Narrative hypertext game: “The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo”

by look i have opinions

“The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo,” written by Michael Lutz with art by Kimberly Parker

Interactive Fiction Database entry here; used to be playable here, but it’s down right now; looks like it came out in October 2014; guide at Overmental; won Best Individual PC in the 2014 XYZZY Awards

Twenty minutes to play through once; six endings

“The Uncle” has also been described as a visual novel. I guess the distinction rests on the number and prominence of the images, which are used effectively.

The way the game code appears to glitch and break down as the uncle approaches is pretty cool. This effect depends, of course, on the reader/player placing “The Uncle” in the same general mental category as a console game—presumably the uncle has his hands claws tentacles whatever in every type of electronic game. The same goes for the effect where the game controls turn into what I assume are standard Pokémon controls.

The first few times I played, I missed some feminist commentary because I automatically felt that a Nintendo-playing kid should be named either Dave or Kevin (even though, growing up, I knew plenty of girls who played video games).