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Game Maker Games - An Untitled Story
 An Untitled Story by YoMamasMama
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Review by Jabberwock
In a word, An Untitled Story is beautiful. mildly epic, alternately punishing and awe-inspiring, and always fun and engaging, it's what every exploration game aspires to be. Just by playing it, you can tell that it was a labor of love - two years of love, to be exact.

- Concept -

The storyline does not actually develop until quite a ways into the game, which I like, because that means that at the beginning you've got nothing to do but explore. In some games, perhaps, this would not work well. But the game world is fascinating and (sometimes starkly) original; even without a story it would be a worthy game. Consequently, by the time the storyline comes into play, you've already either fallen in love with the game (which I predict many people will do) or turned it off (which some people also will do).

In any case, you play as an egg who somehow has powers of mobility and who decides to jump from his nest one day when his folks aren't around, and take a look at the wide, weird world around him, or, in the words of one character, "run around discovering crap." His (your) meanderings, though dangerous, remain relatively carefree... until things suddenly take a sinister turn. But the story is something I don't want to ruin. Alternately funny, dark, and occasionally touching, it's a simple storyline that really works. This is a game with heart, wonderful and unpretentious.

- Presentation -

The graphics are like the storyline - full of character and a lot of fun, even if they are a little sketchy. The game does use built-in particles, which I know bothers many people, but for the most part they don't feel jarringly out of place. Other than that, the graphics are quite excellent. There are all kinds of different level motifs, and every room is interesting. The game's characters - the little birds - are humourous and charming-looking, the enemies and especially bosses are well-animated, unique, and well- (sometimes fiendishly) designed, as are the levels. It's clear that this is coming from the same guy who made Jumper, though if you're not a fan of Jumper, don't worry; the game is only rarely that difficult, and never difficult enough to make you want to quit, because there's so much great stuff to discover. And if the difficulty does bother you, there's an easy mode (there are also two harder-than-normal modes, whose difficulty I don't think I can imagine).

Throughout the game, you'll climb giant trees, scale mountains, descend into caves and shipwrecks, find all kinds of other places that defy description, and run into dozens of different enemies. The world is truly enormous - at first it feels rather small, but soon starts to branch out in all kinds of directions, all cleverly connected through both obvious routs and neat secret passageways. On top of this, there are countless secrets (often absurdly well-hidden), collectibles, unlockables, skills to learn, and pointless extra things - minigames, a house to buy and decorate. I really like a game that gives a feeling of infinite possibility; this is one such game. On top of all this, YoMamasMama goes above and beyond the call of duty with his inclusion of a quite excellent two-player hotseat mode (something I always like to see), with unlockable maps to boot.

Also, the game is quite huge, longer than a lot of commercial games, and even if you don't seek out all the extras, it will probably take you many hours.

The game's (rather large) soundtrack is original and mostly excellent, despite the fact that it consists of MIDIs. The tracks are actually often quite catchy, and they've got atmosphere - they're light-heartedly epic, yet unassuming, and slightly mysterious. They fit wherever they're used, and are as carefully crafted as everything else in the game... for the most part. YoMamasMama has a very unusual melodic style, which is good for the most part, but in some cases the tracks just end up sounding like a bunch of notes splashed randomly on a page. Perhaps it has something to do with self-imposed deadlines. But for the most part, the music is good. The sound effects are much the same (in fact, they're just MIDI sounds converted to wave files). They're too numerous to count and fit the game perfectly; all this adds up to a very nice, unique atmosphere. Unfortunately, some computers choke on MIDI files, so this might be a bit of a problem.

- Mechanics -

As for the game mechanics, I have no complaint. The only errors are at most minor annoyances; the game engine is pretty much sound (with the exception of the screen-shaking, which sometimes messes up the character's jumping in a way that gets him killed). Of course, the game is very hard, but when I screw up while playing it, it's usually my fault and not the fault of the game's programming, which is a mark of good programming. As in every other aspect, the programming is wonderful in that it doesn't impress you immediately by bludgeoning you over the head with a whole bunch of flashy, impressive impressiveness. But it all works, and the more you play, the more you find yourself admiring it.

