Storyteller: Game Review

Storyteller Game Review

The history of the creation of Storyteller stretches back to the decade before last. Argentine lone developer Daniel Benmergui took over the project as early as 2009, and in 2012 received an award for innovation at a major indie event, the Independent Games Festival. However, something went wrong, due to problems in his personal life, plans changed, so in 2015 Benmergui was forced to abandon development. Over time, he returned to it – almost two years ago he released a demo version, and now a full one, published with the support of Annapurna Interactive. When you look at the game, knowing its background, you don’t quite understand what exactly all these years have been spent on.

Filling in the gaps

In Storyteller, we become a writer – we get a book with blank pages and create stories. Not anyhow, but corresponding to the descriptions. There are 13 chapters in total, each of which has three or four scenes, and all pages are divided into several cells. Our task is to arrange locations and characters in such a way that a given scenario is formed from a couple of pictures. Then you can move on to the next test.

You may also be interested in reading about Wildfrost!

For example, in the plot “Isabelle is getting married again” we are given not only Isabelle, but also two more heroes. Obviously, she must first part with someone, and then, in the last frame, play a new wedding. There are four locations, including rooms with poison and wine – apparently, the fate of the spouse is unenviable. The stories here are gloomy – a lot of murders and betrayals, and closer to the final almost incest appears.

Storyteller ghost of a lover
It is not always immediately clear what certain scenes and locations are for (for example, “wine”), but by trial and error you find answers.

The main problem of Storyteller is encountered at the beginning – three or four trials in one chapter are very few. The first two are usually warm-up puzzles designed to either explain the mechanics or introduce the characters, so you crack them like nuts. And the following situations are not much more difficult – moreover, over time they begin to look a lot like each other. When you once again see in the condition that the butler killed someone, you arrange the first frames in the same way as in previous riddles with his participation.

The dominance of scenes with the same characters makes the puzzles too easy. The queen always rules the country, the baron always wants to take her place, the knight is always ready to save the queen – when you read the conditions, you immediately place about half of the frames in your mind, it remains only to fill in the gaps. From time to time, Storyteller offers several solutions to one riddle – when you pass the test for the first time, another one appears under the initially set condition. For example, you poisoned someone, and you are offered to complete the same puzzle without killing. But there are very few such moments – in some chapters they do not exist at all.

Storyteller choices

Emptiness in Storyteller

Such bonus puzzles could increase the modest duration of the game – it takes just over an hour to complete everything that is available here. And then there is a feeling that the developer was squeezing the last riddles out of himself – they look so strange. In the 12th chapter, family showdowns begin: in the first frames, you need to put two characters opposite each other so that one tells the other that he is his father or mother. If before that comics even looked a little like fairy tales with illustrations, then this is completely nonsense. And the author quickly abandons some interesting ideas – for example, episodes with vampires and werewolves once, twice, and miscalculated.

The idea itself is not bad and original, and you can squeeze a lot of interesting things out of it. I was immediately reminded of the delightful Gorogoa – it could also be blamed for its short duration, but there were so many brilliant ideas associated with dragging frames that it was impatient to see the next puzzle. Or Unpacking, where you seem to be doing the same thing, but in what a wonderful way it tells the story in parallel (by the way, you can read about it here!). In Storyteller, the main mechanics do not develop in any way – that at the first level you move the characters to the cells, which is at the last. And there is no story here – the game simply ends at the final puzzle.

Storyteller gameplay
There can be either three or eight cells, but not all of them are always needed. But among the characters and locations there is no one and nothing superfluous.

Praise the game is for the design. A beautiful book with charming illustrations, pleasant sounds when dragging locations and people, classical music in the background – everything is done perfectly. The version for Nintendo Switch supports click control – and you can turn pages in this way and interact with objects. But even the visual style becomes boring over time due to the lack of unusual situations and characters.


Often, games published by Annapurna Interactive are recommended to everyone. But there are also misses like Maquette and – as it turned out – Storyteller. You can’t call her completely bad, but she definitely became a disappointment for me. It’s not so much the short duration, but the excessive simplicity of the gameplay mechanics. Do not believe the description on Steam, which promises the opportunity to “invent your own stories” – you can’t come up with anything of your own here, and among the stories that are, not all of them are interesting.

Pros: original idea; nice visual style; the Switch version supports tap controls, which is great for this kind of game.

Cons: all content can be viewed in more than an hour, and there are very few bonus tests; the core mechanics are not being developed; some of the stories are similar to each other, and some of the characters and locations are used only a couple of times.

Questions about this game:

When is Storyteller release date?

Storyteller release date – Mar 23, 2023.

Who is the developer Storyteller?

Storyteller is developed by Annapurna Interactive.