In the world of cozy gaming, indie games are king. There are so many games out there to find and explore that cozy gamers will have enough material to curl up on a couch with for years. These games usually involve some sort of puzzle or other media which helps engage the player. However, these games also have little to no combat, and most of it is optional.
Unpacking is one such game. This 2021 puzzle game was developed by indie studio Witch Beam and published by Humble Bundle, which you may know as the website with really good bundle deals.
The game tells the story of a female character who is unpacking her possessions into a new home. Everything she unpacks represents a significant life event and there are 8 stages of the game. These stages represent the years in which the life events took place, including:
The story that Unpacking tells is a significant one that many players have come to love. However, there’s only so much playtime you can get out of a game with 8 stages and 35 rooms. That’s why our editors have picked out 22 games like Unpacking you can dive into.
Still, there are a few questions that remain to be answered when it comes to the success and future of Unpacking. Without further ado, let’s answer these questions and find you some new games like Unpacking to play!
Will there be an Unpacking 2?
Many fans have been wondering whether Unpacking 2 will ever see the light of day. Some have even gone as far as to ask the devs, Witch Beam. The dev team took to Reddit on the day the game saw its release date on the Nintendo Switch to answer some questions.
During the AMA Reddit user _aisu asked the devs if they had any plans for a sequel yet. Wren, the Creative Director of Unpacking, answered.
“Thanks for playing!! We currently don’t have plans for a sequel (this one game already took us more than 3 years!) but you never know. :)”
With that, the development of Unpacking 2 is uncertain. It seems like the devs were ready to put their everything into making Unpacking so the game can come out in the best shape possible. However, there’s always a chance that Witch Beam may look into the idea of developing Unpacking 2.
What makes Unpacking so great?
There are multiple reasons why games like Unpacking are such good games. Most of them have to do with the fact that they target a certain demographic that particularly loves both soothing gameplay and interesting, touching stories.
The gameplay is fairly simple. As the player, you only have to place certain items in their designated spots, and you’re pretty much done. In your picture book, you’ll get to see text that details the player character’s life.
This cozy game can evoke a specific feeling of nostalgia that each player can experience differently. The method of storytelling Unpacking uses has little to no characters or voice acting. However, it conveys a strong message that isn’t too stressful for the player. The addition of calming music and aesthetically pleasing visuals is just the cherry on top of this indie puzzle masterpiece.
#1 House Flipper
The first game on our list of games like Unpacking is House Flipper. Its title is pretty self-explanatory. This game allows you to buy properties, fix them up, and sell them for a profit. Its main similarity to Unpacking is the fact that the game involves some sort of work around the house, though House Flipper also includes construction work.
House Flipper Gameplay
At the start of House Flipper, you’ll only be able to take on e-mail jobs where people will e-mail you to fix up their houses. There are 19 of these jobs to take on before you run out of them, but you can move on to house flipping as soon as you have enough money to do so. These jobs mostly involve cleaning and fixing things around the house as well as making sure everything looks nice and tidy.
House flipping allows you to purchase properties and fix them up for a profit. This part of the game holds the bulk of the content. You can also have a bit of insight into the buyer profiles so you know how to adjust your renovations to get the most money out of your clients.
Just like Unpacking, Woodo is an upcoming cozy puzzle game, although this one allows you to assemble dioramas rather than put away items. As the title implies, these puzzle pieces are made out of wood. According to the developers, the main goal of the game is to let the player reminisce on their childhood and convey feelings of warmth, empathy, and comfort.
This game has not been released yet, so unfortunately we don’t know too much about Woodo’s gameplay. However, we do know that the beautiful visuals couple with simple mechanics to allow the player to relax in a truly cozy experience. The game will allow players to paint items, place them around the scenery of what seems to be a lovely and cozy home, and make the entire place come to life.
#3 The Shape of Things
If you’re a fan of Rubik’s cubes, you may like The Shape of Things. This lovely indie game provides the same cozy feeling we can experience in Woodo’s trailers. However, this game features different scenery around the world as it gives you objects to rotate and solve. While the game’s concept is based on a Rubik’s cube, it’s much simpler for those who aren’t too mathematically advanced.
