Stories Untold is a game recently ported to the Nintendo Switch that caught me completely off guard. The game is a narrative-driven, experimental adventure game. It takes elements from different kinds of games to craft something unique. It’s mostly a point and click style game with a bunch of clever puzzles. This is a game that will surprise you at every turn and on top of all that it has a pretty great message to boot.
This review is going to be kind of short, but that’s not a hit on the game’s quality. It’s a short game, there’s nothing wrong with that, though. Stories Untold consists of four episodes that appear separate at first but tie together by the time you are finished. The first three play uniquely and the final one takes everything you have learned and puts it all to use in its grand finale. The whole thing only took me a few hours to beat but was well worth it.
The atmosphere this game sets is creepy and dark. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you uncomfortable but in the best way. One episode has you playing a text-based adventure game on a computer in a spooky house. The twist on that episode alone was enough to pull me in and push me to the second one. From there you’ll hit all kinds of activities. You’ll perform medical experiments, and transmit radio messages. Each episode has a gimmick, something that makes the puzzles work.
One episode might have you turning on medical equipment. The next will make you move back and forth between a microfilm reader to figure out certain codewords. I’m not the best at puzzles but each of these puzzles made sense in the context of their episodes. They were never unfair or overly complicated but still left me feeling accomplished when I figured them out. It was that much more rewarding when I completed that final episode.
I’m not trying to be stingy on the details here, really, I’m not. The issue is, as far as the story is concerned, anything I give away could ruin it for potential players. It’s really something you need to experience for yourself. What I can say, however, is that when I was done I spent a good twenty minutes just thinking about the ending. It was fun to see, too, because all the hints were there the entire time.
In terms of presentation, I don’t really have any complaints either. All the graphics are fine for what they are. You spend most of your time looking at only one thing, except for one specific snowstorm section. The sound design is great though, with music coming in at the perfect time just to give you chills.
This game is also voiced, save for the main character. This is something I wasn’t expecting. When I first heard the voice acting I was thinking to myself it would probably be horrible. I was really pleasantly surprised, particularly with the main doctor character. I can’t imagine the budget on a game like this was very big, so No Code must have really made the best of what they had.
Honestly, if you’re a fan of a good narrative, horror or puzzles this game is probably right up your alley. It’s creepy, fun and well thought out. I’m pretty sure if you were to give it a chance you’d find it was money well spent. This game’s ending will stick with you and make you think of the damage certain actions can cause to your own mental health and others. Some twists were even generally surprising. There are even parts that made me genuinely uncomfortable, which is a pretty impressive feat. Well worth the 9.99 price tag.
Alexander is passionate about everything related to gaming, comics, television, and film. You can usually find him watching some kind of DC show and can also find his writing on Multiversal News, something he’s helping to build.