Uncanny Valley Review

In Uncanny Valley, you play as Tom, a man working as a security guard at an abandoned facility.  Tom deals with horrible nightmares (which you slip into occasionally and have to play through, as well) stemming from a crime he witnessed in his seemingly recent past.  Uncanny Valley is designed with retro-style graphics, which add to the creepy environment of the game.  To get the most from Uncanny Valley, you will want to complete multiple playthroughs, as there are alternate events that can happen during the game depending on your actions, as well as multiple different endings.


The Good

Uncanny Valley has a very unique feel to it, and that is relatively rare in today’s gaming landscape.  The graphic designs, soundtrack, and dialog all fit the creepy feel of the game.  One of the best pieces of Uncanny Valley is the impact your decisions have not only on the ending of the game, but also on the story and events during the game itself.  I know I am being vague, but the mystery in the story of Uncanny Valley is one of the best elements to this game, and I do not want to ruin it for anyone who chooses to play it.


Beyond these, I think what adds the most to Uncanny Valley is the amount of independent exploration that you have to do to fully understand what is going on in the game.  When you are working security at night, you can do things like read emails on the computers in the facility.  These emails reveal a lot about what is going on in the game, but can be easily overlooked.  I appreciate any game that adds an element of exploration to add to the actual main story.


The Bad

My two main complaints about Uncanny Valley go hand in hand.  The game is short (although there are multiple endings, so there is a certain amount of replay value) and you only have six minutes (equivalent to six hours in-game time) to explore each night.  This would become frustrating when trying to gain as much as you can from the story each night.  I understand that limiting the time so much adds a panic-type time restraint to the game, but I do not think this would have been lost if players were given ten or twelve minutes to explore each night instead.  There is a lot to take in, and I feel like it became almost annoying to try and accomplish even a reasonable amount of exploration.  There were instances where I was skipping reading emails or not reading them properly because I knew I was going to run out of time.


The Achievements

Uncanny Valley contains a nice mixture of 12 achievements for 1000 gamerscore.  A few a for collectibles found throughout the game, and the rest are for completing various tasks throughout the game.  The game will require multiple playthroughs to reach 100% completion, but what I like about this list is that it encourages going for different endings and different interactions with the other characters throughout the game.


The Verdict

Uncanny Valley is a short game with relatively high replay value thanks to its interesting and unique story.   I highly recommend this game, and I particularly recommend playing it in a dark, quiet room to add to the ambiance the game gives off.  In a very crowded indie-gaming market right now, I feel that Uncanny Valley has set itself apart with an interesting story and engaging gameplay.


A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review

Buy Uncanny Valley on the Xbox Store

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