The Shape of Things Gameplay
The game mechanics of The Shape of Things are fairly simple. You have the ability to rotate, pan, and scale each piece of a certain object until you’re able to find where it belongs by holding left or right click and moving your mouse. To rotate the entire puzzle, you just have to click outside the shapes and move your mouse. The game also involves a gacha mechanic where you can unlock new worlds. However, you can get the in-game coins you need to use the gachapon machine only through solving puzzles.
City builder fans rejoice! The next game on our list of games like Unpacking is Townscaper. This indie game is great for those who just want to play around with constructing cities. The game has no story or main objective, making it great for those who didn’t enjoy the story aspect of Unpacking but more so the stacking aspect. As the sole developer, Oskar Stålberg, says, the game is more of a toy to relax with.
The game starts out with an ocean on which you can place colored blocks. These colored blocks allow the player to construct their city vertically or horizontally, depending on what they want to create. There are certain rules to placing each block and understanding them is crucial to figuring out how the game itself works. After that, there is no end to what you can create in the game, even as a beginner!
#5 Bear and Breakfast
Although it may seem like Bear and Breakfast shouldn’t really be on the list of games like Unpacking, its cozy vibe definitely evokes the same feeling as the latter. Bear and Breakfast is a 2022 management sim game that follows the adventures of Hank, a bear. He finds a dilapidated bed and breakfast and decides to fix it up and get it running so he can host human clients.
Bear and Breakfast Gameplay
You play as Hank, the bear who owns the bed and breakfast. The main objective of the game is to build and decorate various rooms and facilities in the establishment, thereby maximizing the guest’s satisfaction. You must manage your resources and meet the demands of your clients, which get more demanding and wealthier, as time goes by. You can create new items through crafting, and there’s even a card-based cooking minigame with which you can prepare meals for your clients.
#6 Camper Van: Make it Home
Camper Van: Make it Home is an upcoming cozy game where your goal is to camperize your own van. This game definitely places high on our list of games like Unpacking due to how similar the gameplay is to Unpacking. The storytelling aspect is also similar with no text or voiceover in the game. As the player, you will learn the story of the protagonist through the items you unpack and put away in your new home. The game earned more than $50,000 on Kickstarter which will allow players to enjoy the game sooner!
Camper Van: Make it Home Gameplay
Since the game hasn’t been released yet, we don’t know too much about the gameplay. Regardless, we do have a few glimpses into what the developers have in plan for us. The core mechanics of the game are block organization and interior design. By this, we mean that you have to organize all the objects perfectly as well as decorate and design the interior of the van. However, Camper Van: Make it Home will also allow players to purchase new vans and decorate them. There are different destinations where you must adapt your van to the landscape and demands of the environment you are in.
Venba, the titular protagonist, goes on a trip to Toronto, Canada with her husband to begin a new life. Throughout the game, you will learn the story of this new life and all of its struggles, including learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. With the birth of their son, Kavin, Venba hopes to teach him about Tamil language and culture through the help of cuisine. That’s exactly what makes Venba a narrative cooking video game, one that deeply appreciates Tamil culture and South Indian cuisine.
As the player, you must solve puzzles in this cooking game as Venba and her son, Kavin, restore lost recipes through trial and error. You can find these recipes in Venba’s mother’s cookbook, although the cookbook has sustained damage over time and the recipes are difficult to read. You will also receive some guidance from Venba as she consults her memories to help you put the pieces together. As you progress through the game, the puzzles will get more difficult. You’ll have entire pages of text missing and only diagrams to work with. Still, the experience is rewarding as Venba and Kavin bond over South Indian cuisine.
#8 Kawaii Puzzle: Unpacking Decor
Kawaii Puzzle: Unpacking Decor differs from the others on our list of games like Unpacking. This is because it’s a mobile game which you can download on both Android and iOS devices. The game doesn’t offer much in terms of story, although you do get snippets of a story each time you finish the room. Still, Kawaii Puzzle: Unpacking Decor mainly focuses on the gameplay. Thankfully, it’s also loaded with adorable visuals to calm you down after a long day. Overall, Kawaii Puzzle: Unpacking Decor is one of the best ways to get into mobile gaming if you like games like Unpacking.
