Seventeen Uncles: A Pug's Life Kickstarter & Steam Greenlight Campaign

New one-man games Studio Seventeen Uncles brings new life to the point-and-click adventure genre with its odd and uniquely fun mix of adorableness, humour and horror. Welcome to 'Seventeen Uncles: A Pug's Life'!

The real-life dog that is the inspiration for our tail ("geddit?"), posing with
plushie versions of The Seventeen Uncles made for Kickstarter Backers.
As the title suggests, this game's main protagonist is a “pug”, which is a small and cute breed of dog with an unusual face shape and a curled tail, from China. The Pug, by the name of Kirk (is he “boldly going where no [pug] has gone before”? What a great name choice!), makes a deal with the devil to save the life of his beautiful wife Dilys. He must adventure through amazing and strange locations and meet with peculiar characters to win back her soul.

It reminds me of Dante Alighieri's Devine Comedy: Inferno*. But with pugs. And actual comedy.

A taxi-driving dung beetle. Why? Because fun!
I am a big fan of the point-and-click genre, and there are not enough of those around today, even in the indie games circuit. I love the simplicity of only having to use one button, and that is to “click” to interact and move around the environment.

What is interesting with A Pug's Life, however, is that the developers have also made use of the right-click button, allowing the player to select a cursor “mode” of interaction – looking, talking, walking or using – for the left-click. It is a small change, but a very innovative one, and it really works well in the game's favour. Inventory is also easily accessible with a simple movement of the mouse to the top of the screen.

An example of the brilliant humour in the game.
Where this game really shines, though, is with its voice acting and its script. The dialogue is witty, the world is addictively peculiar and the characters are brilliant in their randomness! Be prepared to experience a tattoo parlour run by a giant octopus, occult armadillos and a taxi driving dung beetle, to name but-a-few.

In fact, the point-and-click nature of this game, mixed with its odd world and its fun characters and dialogue remind me very much of Tim Schafer's early games or of the hugely popular Monkey Island series, and this is definitely something the developers should be proud of, because those games are epic and timeless.

The game's creator (a one-man-game-making-army by the name of Jonathan Cheetham!) states that the game will be fun, family friendly but without being too childish, and my personal favourite is the promise that the game will not be too cryptic or frustrating, but instead will provide the use of a Miss Tick the mystic ("geddit?") who will provide you with small hints, or the outright solution to a puzzle, if you so choose. So, the game can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be!

The current demo is very playable and you can get it without spending a penny, from the website. If you are too lazy to play it but want to see what it is all about, YouTube user SeaPeeKay has done a Let'sPlay.

A YouTube user has done a Let's Play video, and it is brilliant.
You can also download the demo, to experience it for yourself.

If you are happy with what you see – as I have no doubt that you will be – do please then head over to the Steam Greenlight page on the Steam Community to give the game your “thumbs up” approval, and of course if you have money to spare, choose from the variety of Reward Tiers available to you as a Pledger on KickStarter with thanks for your dedication including a copy of the game, artwork, in-game creative contribution by you, and - my personal favourite - hand-made crochet pug plushies. Oh, and everyone gets their name in the Credits!

Money raised from the KickStarter Campaign will be used to improve the quality of the game with the use of better hardware and software. Ryan Smith, the composer of the music for the game, will also be compensated for his hard work (that he is currently doing for free).

Backers of the KickStarter Campaign have the opportunity to name one of
the books on these shelves. Sarcasm/cleverness powers: ACTIVATE!
I am really looking forward to seeing this game reach its true potential, and if this is only their first game, I see a bright future for this new talent.

They are one-third the way to their goal which is great progress indeed but they still need another £2,000 within the next two weeks, so do please contribute, and if you cannot, do your part by sharing it with all your friends.

The trailer. Be prepared for humour and adorableness.

Best of luck to that adorable pug and his creators, from all of us here at Indie Retro News.

You can follow Seventeen Uncles on Tumblr, Twitter and IndieDB.

*explored in the modern 18-rated game Dante's Inferno.

Article credit: Illisia Adams.

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