“The Untold Story” is an parser-based, puzzle-centric game in which the protagonist attempts to find missing parts of a meaningful chess set after his older brother’s death.

Gameplay: The puzzles are the main focus of the game, and they’re generally inventory and set-piece puzzles. The setting is an odd mix of lazy-medieval-fantasy settings (magic, dwarves, etc.) and real-world elements (a Bible, a reference to a “Chinese symbol”), which makes some of the more unmotivated puzzles difficult to tinker with. Gameplay is awkward at points because of the sparse description of some objects and guess-the-verb problems. There are explicit indications— not even hints— for certain puzzles (e.g., “If you plant something in the golden dirt spot, maybe something will happen”), but they aren’t reasonable substitutes for a more solid implementation. 4/10.

Mechanics: The puzzles take advantage of the fantasy elements of the setting. The guess-the-verb and other implementation issues make them more difficult than they should be, and solving some of them opens up the world map in unpredictable and unmotivated ways. The mechanic of giving explicit, italicized hints to the player is unnecessary, and it would be more satisfying for the player to solve those puzzles without assistance. 4/10.

Presentation: The game is filled with odd phrases (“Inisde from the forest is the Bear’s Den”) and typos (“pails in comparison”). Missing line breaks in descriptions are common. Descriptions are occasionally sparse to the point of uselessness, as in one room presented as simply a “peaceful and beautiful place.” Some setting details are inconsistent, as in a glint in a pile of dirt that still occurs in its description even after the coin causing it has been removed. 3/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You want a fantasy game with a protagonist who isn’t a mercernary adventurer.

Score: 4

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