Kawaii Puzzle: Unpacking Decor Gameplay
The game functions similarly to many other games we’ve explored so far. Your objective is to place the decor to the right place in certain rooms. There are multiple styles to choose from such as Vintage Vibe, Country House, Classy Antique, and more. You can change the color of the furniture to better fit the vibe of the room. Additionally, you can combine multiple items to create something completely different, proving your imagination has no limits in this game.
#9 A Little to the Left
If you’ve never had the experience of a cat messing with your household cleaning duties, now is a great time to experience this. A Little to the Left is another cozy puzzle game similar to Unpacking that has you arranging household items while a mischievous cat gets in your way. The game is very intuitive and the puzzles have multiple solutions which decreases your chances of frustration. A Little to the Left is probably one of the most casual and satisfying games on our list of games like Unpacking, especially for players who love to organize.
A Little to the Left Gameplay
There are over 75 levels to get through in the base game. The Cupboards and Drawers DLC offers 29 levels to complete, and the Archive Snack Pack update adds 13 more for players to enjoy. On top of all this, you also get Daily Tidy Delivery, with a new puzzle every day that’s unique to you! To solve the levels, all you have to do is figure out and follow the rules of the game. This includes things such as making repeated patterns, achieving symmetry, and placing items in a certain order.
If you’re afraid of spiders, don’t worry, you can still play Webbed. This is thanks to the arachnophobia mode available in the game. In Webbed, you play Buddy, a peacock spider on a mission to rescue her boyfriend who is kidnapped by a Bowerbird. Along the way, Buddy receives help from bees, ants, and dung beetles after helping them out in their own endeavors. All this help results in the construction of a makeshift hot air balloon which helps Buddy get to the Bowerbird’s nest. This cute 2D adventure puzzle platform game may just give you a new outlook on spideirs after finishing it!
Webbed places a lot of focus on Buddy’s webbing abilities as a spider, hence the name of the game. You will use your web for many things, including moving across the map and dragging objects along with you. This web will also be useful when helping the other insects with their objectives. For example, you must construct a Mech-Ant for the ants by attaching its legs with webs. Additionally, the player can fight back against enemies thanks Buddy’s ability to shoot lasers out of her eyes. Still, you shouldn’t worry if you die, as the game has checkpoints where you can always start again.
#11 Lemon Cake
Lemon Cake puts the player in the position of restoring an abandoned bakery. You won’t have to do it all alone, though, as you’ll receive the help of a friendly ghost. After restoring your bakery, you can grow fresh ingredients in your greenhouse which you can use in your baking. In that sense, it makes sense to call Lemon Cake a farming simulation game.
Lemon Cake Gameplay
The early gameplay of Lemon Cake has the player restoring and building the bakery, making all the rooms essentially upgrades. These upgrades unlock new features that make it easier for you to run your bakery throughout the day. For example, restoring the greenhouse allows the player to raise cows, adopt chickets, grow trees, and plant fruits to harvest. From there you can collect ingredients that will be crucial in the baking process. Later on, you’ll be preparing these recipes and feeding customers that come into your bakery. However, you also need to prepare accordingly for the lunch rush, as you’ll be very busy during this period of the in-game day.
#12 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
When it comes to games like Unpacking, Animal Crossing: New Horizons only seems to fit the bill on paper. However, those who are looking for a cozy gaming experience cannot miss the king of cozy gaming that is the Animal Crossing series. This game differs from other games like Unpacking in the sense that it’s more of a social sim game. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you move to a deserted island along with well-known characters such as Tom Nook. As you progress through the game, you can also invite various villagers to your island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Gameplay
If you’ve ever played an Animal Crossing game, you should know that the mechanics of New Horizons are very similar. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has so many different mechanics and features that make gameplay fun and relaxing. The player can customize their village, their home, and certain villagers’ homes with the Happy Home Paradise DLC. The gameplay is very non-linear and doesn’t impose many limitations on the player. You can complete tasks to help Tom Nook out on the island and receive Nook Miles for your efforts. You may also choose to sell items for Bells, which you can use to purchase decorations and other important items. The most important part of Animal Crossing: New Horizons may just be the villagers, though. You can interact and build relationships with these villagers, who live out their own lives on your island.
