Whether it’s the eye-popping The Artful Escape or the music-driven masterpiece Sayonara Wild Hearts, Annapurna Interactive has put out more than a few must-play titles on the Nintendo Switch, so when we heard the publisher's next project was a little puzzle game called Storyteller, you can bet we wanted to check it out immediately. Developed by Daniel Benmergui, the man behind artful little flash games I Wish I Were the Moon and Today I Die, Storyteller has one of the most imaginative premises we’ve seen in a while.
It seems simple at first. Each puzzle has a title, a set of scenes, a handful of characters, and a bunch of blank spaces for you to fill. The title is key and might read something like ‘A Heartbreak is Healed.’ With Wedding and Death Scenes available, along with four characters to choose from – Edgar, Lenora, Bernard, and Isobel – solving this puzzle is straightforward. Placing Edgar and Lenora into the Wedding Scene locks in their love. Placing Lenora in a subsequent Wedding Scene with Bernard shows that she is indeed faithful to her true love from the first scene, and this in turn breaks Bernard's heart. With a broken heart, placing Bernard in another Wedding Scene with Isobel has them marry – healing his heartbreak and fulfilling the title requirements.
Some titles also have alternate ways to complete them — such as placing Edgar in a Death scene, thus breaking Lenora’s heart, and then throwing her in a Wedding Scene to marry another (poor Edgar, right?) — but most titles only have one specific outcome to complete within a set amount of scenes.
With 12 chapters that have four puzzles each, the titles get progressively more complicated. Characters are added with parameters that trigger specific actions in certain scenes, such as the evil Baron who will push just about anyone to their death if placed in the Cliff scene with him. On the other hand, the chivalrous knight will not shove anyone to their doom unless provided motivation in a prior scene. Later chapters star a set of fairy tale dwarfs ripped out of a Disney movie with names like Hatey and Tiny, and it’s up to you to alter their family trees, give them motives to kill one another, and then marry again with complicated, six-scene Shakespearean puzzles titled ‘Hatey Murders Father and Marries Mother.’ And many more, with all these scenarios intuitively controllable on the Switch’s touchscreen or with a controller.
While we solved most titles without much trouble, greatly enjoying the expressive little characters and absurd scenarios along the way, the last three chapters ramped up the difficulty, stumping us more often than not. This was where we felt Storyteller was at its strongest; with evocative titles starring characters that reacted differently when placed in varied scenes. Really, our only disappointment was when the credits rolled after clearing all the puzzles in about two or three hours. To us, the premise had just begun to challenge our imagination and we desperately wanted more.
While our hopes for some secret, extra-hard levels or some post-credits challenge were quickly dashed, Storyteller features a small tease of the possibility of more in the future, and after just this short taste, we sincerely hope Benmergui and Annapurna give this clever premise a sequel.
this looks really cute!
Nice! And my new memory card just arrived so this is perfect timing!
Love to hear this game's great, added to the wishlist!
Played the demo ages ago and it's so unique, I'll be grabbing this
Great game, but it is too short. They could have at least included some of the levels from the demo. Wait for a sale otherwise. I hope they do a sequel, so many of the concepts were a little underutilized I thought.
Fun game, but not worth $15. $5-$10 seems more fair. I finished it in about 2-3 hours. Great fun, but honestly it felt like it could have been a free flash game on addicting games.com back in the day. I would be more willing to recommend it for the $15 price tag if it eventually comes out with free DLC chapters.
Also, if they included a "story creator mode" that would be killer.
This sounds really cool. I now have it on the wishlist…
Tap here to load 8 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...