
- "Festival Favourite" -Tiny Teams 2021
- "Official Selection" -LudoNarraCon 2021
- "PAX Online Indie Showcase Winner" -PAX Online 2020
- "Official Selection" -Day of the Devs 2019
- "PAX AUS Indie Showcase Winner" -PAX AUS 2019
- "Official Selection" -The NEXT Exhibit 2019
- "Official Selection" -GDC 2019's Mild Rumpus
- "Official Selection" -Day of the Devs 2018
- "Official Selection" -Freeplay Festival's Parallels Showcase 2018
- "Official Selection" -Stugan 2018 game accelerator program
- "One of the most profound and touching experiences I’ve ever had playing a video game."
- Keith Stuart, The Guardian
- "Unpacking is a memorable, delightful game that shows that there are still new ways to tell stories in video games out there."
- Sarah LeBoeuf, IGN
- "A game of great warmth, intimacy and originality."
- Tom Faber, Financial Times
- "Each new box, each new item you pull out, is a little surprise, a little exquisite treasure."
- Alice Bell, Rock Paper Shotgun
- "I sense Unpacking will feel personal to everyone who plays it."
- Todd Martens, LA Times
- "Unpacking turns the mundanity of moving house into an extraordinary portrait of emotional vulnerability."
- David Smith, Kotaku Australia
- "One of the most relaxing and blissful experiences I’ve played all year."
- Rachel Kaser, VentureBeat
- "It cut right into my soul with a fine touch."
- Edmond Tran, GamesHub
- "There’s an unmatched cathartic joy to the simple act of freeing an object from its paper-packed prison and setting it down in the room."
- Kieron Verbrugge, Press Start Australia
About Witch Beam
Witch Beam is a small indie studio based in Brisbane Australia that's committed to creating polished experiences for PC and console. Witch Beam's first release was the critically acclaimed arcade style action game Assault Android Cactus. Most recently they made the very non-arcade style non-action game Unpacking. Now they are working on Tempopo, a puzzle game about rescuing musical flowers.
More information on Witch Beam, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Jeff van Dyck
Angela van Dyck