Solve the question of who in the family poisoned Uncle Marcus! This murder mystery is short and cinematic with multiple endings to uncover with tons of replayability. This was the first game I have played from Wales Interactive, who is known for their FMV style games. If you like investigation “whodunit”, Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus won’t let you down!
The setting of the game (or movie) is unique, with the characters all on video chat in their own rooms and houses. It’s definitely realistic to how the world is communicating and makes it more challenging to figure out who is lying. The dialogue flows like how you would talk in the real world, but I turned on the streamer mode setting since I’m not super fast at making decisions. Once you get into the story the main menu shows how many clues have been unlocked so far in case you do miss something during the conversations. When you get enough dirt on someone you can interrogate them on poisoning Uncle Marcus. Each clue can be rewatched by clicking on the image.
The main character of story Abby; who is implied to be the outcast of the family, is asked for help from her Uncle Marcus. He got poisoned the day before at her mom’s house and only she can found out who did it. There are six (her Mum, Nan, sister, Auntie and cousins) possible suspects that Abby needs to interrogate. Ironically, Uncle Marcus is also not a favorite of the rest of the family. He knows that Abby is his only hope of survival after the family’s meeting since Abby did not attend. The main plot involves the family playing their annual trivia to celebrate Abby’s mom’s birthday. Somehow Abby can talk to Uncle Marcus on a separate video call while Abby is playing along cordially with everyone else. Her goal is to figure out who in the family tried to poison him at yesterday’s family meeting before his body shuts down. You must talk with every family member carefully to get them to open up more about what happened at the meeting. Fish for clues naturally while still playing along with the inside game.
After completing the first go around of Uncle Marcus, I liked how short the gameplay was since you have to replay it entirely multiple times to reach the true ending. There seems to be around ten or more different endings to unlock and I got about eight different scenes. Each round added on to the previous clues you unlocked to keep the story progressing. I had to replay the game about 15 times to solve the mystery, but I would’ve missed a lot of dialogue if I beat the game quickly. The story and dialogue changed depending on the order of who you talked to. I got the formula down after a few times, but I enjoyed switching up the order to see what new conversations sparked up. I liked that after the first time you reached an ending there was an option to skip dialogue that’s already been said to save time. The developers could have gone even further and showed the aftermath of finding out who the attempted murder was. I would have enjoyed seeing more movie scenes to finish out the game instead of the abrupt ending.
Also, it would have been interesting to see more set up of Abby’s family’s relationships with one another throughout instead of getting the backstory towards the end. It was hard to get invested in the past generational problems that were brought up after I already solved the mystery. I had a hard time grasping the reason for the poisoning when new unseen characters were put into conversation.
Uncle Marcus was the most interesting to me because of his implied mental issues and I’m glad they went more into that topic. His character confused me in the beginning because I did not understand why he was American while everyone else was British? I recognized him as the actor Andy Buckley from other American television shows and my mind thought, “Plot twist: Uncle Marcus isn’t even their Uncle!”. I was wrong, but it was an interesting casting choice that definitely threw me off. I wonder if that was done on purpose or if he was just the best choice to play the Uncle.
As far as the movie like scenes, it was fun to choose a suspect that I figured would be wrong to see how each character would react to the accusation. There were scenes that had triggering endings that could be disturbing to certain audiences; which they made sure to show the disclaimer every time I restarted.
In these types of mysteries I feel as if the suspect is who you least expect it to be. On one hand, I appreciate the suspect not being the most expected person either, but there was potential to enhance the perpetrator’s reasoning. There was one character (will not name for spoilers) who had dangerous people wanting to find them. That could’ve been a compelling reason for them to poison Uncle Marcus, but instead it was a dead end and had nothing to do with the main story.
Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus kept my attention all the way through with its thought-provoking plot. Make sure to play every round possible to get all of the dialogue! I plan on playing a few more times to see if I missed any other endings.