Top Critic Average
Stories Untold is bleak and disturbing, novel and experimental, and most importantly when doing all that, very clever. It's smarter than you'll realise, in fact. And why it's smart is all in the experience of playing, not to be given away in the process of reviewing. A pain in the arse for me, but worth it for you.
The unique blend between classic text based adventures and today's gaming world that we know and love was perfectly executed with Stories Untold. It is fun, scary, and all around an extremely inventive way to get back into text based adventures again. No Code and Devolver Studio are doing this right and making Text Based Adventures cool again!
With all its elements combined, Untold Stories mixes nostalgia with a dramatic story and some varied gameplay styles. I unfortunately, found it a bit frustrating, but the developers seem committed to their product and the recent patch seems like it addresses some of the technical concerns I encountered. Still, I’m not sure I really have the patience for text adventures (if I ever had it all). I think this game is a gamble, but in some ways, that is what Indie Development is about.
Stories Untold is a gloriously 80s homage which doesn't rely on too much familiarity or retreading old ground. It's a fantastic, fascinating example of interactive visual storytelling.
Stories Untold places a hidden story within a hidden story; a puzzle that only reveals itself once you piece together its outer layers – and it's one of the most fascinating and unique tales you can play this year.
Stories Untold brings back a classic genre with a bang, breaking the conventional mould of simply using words in a text-adventure by offering you a fully interactive setting that alters as you progress through each episode. It’s incredibly clever and also incredibly atmospheric, bringing an experience that manages to not only constantly impress but also creep you out at the same time. Not only is the gameplay tense, but the ‘untold’ stories are great too. I really got absorbed into the experience and my only disappointment was when the whole thing was over. I’ve got a lot of love for Stories Untold and hope this is just the start of something special.
Stories Untold indeed deserves the '4 stories, 1 nightmare' title with its achievements on interactive narrative, mysterious and startling stories, strong 80's retro touch and fantastic gameplay mechanics.
"My issues with Stories Untold were largely technical and are being fixed by the developers as I’m writing this piece. There are some design flaws that tend to break the flow, but I’d say that they account for less than 10% of the experience. While rather short at around 2-3 hours, the game does make up for that with unique takes on familiar gameplay elements and tropes and manages to tell an intricate and compelling story in a very interesting way. Some of the puzzles and challenges, while not time-sensitive, will ask you to invest a bit of your brain power in solving them and it all builds up to a satisfying pay-off. Stories Untold tries something new and succeeds at delivering something fresh in terms of interactive storytelling (emphasizing interactivity, rather than just narration). That its aesthetics and themes reminded me of Stranger Things is purely a bonus."
Stranger Things meets Zork. Stories Untold starts as an experimental text adventure set in the 80s, full of lo-fi technology, nostalgia and terrible text parsers, and it slowly becomes a creepy, captivating story you won't forget soon.
Review in Italian | Read full review
As much as we’d love to go into greater detail about what exactly makes Stories Untold such a successful adventure game, it really is the type of experience you need to check out first-hand.
That’s not to say there aren’t problems with Stories Untold. The puzzles aren’t terribly hard, the scares aren’t particularly scary… But for what the game is trying to do, and actually accomplishes in its final act, it’s hard to really care about any of the minor flaws. I cannot recommend this game enough. I can see Stories Untold being one of the best, most unexpected indie gems of this year.
What could have been something lasting, something real, is instead a two dimensional narrative which brandishes plot twists and visual trickery to camouflage a lack of rich storytelling. Nonetheless, I would still highly recommend Stories Untold to writers and game developers: there are ideas in the first few episodes which are fascinating, and I'm dying to see where No Code's metafictive experimentation might take the text adventure genre.
Stories Untold is clever when it comes to delivering the narrative, and its brief text-adventure is interesting. Unfortunately, most of it is pushing buttons and turning dials on command, and this leaves much to be desired.