Jun 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:14 AM, Jun 22, 2017

The Uncertain: Episode 1 - The Last Quiet Day Review

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Like Watching a Beautiful Shade of Paint Dry

Yay! I finally get to be a robot. I always wanted to be a robot. I had something a little more like IG-88 in mind, but let's see if RT-217NP can win me over. Or is it RT-217 NP? It seems they couldn't decide.

This isn't exactly a fly by the seat of your pants game. Its pace is set not only to the somber music but also by our hero's lack of human speech inflection, which is perhaps just as one would expect from an emotionless life form. However, even as point-and-click adventures go, The Uncertain strikes me as a bit too quiet. I found RT's nearly complete lack of emotion a bit off-putting, even for a robot. Is he depressed? Maybe we'll find out later why he has the most animated face in the game, but it almost never emotes.

Speaking of the music, it is suitably melancholic. Which is appropriate I think, for a world in which we've finally been replaced by our electronic children. Unfortunately, it goes on and on, only to be replaced later with more sleepy music. It fits though. I've no suggestions on how to improve it. Perhaps a bowl of soup?

The voice acting is well done. RT has a warm, soothing voice. The kind you'd expect from a home bot, which is what I guess he was built for. As for the other robots, I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say it's as if they were deliberately designed by someone who had their intended occupation already in mind. Which is exactly what we'd expect from robots designed by humans, to interact with humans. Bonus points for story consistency, but humans are emotional creatures, so you'd think they'd design robots with a bit more emotion, even if the robots have to fake it. Perhaps they tone it down when they are interacting with other robots.

Cons

There are still occasional pathing issues; sometimes you have to manually steer your robot, so it doesn't get hung up on obstacles on its way to interact with things.

There are still several typos in text and speech, but I don't imagine this is a problem if you are playing the Russian language version.

Every time I want to play The Uncertain, I have to unplug my Logitech Driving Force Pro or the game won't respond to keyboard and mouse.

There is no way to adjust mouse sensitivity, and the mousing feels a little drunk. I keep moving past my target, in spite of having moused for over 20 years now.

There is no save function or indication of when the game has saved, so when you quit, you aren't quite sure where you will pick up from when you return. This leads to a lot of repeat play, which is crippling for a game with this slow of a pace. Worse yet, in one case, it loaded my game from a save point I hadn't even reached yet. Not sure what is with that.

Synchronized robot head movement is annoying. Imho, if a robot isn't talking or doing something, it's head shouldn't be moving so much. In some scenes, if I didn't recognize the voice, I'd have no idea which robot was talking, because they don't have mouths, and all their heads are moving exactly the same way, as if they were all talking. Here, these guys know how to do it:

Players are unable to skip through dialogue, even if they have heard it before, and the dialogue is sometimes painfully slow.

Pros

The Uncertain is gorgeous and compelling. The developers have received several awards for their beautiful graphics and interesting storyline. Kudos to ComonGames for winning the GTP Indie Cup.

There is a nice little extra in the beginning for us completionists. Hopefully, this is indicative of more to come.

The puzzles are unique and interesting. They have included the most challenging game of memory match I've ever seen.

Being a point and click adventure; if you can't find the special thing it wants you to find, you may get frustrated or bored.

Fortunately, they've included a seizure disclaimer, in case things get too intense. (That's a joke, son.)

6

The Verdict

I can tell ComonGames has worked very hard here, but there are these little problems that keep cropping up, detracting from an otherwise intriguing story. After having to play several parts over again, I personally can't get past all the hunt and click. Even though it's great for it's genre, I found it unbearably slow. But I'm into racing games lately, so perhaps I'm biased. I'm going to try to put my personal feelings aside here, and give it a generous six because the graphics really are amazing.


5:26 PM - Lazyface: It's the perfect game for a lazy Sunday. I suggest making some soup to go with it.
5:26 PM - Lazyface: definitely a soup game.
5:26 PM - the_cheese: should I plan to make soup while I play? is it that quiet?
5:26 PM - Lazyface: naw. just eat some. well, actually, that's not a bad idea..
5:27 PM - Lazyface: it's not like you ever have to pause
5:27 PM - Lazyface: you can walk away at any time, and nothing will happen. nothing. absolutely not one damn thing.
5:27 PM - the_cheese: LOL

Kevin Riggs

Kevin Riggs is an analytical writer, dedicated to disc golf, cooking, and promoting science and critical thinking. But he also has a dark secret. At night, or whenever it's dark enough for dark secrets, he plays the shit out of video games on Steam under the dark, dark, pseudonym of, “Lazyface”. Kevin played his first video game at a Shakey's Pizza, back in 1977, when they cost two-bits each, and stood a good 5-8 feet taller than they do nowadays. It was called “Space Invaders”. Quaint, eh? He even remembers when pong still seemed like a pretty cool idea.

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