Games sometimes are so different, so unique, so strange, that placing them into one category doesn’t do the game justice. Uin is one of these games, while not a true horror, everything inside this world will creep you out, a game so strange yet Uin is a hidden gem of the game that once you’ve finished it, if you are able to that is, you’ll find Uin is like no other game out there.
Uin is a game created by biggt and is free to download. In Uin you will play the main character who follows his brother through their cupboard into a strange, bizarre world from which he must find his brother and escape.
Uin’s world immediately strikes you. With its gothic design Uin’s world is a sombre one which is actually a joy for the eyes as the backgrounds and animations stand out and it’s not strange if you find yourself losing concentration as you admire the vastly unique world. A world such as this though needs characters to make it feel even more alive and Uin does a wonderful job of making each encounter memorable as you journey further into this strange world. If you’ve seen Salad Fingers or Tim Burton’s work, while playing Uin you’ll notice how similar the worlds are in this respect and you are drawn forward as you want to see more and admire every character you can.
That’s the thing though. Uin takes a very minimalist approach with no hand holding at all, the only menu screen is one which you’ll eventually fill out as you find more animals, gain new abilities and find item and map pieces. This very minimalist approach works very well in the mood the game creates while playing the game, most puzzles are bizarre and very difficult to figure out. This does make the feeling of accomplishment that much more once you have figured a puzzle and most of the time, you’ll be smacking yourself at how simple it was once you have had it figured out, though this might come after much wandering about or much trial and error.
And that’s something you’ll have to get used to while playing Uin. I enjoy a good challenge in my game as it makes me feel as if the game is putting me to the test and taking its gamer seriously, we want to be made to feel that we can overcome that challenge but Uin will make you want to never want a challenge in a game ever again.
The difficulty in this game is really high and there are a couple of moments were I could completely understand if someone wants to never bother finishing the game again. The obvious culprit here is a stage a little on in the game, where you find yourself swimming underwater and to get to the next area, you need to ease through tight tunnels with coral that will sting you. It sounds not to hard a challenge until you find yourself dying for what seems to be the two dozenth time and you’re not getting any closer to the end. Moments like these are unfortunate as they are game breakers to those who won’t have the patience to see it through and miss out on the rest but Uin is a very difficult game which is unforgiving to all.
Now if that hasn’t turned you off the game, then know that you only have five health bars (you can unlock more later) with only your ‘Erase’ power which shoots a sphere absorbing the Animal, as they’re called. Equipped with only nine ammo slots and with a long charge time, players must use every single shot wisely and constantly charge up when they get the chance to, for most of the areas are filled with numerous animals with crazy spawn places and numbers, running through this world while blasting away monsters, is not the kind of game Uin is. Most of the animals all have a different strategy to defeat and to attack you and it’s figuring these out which brings another challenge to the gameplay.
I stress the difficulty in this game for it is a big factor when playing but if you are up to the challenge then let us continue.
The world as said before is bizarre. The figure of an armless T-Rex skeleton with high heel shoes on in the background of the third area you enter is just the first of many strange encounters with Animals that will make you gasp and wonder what the hell it could be to Fish Headed Men chilling underwater wanting to play a game with you, you might miss many things during your initial play through.
Due to the minimalist story telling, many clues required to solve puzzles or understand the plot require you to read in between the lines or understanding the world around you, which makes every play through rewarding, keeping alive that sense of bewilderment and wonder. Indeed the story telling much like the game is strange and while the pieces do sort of add up towards the end, a major WTF moment will have you in shock and smiling at the same time, testament to the charm of the style of Uin.
As you explore this world, the areas scroll from one to another, which can be frustrating sometimes as Animals will injure you as the area transitions, sometimes in mind boggling ways such as falling into a volcano and ending up underwater. The background though can be warped with hitting a shell, which is also a save point, changing certain areas which you need to proceed or solve one of the many puzzles. There is back tracking involved with all the Animals having to be killed so as to finish the game, which can be time consuming.
As I played through this game, I found myself, besides dying many times, feeling an urge to see out this whole adventure and I could relate it to the whole argument of people saying games can be art. From absorbing the world around you when charging up your ‘Erase’ to the whole moving painting world, Uin is like an artpiece, bizarre, up to personal interpretation and you want to see the whole piece, or else you feel you have just seen a glimpse of its strange beauty.
To tell you anymore, I feel that it would take away from the experience and joy at seeing this world come to life. You’ll die many, many times but every time you do die, you’ll be taken to literally the heavens, where the shadows of animals dwell, while a soothing piano piece plays, as you spend a moment of peace before you dive back again into a world you’ll not forget anytime soon.
Pros – Unique, Design, Strange World, Puzzles, Challenge, Audio.
Cons – Massive learning curve, Difficulty, certain areas, understanding puzzles, having to defeat all Animals
Fear – Not truly a horror though when you play it you will feel the mood Uin manages to transmit.
Sound -Physchedelic score, fits like a glove.
Horror – Minimal storytelling along with the daftness and weirdness of it all, makes this a living breathing world.
World – Everything is so strange it all works together perfectly.
Strange, beautiful, weird, art, difficult, smart, nonsense…so many adjectives could be used to describe Uin but no matter how many words written you can never fully understand just how different this game is until you’ve tried it. A hidden gem with a rich, wonderful alive world, Uin is something that must be tried and experienced.