Unwording is a short and linear game that follows a young man’s emotional journey to overcome his negativity and ultimately find happiness in life’s simple things. With the help of a little bird who befriends him and starts following him everywhere, he will slowly begin to break his destructive thought patterns by changing his perspective on life.

At its core, Unwording is a linear point & click adventure, in which every time you interact with various items in the environment you are presented with a small word puzzle. The game is heavily symbolic, and over the three chapters that it contains (representing three consecutive days / stages in the life of the main character), his mental transformation is depicted not only through a change in the art style and a transition from 2D to 2.5D and ultimately to 3D graphics, but also through the type of puzzles you get to solve.

In the first chapter, the player is introduced to Tom’s mind, where his negative thoughts distort the reality perceived. ‘“Waking up“ becomes “Give up”, “No messages” on the phone reads to him as “No one cares”. His world is depicted in a 2D monochromatic manner, and similar to his thought patterns, the puzzles will have you shift these word sequences into something else (by rotating the one or two-letter blocks that they contain), into something negative.

When a cute bird barges into his life and tries to build a nest inside his home, his reality starts to change. The second chapter will find Tom inside a more colored world, one in which he attempts to think more positively. This stage will have the player replay the puzzles from the first chapter by transforming the negative thoughts previously created into more positive ones through a perspective change. If in the first chapter seeing a cool car triggered Tom to think that he is poor and can’t afford it, in the second chapter he will realize that he doesn’t actually need a car to be happy. Symbolically, the puzzles will have you rotate in 3D a set of cubes representing those words and adjust your perspective until new positive words are formed.

The final chapter will have Tom finally take control of his life and proactively open up to the world around him. We see him overcome his negativity by coming out of his shell and interacting with people, while also discovering the joy in simple things. His world has now become sunny and bright. The puzzles also reflect his straightforwardness, by taking the form of one-word inputs: “work”, “play”, “buy”, etc.: Simple, yet meaningful.

Overall there are only a few puzzles to solve, all quite easy. Hints can be used, and the game can also be played in two difficulty modes. The only bother for me was only the fact that Tom walks extremely slowly. Perhaps it was designed like this in order to symbolize the depression that he dwells in at the start of the game. Thankfully there’s a sprint button that renders his movement to normal speed.

You can unlock up to 14 achievements in Unwording, most of them being missable and awarded in Chapter 3 for specific interactions with various elements in the game world. The rest of the achievements are story related. There is no chapter selection after the game ends, thus you will need to replay the game from the start in case you miss one achievement. This guide covers a full walkthrough together with everything that is needed to reach 100% completion.

Unwording might be really short (it took me around 1.5 hours to finish it), but it conveys a strong message about positive thinking and how impactful it is for your life. We all feel depressed sometimes, some of us more than others, and playing through this little game during those moments may help you remind yourself that your life can change if you change your thoughts. It’s all a matter of perspective.

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