In the past I hadn’t played a lot of Full-Motion Video (FMV) games. I am not entirely sure why as the premise behind them is pretty interesting and I have been enjoying a number of games from the genre recently. While they don’t really fit into your traditional idea of a video game, a branching storyline where your choices impact how the story plays out is a fun experience for players who don’t mind a greater emphasis on the story than the gameplay. Recently I checked out Bloodshore which was made by Wales Interactive. Today I am looking at Wales Interactive’s latest game Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? which takes the FMV formula and applies it to a murder mystery. Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is an intriguing and fun FMV mystery that fans of the genre are likely to enjoy even if the game won’t be for everyone.
In Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? you play as Abby. Abby’s family is kind of a mess, but once every year they get together for the long-held family tradition of the family quiz. Before the quiz is about to begin Abby gets a frantic call from her Uncle Marcus who tells her that he has been poisoned. The prior day the family had a meeting (Abby didn’t attend) which got heated. Uncle Marcus believes that he was poisoned during this meeting and tasks you with figuring out which of the family members did it by questioning your family members during the family quiz. Can you figure out the culprit in time to save Uncle Marcus and bring the criminal to justice?
For those of you who have played other games made by Wales Interactive you should already have a good idea of what to expect from the gameplay of Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?. For those of you who have never played one of their games before, the game is basically a FMV (Full-Motion Video) choose your own adventure game. You will basically watch filmed scenes with actors and periodically be given a choice on how you would like to proceed. In the settings you can either choose to have these decisions timed, or you can choose to take as much time as you need to make your decision.
The game takes place over the family quiz. This involves a couple of rounds where one of the members of the family asks questions while the rest of the family members team up in pairs. For each round you can choose one of three family members to team up with. While answering questions you try to get information out of the family member that you are teamed up with so you can start to piece together what happened on the previous day at the family meeting. Your ultimate goal is to figure out what poison was used so Uncle Marcus can take the correct antidote. You also need to figure out who poisoned him and find evidence of the deed. Should you not complete everything in one playthrough (you won’t), all evidence acquired will be kept for future playthroughs.
Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is not going to be for everyone. It is very different from your traditional video game. If you have played a FMV choose your own adventure style game before, you should have a good idea of what to expect from the game. If you don’t particularly care for the genre, I don’t see Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? changing your mind. Fans of the genre should keep reading as they likely will also enjoy Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?.
Those who have never played one of these type of games before though need to know that the game plays more like an interactive movie than a traditional video game. You will spend a large majority of the game watching the events play out as the game is more of a passive experience. You will occasionally get to choose between a couple of options and then will go back to watching the results of the option you chose. If you are the type of video gamer that cares more for the gameplay than story, I don’t think the game will be for you. The gameplay is fine for the genre, but it isn’t a main focus of the game. If the idea of trying to solve a case in a branching narrative intrigues you though, I would highly recommend reading on as I think Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? may be the game for you.
On the gameplay front Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is similar to the other Wales Interactive game that I played (Bloodshore). Instead of just making choices to push the story forward though, you are instead trying to acquire evidence to pin down the poison as well as which of your family members is an attempted murderer. There is some strategy to how you approach each of the characters as their personalities somewhat dictate how you should proceed in order to get useful information. Other times it seems kind of random which choice will get you more evidence. Eventually you will get to try to save Uncle Marcus and if you have enough evidence against a family member you can accuse them of committing the crime. The mystery is staged in a way where everyone is a suspect and is hiding something that could be a reason to want Uncle Marcus dead. The game does have a definitive answer though.
I don’t know if it is technically possible to beat the game on your first playthrough, but I would bet it is highly unlikely if it is even possible. Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? is the type of game that you will have to play multiple times if you want to get a satisfactory ending to the game. The good news is that each game will likely only take between 40-60 minutes. This could go down on future games if you skip through the scenes that you have already seen. To get the most out of the experience though you really need to go into the game with the expectation of exploring everything single choice/path until you find all of the evidence that the game has to offer.
