Powersuits, Grapplehooks and Rocketboots! – A Story About My Uncle
If you have ever tried your hand at the creative industry then you’ll know how hard it is to come up with something that’s truly unique. Whether it’s a novel, a game or even music you’re trying to write you’ll probably recognise the horrible feeling of seeing something suspiciously similar somewhere else, even if you’ve never heard of that thing. Hell, even the mathematical theory of differentiation was discovered by two people at the exact same time, both halfway around the world from one another. This is why we were so impressed with the uniqueness of A Story About My Uncle.
A Story About My Uncle is a first person platformer, a genre which until this game, we insisted could never measure up to its far superior third person cousin. Surprisingly though, the tight handling and impeccable accuracy in this game was enough to rival and even surpass that of most third person games with ease.
At the beginning of the game The protagonist finds a power suit in his size, presumably made for him by his adventurer uncle. He is then thrown into a fantastical underground world where he must follow his uncle’s trail in the hopes of finding him and discovering more about his mysterious surroundings. The power suit lets you jump incredibly high and far. You can also grapple onto any surface and with the power of rocket boots gained later in the game you can get another extra boost. All of these mechanics are executed beautifully to give the game an amazing feeling of speed, freedom and control unlike anything else we’ve played.
There was one thing that really impressed us and we’re sure a lot of people might overlook this. The level design. In a game where you can travel about two hundred metres in a single bound (not to mention the grappling and rocket boots.) It is obviously important to have a massive environment to explore. A Story About My Uncle provides this without looking linear or contrived. On top of this even though there was often no clear way to go we always went the right way first time. If that doesn’t scream great level design then we don’t know what does.
The story was a simple one told by a father to his daughter before bedtime. We quickly realise that the protagonist of this story is in fact the father in his youth as he realises that his uncle, who we can assume he shared a close bond with, is missing. The boy finds the entrance to a network of caves in his uncles study and through these caves enters the strange new world. All throughout this world there are glowing marks left by his uncles grapple which he follows in the hopes of catching up to him. The boy is silent and all thoughts and feelings are shared by the older father. Throughout the story the boy meets a host of strange creatures who help him on his journey… and some who are not so friendly.
While the gameplay is amazing and is enough to support the game on its own, the visuals weren’t so great. The graphics seemed pretty low end and the character models were even worse. That being said though the game did work extremely well with what it had. While the graphics might have been below AAA quality the environments were amazingly done and the creatures were unique and imaginative. We can only imagine what the developers could have done with a bigger budget. The soundtrack really helps complete the atmosphere too. We’ll admit that there was one point that genuinely had us shitting ourselves. Now if that doesn’t speak wonders for a games atmosphere then we don’t know what does.
A Story About My Uncle is an amazing and completely unique experience. There is only one big problem with the game and that is the length. While the gameplay and world is perfect we just don’t know if we could justify buying a three hour long game for £9.99. The game was easily good enough to have been much longer without wearing out it’s welcome and we were genuinely disappointed that it ended so quickly. If you can stomach the price then we would completely recommend it and if it’s ever on sale then seriously, waste no time! Get it played!