Very few games can produce the quality of exploration that A Story About My Uncle does, over and over throughout. If any of you caught my preview for the game, you’ll see that many of my sentiments there are validated with the game’s final build. I’ll start by saying A Story About My Uncle is one of, if not the best, platformer you will play all year.
The game was developed by Gone North Games, a Swedish studio, and founded by nine students. The game started out as a university project.
A Story About My Uncle is a non-violent first-person adventure game. The over-arching story is about a father telling his daughter a bedtime story about a time when, as a boy, he went off searching for his Uncle Fred. The game is sprinkled with brief narration by the protagonist and his daughter. The narration is charming, but the syntax is sometimes off; it is obvious that English is a second language for the voice actors.
A Story About My Uncle has the player on other worlds. Strange, but beautiful, worlds. Each environment has the player traversing across floating isles; this is where the movement comes in. Players are equipped with an adventure suit. The adventure suit allows the player to grapple to nearby objects via a power glove. Sprinting across islands and activating the power glove to reach the next location at just the right moment is rewarding. Timing is critical to success, and trial and error is a major element.
The controls are tight, allowing for twitch-reactions. Just as I started mastering the core gameplay, a new component was added to mix up the experience. The rapidly changing environments coupled with gradual power suit enhancements that kept the gameplay fresh throughout.
The game itself is rather short, about two hours. It makes sense though, you wouldn’t tell your daughter an eight-hour bedtime story. A Story About My Uncle works really well when it’s played in one-sitting, but it may be too short for some players.
A Story About My Uncle looks, and plays like a labor of love. The story is intriguing, and the environments are gorgeous. $12.99 may seem a little steep for a game that will last about two hours, but it doesn’t feel like a cash-grab. It feels like a smaller studio putting everything they have into a game that is going to be on my list for the best of the year. If you have any affinity for platformers, you need to play A Story About My Uncle.
[+Beautiful environments][+Unique movement mechanic][+This is an indie game?][-Some players might find it too short]