Publisher: Gone North Games
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Release Date: 5/28/2014
Available Exclusively On
First-person platforming isn’t attempted often. A Story About My Uncle keeps it basic with grappling, anti-gravity jumping, and various puzzles. The story is fairly simple and doesn’t really mean anything until the very end. A boy is trying to find his uncle Fred. He finds his uncle’s lab where he straps on a weird jumpsuit and takes off to some unknown land. He eventually comes across a species of frog people and a little girl from this village befriends the protagonist.
The jumping is actually quite exhilarating. You jump really high and your character’s hands swing around which makes you feel vertigo. The sheer speed and height this game creates is something not really seen in most games. As you make your way across bottomless chasms and dark caves you begin to wonder what all this means. What’s the point? The jumping puzzles get progressively harder to the point of downright frustration. The grapple has three shots. Once these run out you either need to land or you’re falling into the abyss. Later on, you get rocket boots that allow a quick boost if you miss your shot or your next grapple point is too far away. One of the hardest obstacles is the windmills. I actually had to manipulate the physics by landing on one for a split second so my equipment recharges. The game gets so tricky towards the end that casual players may not make it. Sure the game is only a couple of hours long, but the complicated jumps are just minded bobbling.
With that aside the music is great and the game looks beautiful. While it uses the dated Unreal Engine 3 the art style is superb. I honestly felt like this was Journey to the Center of the Earth meets Mirror’s Edge. There’s nothing else out there like it and the ending is extremely touching, well worth the play through to get a few heart-strings pulled.
I just wish there was more to the game. Sure jumping around gets fun, but sometimes I feel areas dragged on forever with too much nothing in between. It’s a step in the right direction for this type of game. With more stories being pushed out and some variety in gameplay, this game could have been something even more incredible.