#13 Wilmot’s Warehouse
Another organization puzzle game in our list of games like Unpacking, Wilmot’s Warehouse has you keep a warehouse in good shape. The player assumes the role of Wilmot, a worker in the warehouse who must sort and stack various products. The best part about Wilmot’s Warehouse is that there are no rules. You can organize and sort these products any way you want to!
Wilmot’s Warehouse Gameplay
As previously mentioned, Wilmot’s Warehouse has no rules in terms of the way you organize the items. However, you do have to make sure there is some rhyme and reason to how you do so. This is because the service hatch opens every day, and you’ll need to give people the things they want. Optimizing your performance and passing out items quickly will let you earn Performance Stars. You can then use these Performance Stars to upgrade your tools to make your job easier. You can also play the game in splitscreen co-op with a fellow gamer! However, you’ll need at least one gamepad to do so.
#14 No Place Like Home
When it comes to games like Unpacking, No Place Like Home is only somewhat similar in terms of the gameplay it offers. Humanity has abandoned Earth in favor of Mars. This sim game has you play as Ellen Newland, a girl who decides to visit her grandfather on Earth before moving to Mars. However, Ellen finds out her grandpa is nowhere to be found and his farm is even in shambles. Ellen then sets out to find her grandpa, save the environment, and help her community.
No Place Like Home Gameplay
Your main goal in No Place Like Home is to clean the world and collect trash. By doing this, you also collect resources that allow you to build your dream farm by recycling. You can also plant seeds and rescue farm animals that will help you in your journey. With their help, you can come across ingredients that will be crucial in cooking delicious dishes which you can trade for more useful items. However, the game’s main pull is the exploration. There are so many zones to adventure through and various items to recover from these zones. In the end, you are left with beautiful nature and a clean environment.
#15 Open Roads
This indie adventure game follows the story of Tess Devine and her mom as they set out on an unforgettable journey. The journey starts with Tess and her mother, Opal, discovering a cache of old notes and letters. These letters detail some family secrets, old burglaries, and a lost treasure to be found. Tess and Opal decide to go on a road trip to uncover these secrets and bring back old memories. Along the way, they also repair their own relationship.
Open Roads Gameplay
There’s not much gameplay to go on when it comes to Open Roads as the game is not out yet. However, what we do know from snippets and trailers is that the notebook Tess and Opal find in the attic is integral to gameplay. The devs also promise a unique and engaging interactive dialogue system that will help us get to know the characters better. We’ve also seen a few fun features such as fiddling with the radio and chatting with Opal while driving to the next destination.
You can’t make a list of cozy sandbox games like Unpacking without including Minecraft in it. Known as the best-selling video game in history, Minecraft has attracted many players over the course of over 12 years. With regular updates and 140 million monthly active players, every gamer is sure to have played Minecraft at least once. The game has no real story and the player has no goals to accomplish, making it perfect for a cozy building experience.
Minecraft’s gameplay puts you in a randomly generated world with no specific objective in mind. This means the player can do whatever they want in the game. Going down into the mines, building a house, exploring the world, and tending to your farm and animals are just a few of the things you can do in Minecraft. The controls are fairly simple and intuitive, with the left mouse click destroying items and blocks and the right mouse click using or placing them. The crafting system in Minecraft is diverse and offers many items and features that help the player progress through the game. Although it’s not mandatory, players can also venture to the End and kill the Ender Dragon, which grants them powerful loot.
#17 Cooking Simulator
Cooking Simulator is very self-explanatory. The game puts the player in the role of a chef in a realistic kitchen. Your only task is to have fun by cooking anything you like! Enjoy real-life physics and complex cooking mechanics that will help you get to your destination. If you’re tired of sandbox mode, you can also select career mode to help give you a clear goal to advance in the game. Overall, Cooking Simulator is a perfect family game.
Cooking Simulator Gameplay
As the chef, you are equipped with all the gear you may need to complete your recipes. This includes griddles, ovens, pots, pans, blenders, and more. You can also choose any ingredient in the pantry and combine them with spices and herbs to create the most delicious recipes. All of these mechanics combine to give you a realistic simulation of cooking and provide a fun gameplay experience.
