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You Will Need More Than Just Luck to Find Out Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus

You Will Need More Than Just Luck to Find Out Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus

I have never played a full-motion video before. Most commonly referred to as FMVs, these games blend mediums by having your choices played out by real actors. No animation. No CGI. Essentially, they are choose-your-adventure movies. Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is my first time diving into an FMV and, to be quite frank, it's about what you would expect. That's not a bad thing however, it just means I don't have much to say about the game as a whole.

Much like movies in the Unfriended horror series, the entire game takes place on a computer desktop. The main character, whose actions you are in control of, finds out that her uncle has been poisoned and it is likely that one of her family members was responsible. Over the course of the roughly 40-minute game, you will have to talk to different family members as they hold a virtual birthday party, and try to find three answers: who poisoned Uncle Marcus, what poison did they use, and what's the proof to incriminate them?

There is not much in the way of gameplay here as most of them are akin to quick-time events where you have to pick between two or three given options. If you're streaming, or just don't want the added pressure like me, you can turn off the timer that forces you to make a decision immediately. That being said, there is a built-in plot timer by the use of Uncle Marcus' health bar, which creeps down slowly as you play through the game. I played the game on the Nintendo Switch and in an honor that is usually reserved for Just Dance, I docked it to play on the big screen.

Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? Family Tree

Which sort of brings me to my biggest point about Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? as a whole, which is that a game like this is best played with a group of people. The deliberations that follow each choice will not only draw out the runtime but also make for fun friends or family night of your own. I did exactly that with some of the members of our own team, and it drastically enhanced my experience with the game. Especially when compared to playing it by my lonesome like a mad man trying to get to the bottom of a murder with a Nintendo Switch Lite.

When it comes to an FMV, there are two main points I want to tackle. The first is the mystery. Either the game is a bit strict with how you navigate its puzzles or I am just an awful detective, but either way, by the first time I rolled credits on the game, I had discovered one whole clue. That's it. The crazy twist to that is that despite the lack of clues I managed to not get the worst ending in the game. Which I won't spoil for the sake of this review. That being said, it really felt like the game had a certain way you needed to talk to your family members in order to get the information you need. This makes sense practically and, perhaps, to increase replayability, but in terms of the gameplay experience, it can feel like everything you do is either a hit or a miss. No in-between. On the plus side, if you do decide to replay the game, there is an option to have all previously discovered clues carry over into the new save.

Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? Performance and Acting

The second point is the acting. The two names on top of the game belong to the lead, Abigail Hardingham, and Andy Buckley, of The Office fame, who plays the titular Uncle Marcus. The performances are fine across the board. None that really stand out as better than any of the others, but some effective writing makes characters like Nan the personal favorite. I do want to mention an odd observation I made while playing, which made it so that every time Uncle Marcus was seemingly having a coughing fit or was on the verge of death, the game would cut away from him. This felt like an odd choice considering the relationship between the two main characters was pretty significant for the mystery at hand.

In the end, Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is a simple FMV that offers a decent few hours of entertainment if you are willing to replay it past its 40-minute runtime. Which, having played the game multiple times, may be necessary considering how particular the game can be about its clues. The cast does the best with the material they are given and apart from a few odd editing choices, the game is another FMV title from Wales Interactive, one of the few studios that still produce games in the genre at a steady rate.

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