Of course, as a reviewer it is my job to pick out places where a game falls short, even a game I really like. For one thing, the difficulty curve, while mostly okay, has some very sudden and annoying spikes in places, and there are certain areas of the game, even on the easier modes, that are just too difficult. (It wouldn't be a problem if they were optional, but they're not.) Also, there are some places in the game where it is not apparent where you need to go and what you need to do; the player gets very little guidance. This is alright for the most part, but as the number of areas you've explored becomes greater and greater, it becomes harder and harder to keep track of where you've been and where you haven't. Also, the menu screen is a different size from the ingame screens, which sometimes causes strange things to happen when you die or load a game, and which feels just a little lazy. Very occasionally, I think because of the way data is saved, the wrong background will load for a room, though this error fixes itself as soon as you go to another room.

- Conclusion -

I think I have extolled this game more than enough; just do yourself a favor and download it, see for yourself. This is your invitation to a fantastic little world that should keep you occupied for quite a while.



Note that the game is not freeware. I strongly urge you to register your copy; it's a minimum donation of $1 CAD, so it's not like pulling teeth or anything. It is now free.

Download An Untitled Story (EXE, ~8.6 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Opinions about An Untitled Story

Showing: GMG Staff (2) · GMG Users (3)

engaging
100%
artistic
50%
original
50%
strange
0%
challenging
100%
polished
100%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Showing: GMG Staff (2) · GMG Users (3)

engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
67%
strange
67%
challenging
100%
polished
100%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Recommendations: The 27 people who like An Untitled Story also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2010.08.21 Recneps
Rating: 10

One of if not my favorite GM games.
Great job Matt.
2010.08.17 Flashlight
Rating: 9

Huh... very interesting game. A 9/10 for sure. If you want to talk about exploration... have a look at Fred the Flashlight!
2010.01.23 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Sorry, didn't see your comment. You have to reflect it back a second time. I recommend setting things up so he shoots from one of the sides, and you're all the way on the other side, so that you have enough time to react/charge a second shot.
2009.12.15 EagloBane
Rating: --

Quick question: how do you defeat the red boss in the caves that jumps and shoots fire? You know, the one where you have to turn the flames back on itself? Well, I can hurt it three times, but when you have to hit it the fourth time, I hit the flames, they bounce back, and the the monster doesn't die. No...instead it continues as if it was untouched, and no matter how many times I hit its flames, it doesn't die. Can something be done about this?
2009.10.06 yalmic
Rating: 9

Great game.
It has jumper difficulty in some places
which i always enjoy.
at first it did not seem worth downloading
but when I played for awhile I realized how wrong i was.
2009.08.30 blanknix
Rating: 1

Extremely poor, stay away from this one. Awful level design and poorly cued/designed enemy types are bad alone, but there's also the worst soundtrack I've ever heard in my life accompanying it. I would never recommend this to anyone ever.
2009.01.19 Aidan12
Rating: --

OK. Listen, when I go to the menu I get an error message which I cannot ignore! So please don't ignore this message!
2008.07.01 AIGuy
Rating: 10

This game is EASILY my favorite gm game of all time. About all that's missing from it is the graphics, though I don't care much about that anyway, they work well enough. If any game deserves a 10/10 on this site, it's this one. It's better than seiklus at exploration, better than metroid at the whole find-items-get-to-different-places thing, and *slightly* worse than jumper at being hard yet fun...*slightly.* (The curtain pissed me off, that's the only reason it's slightly worse.) Oh yeah, and the music, even if it isn't awesome, fits the game perfectly; it gives the already completely unique and imaginative world a nice 'feel.' AAAnd ok you've heard me praise this game long enough. This game is the ONLY game I have EVER given a perfect 10/10. Freaking awesome.
2008.01.05 Mr.Pineapple_Head
Rating: --

An excelent game. Everything fits together perfectly. The game is long and tough at times and cleverly designed. One of my favorites. Great job.

I rate this game an 8.7
2007.10.11 DeathMasterGames
Rating: --

So I could have submitted my shareware games all along? :-o That sucks. I already made them freeware. Oh well.

Anyway, I decided to donate money for the game, but the donate button doesn't work on your page. When I click it, it says Page Not Found, and wants me to sign in and create an account. I just want to send money via credit card. Any way of doing this?
2007.10.05 Jabberwock
Rating: --

When we say that we don't accept demos, that means we don't accept games that aren't complete. The rule doesn't apply to shareware games.
2007.10.04 Re_jex
Rating: --

Yep, its another great game from a great game maker. I just think its kind of funny that this is a demo, and GMG says:

'You submitted a demo. We only accept completed games.'

