I’ve seen a few previews of Storyteller, and I’m pretty intrigued by the story-based puzzler the game has set out for itself. So I was happy to learn that Storyteller was among the demos available through Steam’s Next Fest event.
Developed by Daniel Benmergui, Storyteller has a simple premise in which you create your own story at each level to meet the level’s objective, such as a romantic story involving a couple getting married or a tragedy in which one of them dies.
To create a narrative, you must drag each character and scene the level has into story panels. There will either be three or six panels depending on the level.
The scenes you will use to complete the story include a man or woman proposing to their significant other or a sinister location where someone plans to poison another character so they can marry their love interest.
As you place a character in a scene, it will show them acting it out. However, it points out what you’re doing wrong in a level if you place the scene in the wrong order or place a character in a scene that they’re not supposed to be in, often giving off a funny reaction as they do so.
One such example is one of the characters looking confused about who they’re supposed to poison if you don’t include a scene beforehand where they’re planning to kill one of the other characters of the story or someone getting rejected by another character because you had them propose to another character in one of the earlier story panels.
Depending on the characters and scenes that you’re giving in a level, you can put your spin on the story the game asks you to create, such as a level where the characters in the story are a man and two women with the story of the level being about two of the characters get married while the third becomes heartbroken.
You can have the story go so that the women marry each other, leaving the man dejected, or another level where a woman’s love interest dies, but she marries his ghost instead.
What helps make Storyteller unique is the cartoonish and beautiful storybook art style that fits well for this game, as well as classical music that plays throughout the demo that some music lovers may recognize as they take the time to think of the story they must create for the level.
The demo contains three chapters containing four levels in the first two chapters, while the third chapter only includes three levels.
The first eight levels have simple story narratives that the level wants you to fulfill, such as a story involving someone dying or a level involving someone’s heart getting broken. In comparison, the final three levels have harder story narratives that will take time to complete, with the first two levels in the third chapter based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the story of Adam and Eve. In contrast, the last level is a story about a Baron trying to marry a Queen who hates him; however, completing the later levels will take time.
It takes patience to complete the later levels of the Storytellers demo and discover which scene in the story fits where or create the desired happy or sad ending for a level. Still, it leaves you feeling satisfied when you manage to figure it all out in the end, with nothing pressuring you to finish a level in a certain amount of time, leaving you feeling relaxed as you complete each level’s story.
If you’re worried that you might complete the demo too quickly and want more from it, you can take on a few challenges after completing the three chapters. These challenges have objectives where you must revisit certain levels and complete them differently, such as a tragic ending to Dracula or a story where a character dies, comes back to life, and dies again.
I enjoyed doing these challenges. However, I wished they were a bit more challenging, as they were easy to complete compared to the last few levels; however, as this is only the first three chapters, challenges in the future release will likely be harder to complete and give the player a few minutes to think about how they want the story to go.
While my time with Storyteller was short, I enjoyed connecting each scene to make a small story of three to six panels. The best part of my playthrough was seeing the funny reactions each character in a level made whenever I made a mistake. I look forward to seeing the finished product when it releases sometime in the future.
Storyteller is currently available on Steam as part of Next Fest and is due to be released later on both PC and the Nintendo Switch. The full release will contain more scenes and characters you can add to future levels. If you’re interested in getting the game when it releases, you can wishlist it now on Steam.
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