A clone of the indie puzzle Unpacking got into the tops of the most downloaded games on iOS and Android. Some even accepted the Unpacking Master project from the Belarusian SayGames as the official mobile version of the original game. We talked to the publisher about the project, cloning and removing the game from the stores.


What happened?

Attention to Unpacking Master was drawn by the indie studio Witch Beam Games, the authors of the original project. On Twitter, the team wrote that an advertisement for a mobile game similar to Unpacking appeared on the network.

The developers also noted that they are not related to this project: “Please know that this is not our game. Although they seem to want to create such an impression!”

According to Witch Beam Games, she has already met Unpacking imitators. However, none of them has previously received as much attention and popularity as Unpacking Master.

The main reason is the large amount of advertising on TikTok and Instagram. Thanks to this, the project got to the first place in the list of the most downloaded games in the American App Store. Unpacking Master also managed to get to the second line in the top of the Google Play Store.

Why was Unpacking Master accused of cloning?

The main complaint of Witch Beam and users on the web is that the game from SayGames repeats the original in many aspects — from the general visual style and gameplay to individual assets.

On the left — Unpacking; on the right — Unpacking Master

This has led many players astray. The Kotaku edition cited as an example one of the comments from the Play Store: “I downloaded the game without looking at the developer…. I was really hoping that this is the mobile version of Unpacking from Witch Beam and Humble Games, which has an incredible story.” However, the user was disappointed when he realized that it was “plagiarism of the original down to the rooms and objects in them.”

Some players also complained about the abundance of pop-up ads, which makes Unpacking Master unplayable: “It levels the relaxing aspects of the game and makes me tear my hair out.”

On the left — Unpacking; on the right — Unpacking Master

Commenting on the rapid growth of Unpacking Master’s popularity, Witch Beam studio noted that it had spent years planning its project. Therefore, the appearance of clones filled with advertising and hastily made simply demoralizes such a small studio.

“We are a tiny indie team, and even after a lot of success, we still don’t have the resources to pursue companies trying to use the recognizable visual style of our game to make quick money. We have to rely on stores like the App Store to curate content more carefully,” the studio said in a statement.

A few hours after the original post, the studio announced that Unpacking Master had been removed from mobile stores. The Witch Beam Games team thanked everyone involved for their support.

Now the SayGames project is not available either in the App Store or in the Google Play Store (SayGames removed the game from this store on its own).

What does SayGames say about this?

We contacted representatives of the publishing house and asked a few questions about the situation around these two games.

App2Top: Unpacking Master hit the tops of downloads on iOS and Android, but the game itself visually and from the point of view of mechanics repeats the Unpacking puzzle, which was one of the brightest indie games of 2021. How long did your project take?

SayGames: We received Unpacking Master for publication at the end of last year, after Unpacking was released on Steam. We conducted a study, compared the games and decided to release them, since Unpacking Master is not a clone of an existing mobile game, but an adaptation of popular game mechanics on other platforms. The developers have created more than 50 levels-rooms, supplemented the concept with new ideas, thereby making the game longer and more interesting. At the same time, we understood that Unpacking Master is in many ways similar to Unpacking in terms of game mechanics and setting. In fact, we underestimated the degree of similarity of the two games and made the mistake of deciding to launch the game without additional significant changes.

Unpacking developers say they have spent years creating their project, and also admit that it is unpleasant for them to see clones “riddled with advertising.” What do you think about their words and how do you feel about cloning?

We perfectly understand the guys who created the Unpacking game, as there are hundreds of games copied from our own hits. And yet we are sure that there is a big difference between a clone that completely copies the original game and a game “based on motives” in which the original idea is supplemented and improved. If such a practice did not exist, the FPS genre would have stopped at the Wolfenstein 3D game. The Unpacking Master team has done a lot of work on creating unique levels, their own graphic style and adapting mechanics to mobile platforms. As a result, the games turned out to be very similar. In the future, we will treat this kind of projects more carefully.

Some users complain that they downloaded Unpacking Master, thinking that this is the official mobile version of the original game. Do you agree that such projects can intentionally mislead players?

Right now, there are a huge number of games similar to Unpacking on mobile platforms, and none of them managed to attract a significant audience due to the similarity with the game from Witch Beam. We had no intention to mislead the players by releasing Unpacking Master. Our game has soared to the top of the download charts only thanks to its quality and the work done by our attraction team — we have received less than 5% organic installs since launch.

The App Store and Google Play have removed Unpacking Master from their pages. Were you prepared in advance for such a reaction?

We learned that the game was removed from the App Store this morning from a notification letter from Apple. After an internal discussion of the situation, we independently removed the game from Google Play and contacted Witch Beam studio, which created Unpacking. We have informed the Witch Beam team that we have removed the game from the sites, apologized and are striving for a friendly dialogue and settlement of the situation.


The release of the original Unpacking took place on November 2 on PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Now the game has 92% positive reviews on Steam, and critics on average rated it 84 points. Unpacking also became one of the best-selling indie titles on Switch last year, and some publications included it in the lists of the best projects of 2021.