So, its not technically allowed, but since its a great game the rules get bent a little, which seems very fair and just right?
2007.09.24 cranegames
Rating: 10

It's like an egg version of Seiklus (not really). I like this game, it's colorful and fun to bounce around. Overall, this game is one for the hard drive.

9.5/10 (so like 10)
2007.09.23 homadomy10
Rating: 8

good game, bit hard to figure out what to do
sometimes. im sort of stuck on the strange blue
boss who jumps around, i think i need a jump upgrade.
2007.09.18 GMG-Dreamcat
Rating: 10

This game is fantastic, it was worth every penny of the five dollars I donated. More, in fact, as I feel guilty for being sort of a cheapskate. But anyway, the game is brilliant.

I've always loved your games, Jumper, HOR, Jumper 2, etc. And I just love exploration based games like this. This game deserves a perfect 10, I just love it. I personally think that it was a good idea to charge money for it, as I have not seen or played a better GM game as of date. Great work.
2007.09.17 darkarceus
Rating: 10

Very goodly programed! Good graphics! Large levels! You deserve an A+! but I can't give you that... Good Job!
2007.09.13 ForceDevice
Rating: 10

Fantastic. I haven't seen such an interesting platform game made using GM since Seiklus. I'm seriously considering paying for the full version.
2007.09.11 beam
Rating: 10

This game is absolutely amazing. I've been following it since its first release on Eo, and I have yet to be disappointed. I definitely plan on paying for this, and that is all there is to say.
2007.09.11 DeathMasterGames
Rating: --

I've been working on the Elite Force Trilogy for around 2.5 years, although I haven't been working on it everyday (I'll assume YMM took breaks as well...), and I suppose it's three games, not one. I've still gotten ratings of 8-9 on games, though. And I know I got chewed out a lot for trying to sell my games. People wouldn't affiliate with me, let alone submit games, until I went completely freeware. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, and feel free to charge money, I just think Gamemaker Games should be free. There are a lot of wonderful games on this site already, such as 'The Jeluvian Project', 'Kairuga', or 'Ragin' Skies' that never charged fees, but if you're going to have people donate, I'd recommend setting the bar a little over $1. Last time I checked, PayPal charges a service fee for transactions. It's less than a dollar, but you'll only be making a few cents per purchase, unless people pay more.

Anyway, good luck with your game, YMM. I'm sure it's awesome. :)
2007.09.11 Cesque
Rating: 10

I am probably going to rate something 10/10 for the first time in my life.

That is not to say that the game is perfect. Don't get me wrong. The jump mechanics are annoying at times, the character's look doesn't let you see what directions you face, and the music gets boring.

But despite all this, this is shortly the prime example of how games should be made. It is absolutely, perfectly and astonishingly brilliant in every sense, polished and full of secrets, enjoyable to the maximum and in fact it took me a few hours to stop playing it

My firts thought was, since when do demos belong on GMG? But if what I'm playing is a demo, then I simply can't imagine how a full version must look like. It's probably the first time that I feel I would pay for a GM game, even though I probably won't (heh...).

This game should forever be looked up to for inspiration and guidance!

Ps. I still don't like Jumper series (even though this game also draws something in from them) :P
2007.09.11 excalibur333
Rating: 9

Very good platform. I'm glad to see people using gamemaker to earn a little money. This game is worth every penny =).
Excalibur
2007.09.10 DeathMasterGames
Rating: 10

Oh. My. God. Yes.

Let me start out by saying I love your games, especially the Jumper games, and Hold off Red.

I'm ecstatic that this game has finally been released. I've been playing the demos for 1-2 years now, or whenever it first came out, maybe longer. I don't think I need to play the remainder of this game to know it's a perfect 10, and I've never rated anything a 10, as far as I know.

However, I feel games should be freeware. I realize you've put a lot of time into this game, but so have the hundreds of people on this site, and we don't charge money for ours. This is an exceptional game, and we can't make you change your mind, but that's just how I feel.

Consequently, I won't be donating anything, and I won't download the final version of this game, as tempting as it is. But still, 10/10

You did everything right.
2007.09.10 Jabberwock
Rating: --

?? I think it's only fair for people to try and make money doing something that they like to do. If we want good art, we need to support our artists when they ask for it. Not everyone is willing to throw away years of their life for free. YMM spent more time on this game than pretty much anyone spent on any other game on this site, I think.
2007.09.05 Gamer Monkey
Rating: 10

Very fun, I wish I could buy it!
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