Fire: Ungh’s Quest (Switch, PC)

Ungh is a caveman who is in charge of guarding the fire for his village.  When he falls asleep and lets it burn out, the village elder kicks him out and now Ungh must find more fire.  Shortly after, he comes across a magical tree with seeds that can teleport him all over the Stone Age, but they scatter so now Ungh must search for those seeds and ultimately, a new fire.  Fire: Ungh’s Quest is a really odd, wordless animated point and click adventure style game.  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Each level in the game is three screens long.  Travel to each screen by tapping arrows on the bottom.  Each screen has clickable items you can interact with.  You can tell what you can click on by pressing a button.  Sometimes Ungh can pick up an item, but he can only hold one thing at a time so he’ll put down one to pick up another.  You’ll interact with objects and use items in this fashion until you can reach the teleporting seed in each level.  Once you do you’ll move onto the next.  There are no words in this game, so you’ll have to rely on Ungh’s animations to know if you did something right.  For instance, if he doesn’t know what to do with what you clicked on, his head will flip open like a lid and a sign with a question mark will come out.  Hidden in each area are coins. Collect enough and you can unlock goodies like concept art and whatnot.

There are two ways to control the game, depending on how you play the Switch.  And both ways are somewhat unconventional.  If you are playing in handheld mode, you’ll use the touch screen.  But if you are connected to the TV, you’ll move the cursor around with the JoyCon’s motion controls!  Both ways work fine, I’m just surprised they didn’t let you use the joystick to move the cursor.

Really the only problem I had with this game is that since there are no words, it can be hard to know what you need to do.  Especially since oftentimes, the solutions make no sense.  For instance, to go inside a triceratop’s mouth, you must pull a cord that opens it’s frill like a curtain.  Then you can tap the brain on the inside to control some of its bodily functions, including opening the mouth so you can walk in.  And that’s one of the more grounded solutions!  That poor dinosaur!  I oftentimes had to use a video guide to get as far as I did.  I did like the animated cartoon graphics and guitar music, though.

Kid Factor:

Fire: Ungh’s Quest is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Crude Humor.  I actually noticed more violence than crude humor, though.  Granted, it’s all Looney Tunes Road Runner style violence.  For instance, in one level, a shaman performs a rain dance and a cloud strikes him with lightning, turning him into a pile of ashes with a pair of blinking eyes on top.  This allows you to take his staff so you can perform rain dances elsewhere.  Reading skill isn’t needed since there are no words in this game, but younger gamers still may get frustrated at the obtuse puzzles.

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