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Unpacking turns the stress of moving into a wonderfully mellow puzzler

A bedroom with cabin bed and two boxes waiting to be unpacked.
(Image credit: Witch Beam)

Adorable zen puzzler Unpacking has been on my radar for a while, and I'm not ashamed to admit I played its short demo a staggering number of times during the summer's Steam Next Fest. If you're in need of some relaxing, satisfying storage management then good news: Unpacking is out today.

It somehow takes all the worst things about moving to a new place and turns it into a pretty chill experience. Grab things out of boxes and slot them neatly almost anywhere your heart desires. There's more than one solution to where items can go, so there's a nice degree of creative liberty with how you display your knick-knacks.

I've tinkered around with the first few levels and it really does scratch that spot on my brain that loves the whole 'neatly cluttered' vibe—there's just the right balance between making the space feel personal and lived-in by the time you're done, without it looking horrifically messy. I've spent far too many hours in The Sims 4 meticulously placing clutter and making it look organised, so I know well that it can be a tricky line to walk.

Unpacking also has a nice built-in GIF function that turns your decorating into a small time-lapse. Here's one of me struggling to figure out where shoes go.

Unpacking has a small narrative throughout, too, though it's kept intentionally vague. I especially enjoyed an early level that has you moving in with another person. Having to slot my items around theirs and build a cohesive space gave me some flashbacks to living with uni pals, complete with all the mess in the kitchen sink.

Unpacking is available on Steam, Humble Store, GOG and is part of Xbox Game Pass for PC.

Mollie Taylor

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.