The puzzle genre stretches far and wide. While they all share similarities as they test your mental capacity, they do this in a number of different ways. A new style that has surfaced is the visual puzzler. Games such as Gorogoa and Framed, allow you to piece together images to progress the narrative. The simple but innovative premise is the foundation for the Storyteller but will it do enough to keep you hooked until the final page?
Your objective is to construct a plot that accompanies the title. Each of these builds a micro-narrative across the page and references a range of classic literary works. Even though there isn’t much of a story, the game manages to envelop you within the sequence as you try to decipher the order of events.
Filling the Page
Each chapter includes several pages with a series of empty panels. You must select pre-set locations, characters and key items to build a narrative. Logic is a key component as you must ensure characters have a motive for their actions. This means that if you need someone to commit a devious crime, giving them a weapon is not good enough. You must create a chain of events that clearly demonstrates cause and consequence. It’s a simple but addictive idea that will keep you turning the page until you hit the back cover.
The storyboard starts with just a few open spaces and builds to eight as you progress through the chapters. Populating the panels is a breeze. You can just drag and drop items and characters to the area and they instantly adopt their position. The characters communicate their emotions through their facial expressions and icons that appear next to them. Due to this, you can work out which links are incorrect and alter elements in order to get the correct reaction. The intuitive design makes the game extremely accessible and as a result, is a great game to play with the family.
Throughout, new elements are introduced which makes solutions more complex. The methodical inclusion of new mechanics adds a nice, steady difficulty curve. While it never gets too challenging, puzzles have more layers as the game progresses. In addition to this, certain levels also include optional challenges which add specific criteria to the task. These require you to toy with what’s available and reach your goal in a different manner. Unfortunately, only a handful of the levels include these extras, so it doesn’t flesh out the game as much as it could have.
There’s an element of experimentation that resides in the Storyteller. Although there is a clear path to the objective, there is some leniency with which characters you use to get there. This gives you the opportunity to play with the mechanics and get to experience some humorous twists on familiar tales. As the game is pretty short, it’s a shame that it doesn’t include some sort of ‘write your own story’ mode. The tools are there but you’ll be left wanting to fiddle with the mechanics more.
Visually, the game adopts an art style that consists of chibi characters on parchment paper. There’s no clutter on the screen and due to this, the game maintains a simplicity that enhances the experience. The sparring use of color makes each personality stand out and the classical music adds a charming sophistication to the proceedings. Daniel Benmergui has gone all in on the theme. The overall presentation is gorgeous with the ability to flick through pages to access different chapters. Due to the number of factors that make up its design, you’ll find yourself enthralled with the game but wishing for a few more pages.
Storyteller is a wonderful game that uses a simple mechanic in a clever way. Linking panels is addictive and due to this, you’ll want to peruse the pages and continue to the next chapter. Unfortunately, you’ll fly through and reach the end in no time at all. While there is no incentive to revisit the chapters, you’ll still thoroughly enjoy your first read-through of this charming telling tale.
*** A Nintendo Switch code provided by the publisher for review**
- Great Gameplay
- Lovely Design
- Well Paced
- A Little Easy
- Very Short
- No Incentive to Replay