#18 What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is one of the darker games on our list of games like Unpacking. In fact, it has also made our list of games like Sally Face. The game follows Edith Finch, the last surviving member of her family, on a journey to her ancestral home. While there, she learns more about the deaths of her family members and why she is the last of the Finch family. Although the game seems a bit eerie, it’s far from a horror game. In fact, What Remains of Edith Finch is even a beautiful game, combining several art styles to tell an intriguing story.
What Remains of Edith Finch Gameplay
What Remains of Edith Finch is essentially a walking simulator game where the player takes control of Edith Finch. Edith explores the Finch House through a series of rooms and secret passages. Each room tells the story of a different family member and the way they died. The game is unique in the fact that it combines several gameplay styles to give the player the whole story.
#19 Papers, Please
Papers, Please takes the better elements of Unpacking such as the organization and puzzle-solving and combines it with a dark theme of a fictional dystopian country. You work as a border-crossing immigration officer in the country of Artstotzka. In this role, you must decide who gets to enter the country and who doesn’t. Although the game started out as a small project, it has quickly evolved into one of the greatest video games ever made. Papers, Please is so good that it even has a short film depicting the player character.
Papers, Please Gameplay
In Papers, Please, you must review the documents of arrivals according to a set of rules. These rules continue to expand and evolve throughout the game. They also tell the story of Papers, Please, as the player gets to understand the political situation of the fictional country of Arstotzka and its neighbors. You also have the option of arresting suspicious travelers that may be criminals, terrorists, and entrants with forged or stolen documents. Additionally, you must manage your finances and try not to make mistakes, as this will result in a fine that takes away from your paycheck at the end of the day.
#20 Stardew Valley
If you liked No Place Like Home, you may also want to check out Stardew Valley. Although the gameplay of these games shares very few similaritiers with games like Unpacking, the cozy element is still there. This farm life sim has often been named as one of the greatest video games of all time. With a sole developer, ConcernedApe, in charge of the process, Stardew Valley is the epitome of a passion project. The player creates their own character who inherits a plot of land and a small house from their grandfather. They then move to Pelican Town and get to work on restoring the farm. This includes planting trees, taking care of animals, and doing tasks for other villagers.
Stardew Valley Gameplay
The gameplay of Stardew Valley is vast and can get somewhat complex, though it’s not difficult by any means. The player creates a character and moves to Pelican Town, where the first task is clearing out the farm. After this, you may choose to place buildings and plant crops on the farm. These buildings may house animals that the player must take care of, and the crops need watering. Occasionally, the player may receive quests from the villagers to bring certain items, which improves the relationship between them and the player character. There is also an option of romancing certain villagers.
#21 My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia is another game on the list of games like Unpacking that is thematically similar to Open Roads. However, the difference is that My Time at Portia takes place long after civilization has been destroyed. The protagonist is the child of a famous builder who inherits their father’s workshop. The end goal is to expand the city of Portia through various means and become the best builder in the city.
My Time at Portia Gameplay
To start expanding the city, you must gain resources and use them to craft items which will help you in your journey. Later on, you can also obtain tools that make the process of gaining resources easier. After crafting the items, you must submit them to receive rewards, money, and town favor. Like Stardew Valley and No Place Like Home, My Time at Portia also allows the player to grow crops, raise animals, and befriend the inhabitants to progress the game.
#22 The Stillness of the Wind
The final entry on our list of games like Unpacking, The Stillness of the Wind, is another farming sim game. This time, we get to meet Talma, an elderly goat farmer who lives on an isolated farm. This is because everyone has left the village in favor of the city, except Talma. As Talma progresses through her final years, she tends her farm and lives a simple life. Along the way, she also receives some disturbing messages from her family members who have left for the city.
The Stillness of the Wind Gameplay
The gameplay of Stillness of the Wind is unlike most of the games like Unpacking on our list. Talma, the player character, tends to her animals and crops, albeit slowly due to her age. The player can also choose to forage in the desert and interact with a passing salesman throughout the course of the game. The main story of the game lies in the letters Talma receives from her family members in the city that increase in desperation as the game progresses.