Version Reviewed: 1.9
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Your Story is a weird little gamebook where players are thrust into a mysterious, snowy landscape in Colorado and have to make decisions surrounding survival while searching for their best friend. Without spoiling anything, thenarrative gets very strange very quickly - all while challenging the idea of player agency in game obstensibly all about choosing one's own path.
Your Story can take a little getting used to at first as it doesn't clearly explain how the controls work. The screen is mostly taken up by e-reader-like text that's scrollable, with one or more buttons on the bottom of the that accompany decisions. Tapping a button reveals the choice being made, while tapping the choice itself confirms the selection. Players can also adjust the text size and a few other options by tapping on the screen to reveal the settings menu. One thing to note is that Your Story does not contain a back button, so players can't constantly be jumping back and forth between sections of the story.
Your Story is really curious in terms of structure. Although it does have choose-your-own-adventure mechanics it's actually pretty linear, but it also has some strange recursive elements. At the beginning, for example, players start with a base set of stats that can level-up based on the decisions they make. However, if players reach a certain part of the story where one of their stats is not high enough, Your Story will restart them at the beginning so they can make different decisions to level-up skills before progressing forward. This gives everythinga really surreal quality, even during the relatively normal-seeming parts of the narrative.
The most interesting thing about Your Story is the story itself. If players input real information that is asked upfront (Name, Location, Name of Best Friend), itbecomes really eerie once strange things start to happen. Even though the main controls focus on choice, players will quickly learn that their agency is very, very limited, which makes Your Story all the more interesting.
Your Story can feel pretty disjointed at times due to some holes in the story, plus the game itself is pretty short. These aren't huge issues mind you, as the recursive nature of the story allows for holes to be filled easily and its short length makes replaying feel less like a chore, but still, some may question the value of Your Story upon completion. Particularly if they are a money-per-game-hour person.
This is a very curious game. Its structure is more interesting than the gameplay and the story itself, and this helps cement the experience in your brain. It probably isn't for everyone, but Your Story is a pretty fascinating experiment in storytelling.