‘Unravel Two’ Switch port held back by studio concern over graphics

unravel two

When it came to surprises at E3 in 2018, a sequel to the 2016 puzzle game Unravel was among them.  During an interview with IGN, Coldwood Interactive’s Martin Sahlin said he was “Hopeful” about Unravel Two coming to Switch.  But he also pointed out how the team behind the game is really small.  In fact, the team is so small a port for Switch would have delayed its reveal at E3.

Even though production on the game started two years ago, Producer Michael Gill said in an interview with Gameindustry.biz, “If we had to do a Switch port it would have taken another half a year or so”.   Gill said the Switch’s exterior makes it “A machine made for Unravel Two”.  However, when it comes to its interior, it is a different story.  “We run at 60 frames per second and we want to keep that framerate.,” said Gill, who continued, “To keep that on Switch, and keep the graphical quality [would have been difficult]”.

unravel two

Not to mention Coldwood Interactive had to port Unravel Two over to the Xbox One themselves.  Bringing the game over to the Switch would also mean a new engine would have to be made for it.  But Nintendo would not be the ones behind it.  Instead, the Swedish developer would have to spend its time creating one specifically for Nintendo’s console.

“We only have two engine programmers across the whole team, and they mostly work on updates for the game so we just didn’t have time.,” said Gill.  There are 27 different levels in Unravel Two.  This includes its 20 bonus levels.  The game involves two versions of the main character Yarny, and even though two players can play at one time, you can also help them on their adventure to retrieve their spark by yourself.

But playing with two players would be a perfect use of the Joy-Con.  As the pictures show, you can change the color of your characters and even their looks.  But what makes Unravel Two a must for the Switch is it contains more platforming elements than its predecessor.

unravel two

Making it a perfect fit for the console made by the company who revolutionized the platformer back in 1981 with Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. in 1983.  It is also a sidescroller which Nintendo built its early home console days on.  So seeing it not be part of the Switch’s library is disappointing, but there is still hope.  Even though Coldwood Interactive is small, as more and more of their games sell, hopefully, that will lead to them hiring more engine programmers.

Allowing them to find a way to put their games onto all platforms.  As mentioned earlier this is the perfect game for splitting the Joy-Con.  Plus its heartwarming score is so inviting and it gives off a sense of warmth while playing.  However, there is a silver lining to it not being on the Switch right now.  Even though it only costs $19.99 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Coldwood has shown it is dedicated to not putting out an inferior version.

It could have delayed the game, used the extra six months to develop a port, and sold it.  But by deciding it would not meet their standards is admirable.  It seems rare to see a developer choose their customer’s best interest over its bottom line in today’s industry.  As an owner of the game, it is safe to say it is one built mostly on speed, momentum, and fluid-like motion, so a high frame rate is important.

unravel twoBut if the developer can obtain the resources needed to make a Switch version down the road, it would be amazing.  To be able to give all console owners the ability to have the same experience would be wonderful.  If possible it would be awesome to have online crossplay across all platforms as well.  But we shall see.

Nick Battaglia
As a gamer with one arm, Nick strives to inform and showcase what it is like to play games from his point-of-view.  While his love for RPG's, fighters, and everything Nintendo is strong, the only thing stronger is his want to become the live-action version of Mega Man. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MercWithOneArm.