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Video Game / A Story About My Uncle

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A Story About My Uncle is a non-violent, first-person adventure game from Gone North Games, released on Steam in May 2014. The story is told through a Framing Device of a father recounting to his daughter an adventure he had as a child, when he went looking for his missing uncle Fred. Following Fred's tracks, he finds himself in a mysterious other world full of blue crystals and populated by strange frog people. Along his journey, the unnamed protagonist journeys through a variety of gorgeous locales and meets various characters who help him out.

This game provides examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Maddie feels ostracised from the others in the village, as they are resistant to change whereas she embraces it.
  • Blackout Basement: The third level, the Chasms, where the player has to use their grapple power on various glowing plants to temporarily light their way.
  • Boss Battle: The game has only one singular enemy in it, and it's a giant centipede-like creature with a giant eye that you meet at the end of Chasms. Rather than having to directly fight it in any way, you're supposed to sneak past it by exploiting the fact that it can only see you when you're moving.
  • Bottomless Pits: Pretty much everwhere, but you'll respawn on the previous platform anyway if you do fall.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: While the game is generally fairly generous with its placement of checkpoints, the lack of any during the infamous stalactite part of the Ice Caves can lead to much frustration.
  • Cool Airship: The Strays' zeppelins.
  • Crate Expectations: There are some crates lying around, then, at the beginning of the Ice Cave, there are a lot of them, floating then later falling.
  • Cypher Language: Text written in the language of the Strays can be found, even before the player learns about them. When they do, it's at the say time that they find a sentence-long message - and are outright told what it translates to, making it a Rosetta Stone, a starting point for translation.
  • Deus Exit Machina: At one point of the game, your rocket boots are disabled by a big fall, and you can't use them until you find some tools to repair them.
  • Down in the Dumps: The Village is built of trash from Earth, which presumably arrived via the same garbage disposal pad as the player.
  • First-Person Ghost: The only parts of the protagonist's body we ever see are his arms.
  • Floating Continent/World in the Sky: The Strays' village could be an example of either; if you move the camera down you can glimpse large, forested landmasses below, but it's not clear whether these are an actual ground or simply other, larger floating continents.
  • Floating Platforms: You will be seeing a lot of these.
  • Forbidden Zone: The caves beneath the Village, which the villagers refuse to go near.
  • Frictionless Ice: While it doesn't impede the player's walking, some of the ice in the final level is too thick and reflective to be able to grapple on it, meaning the player has to find alternate ways of advancing.
  • Gravity Screw: The bonus unlockable 'Acrobatic' mode, which causes the player to flip 360 degrees every time they power jump, grapple, or use the rocket boots.
  • Heroic Mime: Of sorts - the narrator obviously speaks as an adult, but the young version of him we play as never says a word.
  • Hidden Elf Village: A twofer - Sanctuary, the Village and Star Haven, the Strays' village.
  • Kid Hero: The player controls a young version of the adult narrator.
  • Leap of Faith: When there are no platforms in range on the grappling device, you have to jump and find your target while falling. At one point you have to fall quite a distance, then grab the underside of a ledge.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Village and Star Haven do have some fences to protect from falls, but it's still ridiculously easy to accidentally wander off the edge and go plummeting to your doom.
  • Rocket Jump: In the penultimate level, the player acquires rocket boots which allow them to gain a burst of speed in midair and fly further.
  • Scenery Porn: The whole game is unquestionably gorgeous, and Star Haven in particular is absolutely breathtaking.
  • Shout-Out: Upon finding the rocket boots:
    "With this addition, the suit felt at least 20% cooler."
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: The first sign of the Stray Civilisation is an enormous zeppelin ship; the entire area is full of them.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The final level, which takes place entirely inside an enormous ice cave.
  • Spring Jump: The power jump, which can be used on its own or combined with the sprint to cross large gaps.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Falling into the water is instant death. Justified as the narrator mentions that the adventure suit is too heavy for him to be able to swim in it.