Unpacking, the game about opening up boxes and putting your stuff in rooms, was one of the breakout hits of 2021 and it’s no wonder then that it eventually got clones, even on iOS and Android.
In case you missed it, Unpacking is an indie gem released back in November in multiple platforms as well as a day one launch on Game Pass. The game has you taking out personal mementos, trinkets, memorabilia as well as everyday items and personal effects and placing them around the various places its unseen, unnamed protagonist moves into. It’s accompanied by relaxing music, gorgeous pixel art and crisp sound effects that are satisfying to hear.
Slowly, you discover the type of person who the items belong to and they kind of tell a story throughout the years the game is played that shows what they’ve gone through. There’s no dialogue, voice overs or any sort of text to explain this all and you just end up discovering these little nuggets of information during your playthrough. I recommend giving it a try. It only took me a handful of hours to finish but I look back on those hours fondly.
The game has become pretty special to folks, some of whom took to Twitter to inform developer Witch Beam Games that the top rated game on the App Store and Google Play was Unpacking Master, a copycat published by SayGames. The resemblance is so strong, you could confuse the two games at a glance. Witch Beam Games spoke up and made it clear that they had nothing to do with Unpacking Master.
Several Unpacking clones exist, but according to Witch Beam Games, Unpacking Master rose to the top via ads on TikTok and Instagram. “It’s demoralizing for a small team like ours to see content we spent literally years planning, refining and handcrafting be hastily reproduced in an opportunistic ad-riddled app a mere three months after our launch,” said the devs in a follow up tweet.
The dev team isn’t big enough to pursue this legally and the mobile app market is kind of in a gray area regarding video games where people are rapidly copying each other to make a quick buck. Fans responded by saying they’ll buy the game or have bought it after hearing the news to help out the developers. Witch Beam has also said that just recommending friends to play the game on Game Pass is enough to help them out.
Folks have also tried to report the game on both storefronts for the blatant plagiarism, and as of writing, the copycat game has been pulled out from both storefronts. Other copycat games still litter the storefronts but none resemble Unpacking as closely as Unpacking Master does.
Editor’s Note: Egor Vaihanski, CEO of SayGames, apologized in a statement to Kotaku. The fault ostensibly lies with a “lack of research” into the submission by the developers. “The game clearly resembles ‘Unpacking’ and this resemblance goes way beyond the game title. We messed up and we apologize.” Vaihanski said. In addition, Vaihanski says they are “in touch with Witch Beam” to resolve the mistake.
Unpacking is playable on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and is also available on Game Pass.