[Early Access] A Story About My Uncle Review
by Danielle DeNicola exclusive
Upon installing A Story About My Uncle, I will admit to being new to first-person platformers. For those as oblivious as I, a platform game requires players to jump from one suspended platform to the other, attempting not to fall into the obscure abyss below.
The plot line behind A Story About My Uncle is a familiar fantasy of a father telling a bedtime story to his daughter. After a brief dialogue revealing the adventures of the father and his Uncle Fred, a researcher and scientist who traveled all over the world collecting data and "sending postcards."
As you act out the protagonist role of the story, the father continues to narrate the chronological tale of the time he went on a journey to find his Uncle Fred after discovering him missing from his house.
The actual fun begins once you discover a suit that (mysteriously) fits you perfectly and pull a switch that literally launches you into an unknown, fantasy world.
The story line is equal parts compelling and alluring.
The story line is equal parts compelling and alluring. You can choose the path that suits your gameplay, if you prefer to speed through the game you can do so with grace. If you prefer to know more about the story line, players can search around platforms for narration-inducing clues and artifacts to Uncle Fred's adventurous whereabouts.
If you're that guy who holds up your entire team in Diablo to watch every cut scene (like me), you'll fall in love with the mysteries of the cryptic, yet thrilling, storyline, the pieces of evidence you find whilst swinging from aesthetically enticing pieces of rock, and befriending the perplexing Maddie.
A Story About My Uncle features two different interfaces, the first being the narration and the second being the suit abilities. Most of the time, while the father is telling the story, your suit capabilities will be withheld in order to enhance the dialogue. What would normally control your hand will now only zoom in and out.
The latter is where the game comes to life. You learn how to sprint, jump, and eventually propel yourself via rocket boots. The entire duration of the game is spent carefully deciding which rock to grapple from and from what angle.
As exciting as it is frustrating, falling means restarting from the last checkpoint. While maneuvering from one object to the other, you're also attempting to land ever so perfectly on the smallest of platforms.
The angrier I got, the more determined I became to figure out how to touch down safely on the next floating rock. I was captivated from the beginning, and the gameplay was flawless.
The grappling motions were smooth and free of any lag whatsoever which impressed me beyond my expectations. For a closed preview, the graphics and motions were impeccable, on top of the fact that there were no visible bugs in the game at all.
While the preview did not include the game in its entirety, there's no doubt that it left me wanting more. Finding clues to Uncle Fred's whereabouts did not satisfy my curiosity as the story left me needing to know more.
Exempt of any blemishes I could see, A Story About My Uncle soared above any average first-person platform game and absolutely set a new standard in the genre. Players will be required to use problem-solving skills and be able to deduce the best way to leap from platform to platform which is no easy task.
Besides the storyline and the gameplay, the graphics themselves are worth seeing. The lights, stars, and scenery make each area of the game visually breathtaking, especially once you discover Maddie and her people.
There's no doubt I will be purchasing the full game once it's released on Steam.
The game, published by Coffee Stain Studios and developed by Gone North Games, will be available on May 28th.