I’ve been amassing a rather large collection of Indie games through various bundles and recommendations, and I wanted to commit to playing them all. This week I checked out A Story About My Uncle.
You play a man remembering an adventure he went on as a boy, looking for his uncle in a strange new place. The game centers around a grapple mechanic as well as a powerful jump. As I got the hang of it, I was vaulting over chasms, and moving through the world at a elegantly fluid rate. It’s strange; I’m usually such a ‘narrative-first’ gamer, but this is a rare exception where I was so in love with the act of moving around this world that the story didn’t really matter to me. It definitely has some good hooks throughout, but when you start meeting tangible characters I was less interested. As the game progressed I got vibes that they were trying to cram a full length narrative into what plays like a short story. There are some scenes that were clearly meant to resonate, but often times feel undeserved. I also had some frustrating issues with the final area that focuses on a lengthy obstacle course, that if not timed right sends you back to the start. The introduction of that area was great, but having to replay it eleven times was not as fun.
The fluidity of motion makes up for it though. It reminded me of Mirror’s Edge with the grappling mechanic from the dramatically unappreciated Bionic Commando reboot. I’d love to see the developers adapt this mechanic into another game because I just loved moving around this world.
It also looks pretty fantastic. The game was created using the Unreal Engine 3 by a small team. It can be downloaded for free at the official website through a plethora of mirrors. I really enjoyed it, and would encourage checking it out on a free afternoon.