It’s a well-known secret around Pure Playstation Manor that I’m not the biggest fan of horror games. Whenever a review opportunity comes, I’ll take a vacation first and excuse why I can’t review the game. Basically, I don’t like to be scared when I can’t escape or punch. Don’t judge what it scares me.
So when I got the chance to review the horror adventure puzzle game Stories Untold, I was more surprised than anyone when I decided to give it a try. This may be fun as I saw the trailer and thought for a moment. Horror games may be my kryptonite, but I’m a decent puzzle game sucker and sometimes I have to face horror, right?
Stories Untold, told as a story of a series of episodes, unfolds in four episodes. Fortunately, the game was released on PC in 2017 and released on Switch earlier this year, so all episodes are included in the PS4 version. In the first episode, The House Abandon, you’re playing a game playing a game and a text-based adventure game, but you soon realize that things aren’t what they look like.
Having watched the trailer in advance, I think I settled on a false sense of security. Sure, text games aren’t that scary. What is this in the 70’s? It was less than five minutes before the first jump scare arrived, so I began to wonder if it was right to take on the task of reviewing this.
I will present this as a disclaimer before proceeding. The first episode of StoriesUntold relies heavily on the whole idea of text adventure. Using this as the main story device is only the first episode, but if you like the game a bit intense and fast paced, or read a lot just to “open the door”, it’s not you. Stories Untold Not for you. The next episode is off this structure, but will come back. We know many people who may be initially postponed to having to read a lot in the first episode, no matter how good the game itself is actually.
Set in 1986, it’s hard to say how much the 80’s influenced Stories Untold, but it’s clear from the beginning. A synth-inspired soundtrack that sits at your desk and plays a fictional text adventure “The House Abandon” in the first episode, with wooden veneers on the walls and episodes like the TV anthology series. When you play, Stranger Things immediately comes to mind when compared to Stories Untold’s unique love letter to its decade of popularity in recent years, and the overall aesthetic created by No Code. That is wonderful.
From the various gadgets and gizmos on display to the flickering VHS grains across the screen, Stories Untold has a strong 80’s identity that makes it both familiar and weird. This discrepancy, recognizable, is incompatible with what you know, but it only adds to the eerie and confusing emotions that Stories Untold creates, and even more when trying to understand what’s happening in each episode. It gets complicated.
Stories Untold makes the whole thing incredibly atmospheric, given that I’ve been playing games for quite some time looking at the screen and reading the text to think about what to do next. I have a good job. From the first jump scare until you realize in the opening episode that what you’re doing in a text adventure is affecting the world around you, Stories Untold did it brilliantly, sucked me in, and credits rolled back. Keep me there until done.
Each episode is presented in a way reminiscent of a television show, with an opening credit sequence directly from Netflix. This gives rise to the idea that, like the anthology series, it’s not as active as watching something play on the screen. This is a good way to make each episode independent.
Variations are key to making Stories Untold work. The basic assumptions are fully set in the opening episode, but each person sits at a desk and performs a specific action, whether they complete a text adventure in episode 1 or work at a surveillance station. I have the idea of episode 3 in the Arctic Circle. Each episode has its own perspective on this simple idea, and the story of each episode is intertwined to tell an overall story that isn’t clear until the end of the game. That said, each episode isn’t that long on its own, and it takes less than an hour to complete each episode.
Playing Stories Untold is easy. The best analogy I can think of is to imagine how it feels to play Stephen King’s novel. Each episode is a variation of the theme in that you are looking at your computer monitor, and you are free to use different text commands. L1 can open the input interface and issue commands as if you were typing them yourself. With L2, you can lean forward and look around. It’s easy to set up, but it works. This is an elegant way to get you into the world and stories created by Stories Untold.
In subsequent episodes, this control scheme was further developed to allow interaction with various objects to perform tasks such as the scientific experiments in Episode 2. I enjoyed this episode. I was just looking at the monitor, but Stories Untold keeps some information and interacts with the right equipment to perform the desired experiment in the way it was designed, making everything seamless. , The joy of playing is born.
The puzzles used by Stories Untold are simple yet stunning, and I really enjoyed going through them. Each has its own purpose and is related to the story of the game. It’s not too burdensome, but when you solve something yourself, you have a natural sense of accomplishment. Stories Untold is a perfect example of what you can do in the game without having to worry about tips and tricks. The game presents all relevant information before putting it all together in a satisfying way. It remains fun to play.
I’m not saying I enjoy horror games, but Stories Untold is a lot of fun. The compelling story is told in four episodes, and the complex puzzles that felt meaningful and rewarding to complete were enough to keep me moving, and some trying to leave with the controller down. Beyond the completely scary moment of. Horror fans may not think Stories Untold is too scary, but it’s definitely worth the time if you’re looking for an entertaining story with strange jump scare thrown into Stories Untold.
Story unpublished PS4 review
- Overall-must play- 9/10
From simple but stunning puzzles to compelling and comprehensive stories, Stories Untold is a well-played episode game where each episode teases something new from the story and mixes gameplay in new and interesting ways. A great example.
- A wonderful story supported by an incredible atmosphere that fascinates you
- Clever puzzles that take advantage of simple ideas in new ways
- 80’s aesthetics help create a world of trust
- Lots of text may postpone some
- The game is short-each episode can be rushed in about an hour if you also wish
Review Disclaimer: This review was performed using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. Read the review policy for more information.
I reviewed it using PS4 Pro.
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Stuart has had a long and long relationship with video games since Santa first awakened to leaving him with the Sega Master System and incorporating Alex Kid. Since then, his thumbs have become cold and he has missed many nights of sleep in pursuit of those elusive “five minutes …”, but his love has never been shaken.