A Story About My Uncle
I’ve enjoyed many a game that were short and linear. Portal, Papo and Yo and Grandpa’s Leftovers were all great experiences with each one crafted around a very solid core mechanic. With Portal, we had the eponymous portals. With Papo and Yo, the giant monster switching between rage and peace. With Gandpa’s Leftovers we had the delightful ‘geometry slicing’. Add to that list one ‘A Story About My Uncle’, the best web-slinging game since Spider-Man (and probably the only one not carrying that title).
Beginning with the narrator, a father, telling his daughter a bed-time story we are dragged into a world of wonder located in an ephemeral ‘somewhere’. From caverns to floating islands, ice caves and the uncles cabin, we zip along as the narrator describes for his daughter a grand adventure about searching for his inventor uncle. Of course, needing to navigate this Jim Henson-esque world you need a certain mechanical mobility and to that end you use an energy whip. It delivers you from one solid surface to another. Limited energy keeps you from just staying aloft forever, although upgrades to the gauntlet and other gear enable you to expand your movement repertoire and you’ll need to as late in the game will be some rather devious puzzles (although nothing too strenuous for most gamers).
While the game isn’t all that long (3-6 hours, depending on skill level) and has a very limited cast of characters, it feels very well polished and iterated upon. The puzzles are never unfair, the game never leaving you with the need to know what happens next and aside from one gravity defying puzzle, most people won’t get stuck anywhere. However, if linear puzzles aren’t your thing or if you’re looking for something with some really DEEP story or gameplay, it’s probably best to wait until the game is on sale before picking it up. But if you’re even a little interested, don’t watch a ‘lets play’ as the game isn’t long and should be discovered with fresh eyes for the first time. Oh and if you’re into speed running, this game has some fantastic achievements to show off.