Because of this I would highly recommend taking notes of who you play with each round, what choices you make, and how much of the possible evidence you acquire. This will make it much easier to figure out which paths you should choose on future playthoughs. You will have to take different paths through the game in order to acquire all of the evidence. Some of the paths lead to nothing as well. The game does a good job giving all of the family members a good motive where it could be any of them. I would recommend gathering enough evidence against each of them where you can accuse them as some of their stories take an unexpected turn after you accuse them.
How many times you will have to play the game to see everything really depends on how well you do at picking the right choices in each conversation in order to acquire evidence. At the very minimum I would think that you would have to play the game at least three to four times. This is likely on the optimistic side though as you would have to make the right choice most of the time. You likely will have to play the game at least a few more times depending on how good you are at exploring all of the different paths.
I am not the biggest fan of having to replay sections of games over and over again. The game had this in mind where you can significantly reduce the time of each subsequent playthrough as you try to figure out the paths for the few remaining pieces of evidence that you still need to acquire. The game is supposed to let you skip any scene that you have already seen. This helps a lot as it does get repetitive having to see the same scenes over and over again. For some reason there are a couple of scenes that I wasn’t able to skip forcing me to watch the same scenes over and over again. This did kind of annoy me at times. To try and reduce the number of times that you have to repeat certain sections of the game, I would highly recommend taking notes like I mentioned above.
With games like Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?, the story is one of the driving forces behind how good the game can ultimately be. I generally enjoyed the story as it is an interesting (attempted) murder mystery. Apparently all of the video for the game was shot during the pandemic lockdowns as each character is video chatting for the family quiz. I am not going to get into specifics, but the whole family has secrets and could be guilty of the attempted murder. In fact you can ultimately accuse every family member of the crime. The story has a number of twists to keep things interesting. The acting is quite good as well. Parts of the story get a little repetitive after you have seen them several times, but I still wanted to figure out who was ultimately responsible for the attempted murder.
As for the game’s length it really depends on what you want to get out of the game. If you only want to play the game once or twice it will likely take two hours or less. I think you will be unsatisfied with the experience though as you likely won’t uncover everything that the game has to offer. After this point it mostly comes down to how efficient you are at finding new evidence. If you want to find everything that the game has to offer, I would guess that you would have to play through the game at least four to six times if not more. Ultimately if you enjoy these type of games and plan to play through all of the scenarios to get down to what ultimately happened, I think you will get your money’s worth.
Ultimately Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? mostly met my expectations. The game is not going to be for everyone as it is a choose your own adventure murder mystery FMV game. You mostly end up watching things unfold while only making a few choices from time to time. This is not going to be for everyone. If you generally enjoy this genre of games though, I think you will enjoy Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?. The attempted murder mystery premise works well with this genre, and the game creates a compelling mystery as anyone could be the culprit. You need to play through the game quite a few times if you want to find everything which can become a little repetitive after a while. The story is generally pretty good though and the game ultimately gives you an enjoyable mystery to solve.
My recommendation for the game ultimately comes down to your thoughts on the premise and the FMV genre. If you don’t really care for FMV video games or don’t care about the mystery premise, I don’t think the game will be for you. If you have enjoyed previous Wales Interactive games or like the FMV genre in general and want an interesting mystery to solve, I think you will enjoy Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus? and you should consider picking it up.
Who Pressed Mute On Uncle Marcus?
Release Date: March 18th, 2022
Systems: Android, iOS, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox O
Developer: Wales Interactive, Good Gate Media
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Genres: Adventure, Full-Motion Video (FMV), Indie
Official Website: walesinteractive.com/whopressedmuteonunclemarcus
- An intriguing mystery full of twists and turns.
- A compelling story where your choices impact what happens.
- Light on actual gameplay which may not appeal to everyone.
- Relies on you replaying the game quite a few times to find all of the evidence.
Recommendation: 3.5/5 Recommended for fans of FMV games that are intrigued by the attempted murder mystery premise.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media for the review copy of Who Pressed Pause on Uncle Marcus? used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.