I had never heard of A Story About My Uncle up until about a week before its release. Of course, I was first semi-joking when I heard the title, and after seeing some screenshots of the game, I was intrigued. After playing it, I can see the ideas Gone North Games had were sound, but some issues stood out a little too much for me.
The story is told through the narration of a father telling a bedtime story to his child. He talks of his inventor uncle, and the many adventures he went on with him. This one particular adventure sends him to an unknown world populated by some humanoid salamander kind of people that live on a series of floating rocks and platforms. In order to find his uncle, he must use a special adventuring suit his uncle invented to reach the far corners of this world.
The game is a platformer in every sense of the word. Players use the suit’s powers to run, jump stories high and even equip some rocket boots later on for an even bigger boost. All of this combines with the main mechanic, an electric grappling hook that can pull the player towards whatever they shot at. The grapple has a limited amount of uses before the player must land on a level surface, so it will take some strategy and finesse to make it.
Price I’d pay: $10
Length: 5-6 hours
While the character models and animations are a little bland, the world itself is very colorful, and looks pretty impressive while rocketing through the air and grappling to floating rocks.
The story itself is a charming, child-friendly tale that anyone can enjoy. It fits well with the overall feel of the game, and kept me playing just to see what was happening.
You messed up that one grapple. Do it again.
While there were times the platforming was brilliant and satisfying, there were a few problems I had with it. In many of the later areas of the game, it boils down to trial and error. If grappling then rocket booting didn’t work on this section, it may have been because I grappled to the wrong things or didn’t use the rocket boots at the right time or a large number of things, and while the checkpoint system is a big help, I would still end up falling multiple times before I figured out what needed to be done. I understand that’s how this game works, but it became frustrating after a while.
While the story told is a fun one, it’s execution through voice acting is off. Now, I know the voice actor’s first language probably isn’t English, but many times I was taken out of the narration and experience due to a forceful sounding line. It sounded like the narrator was stumbling over his script at times.
While it has its problems, it still has its charm as well. The soundtrack is very well done, and as I said before, the world itself is rather pretty to look at, especially in the heat of all the platforming.
For $13, players looking for a unique experience will find it here. Keep in mind, there is some trial and error platforming awaiting would-be players that can get nerve-racking after a while, and some of the dialog delivery is off, but the world itself is colorful and interesting and while it may be delivered slightly off at times, the story is rather interesting.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.