Laceya Finley from the Super Mega Crash Bros Podcast is back with another FMV. Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus is a comedic murder mystery that's out now!
Title: Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus
Release Date: March 18, 2022
Suggested Audience Age: Rated M for Mature by the ESRB
Time to Play: About an hour per run
Availability: Steam, Switch, Xbox, iOS, Android
Recommended for fans of: FMVs, FaceTime, and Murder Mysteries
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media are at it again for another interactive movie, with a twist! This installment of the FMV franchise is a murder mystery investigative comedy. Put on your thinking caps, get out your notepad, and press play on Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus.
It's time to solve a murder.
A Familial Murder
You play as Abby, whose choices you will be deciding in the game. We start with Abby gathering the courage to tell her mother she will not be attending her family's annual virtual trivia night when she's interrupted by a video call from her Uncle Marcus. After the pleasantries of greeting each other are over, Marcus goes on to inform Abby of the real reason for his call. He needs you to investigate a murder. HIS murder.
He's been poisoned!
He's already worked through the timeline of events to determine that he was poisoned at the family meeting that occurred only a few days prior. He comes to Abby, as she is the only family member he can trust. He tells you what his doctor needs: figure out what he is poisoned with to give him the proper anti-dote and save his life.
Why can't the doctor just treat him? Well, you see he lived life pretty hard in the 80s and… well… just allow the scenario to happen okay? He only has a few hours left and he needs your help! Find the poison. Locate the cure. Uncover the proof.
Now Abby has to attend virtual trivia to save her Uncle. We're off to solve a murder!
Meet the Family
The characters in this one really stand out. Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus is full of eccentric, spoiled, self-centered, large personalities. You get to know (and interrogate!) the family in whatever order you want. The Matriarch of the family, Nan, is a very sweet and lovely Grandmother. Then there's Mum (aka Flick), the birthday woman herself who is severely lacking in maternal instincts. Lottie is Abby's self-absorbed influencer sister. Aunty June is your outspoken, alcoholic aunt, and Flick's sister. Finally, there's June's offspring: Toby and Bradley. Toby is all about the greater good thanks to high emotional intelligence. Bradley is a dark, depressed teen, who is obsessed with high-profile serial killers and collecting their paraphernalia.
This is NOT a subtle cast. Let's play!
Making the Rounds
The game is played through rounds of trivia in teams of two. Your partner alternates in between rounds, giving Abby the opportunity to chat with each of them one-on-one to try and figure out what happened at this family meeting that Abby did not attend.
Gameplay is like any other in this genre. As conversations unfold, you choose between two or three responses to move the story forward. You have a limited amount of time to choose your answer before it is chosen for you. To avoid that pressure, you can select the streamer mode in the main menu to turn the timer off.
Paying attention to each character's idiosyncrasies will help you here in choosing the right option to get the most evidence from each conversation. Maybe your partner wants to win trivia? Maybe another member would prefer flattery? If you uncover useful evidence during a conversation a notification in the lower right-hand corner of the screen appears, giving you a button prompt to look at it more closely. You can also see what is unlocked from the main menu and even click on the evidence to replay the video where you learned the information.
You are reminded how well Marcus is still fairing by a health bar that occassionally shows up in the upper left corner.
Putting it All Together
The order in which you pair off with the family during rounds of trivia helps tell the story in a unique way. At the start of each round, you choose from three family members to team up with. Who gives the questions are in the same order each play, but you will get new information by pairing with someone different. Even the questions change depending on your partner. This makes for plenty of replayability, by giving you ways to gather new evidence. This helps repeat playthroughs not go stale.
In fact, I think it really needs more than one play to actually get to the truth. In my case? Several.
Once the trivia night nears the end, it's time to make an accusation. Who you can accuse will be determined by whether you found enough information to make that conclusion. Not everyone will be available to accuse instantly.
With that said, you don't lose collected evidence between plays. You can start a new game to investigate and still keep what you learned prior. If you do wish to delete your progress and start fresh, the option is available to you in the settings menu.
At the end of each round, you will get a report on how much you unlocked during that section. You collect 2-3 new pieces of evidence per chat if you play your cards right. This is where learning each individual can be helpful since they may not be as forthcoming if you are not playing into their personality. Trust me, there's fun in not playing into it as well.
You may want to focus on winning trivia instead of playing for evidence. You can focus on actually helping your Uncle or… just let him die. The choice is yours!
My first run was about 55 minutes, but I did pretty poorly. I managed to accuse everyone incorrectly before getting to the right answer. In hindsight, it was fun to see it play out the way it did. The fact that you feel like anyone could be the killer is a testament to the writing and acting.
A couple of the endings can get pretty dark, be advised.
I can confirm trying for all endings is a fun time. You can skip previously viewed scenes in this one as well, although it didn't work 100% of the time for me. Maybe it's tied to the order you have done it in and not the video itself?
The verdict? I really liked Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus. The cast was just lovely in their performances. I ended up hating most of the family, so well done actors! The music added just enough ambiance where it was needed to prop up discovery or failure and didn't draw attention away.
I do have one complaint. The end game achievements pop too early. It can immediately spoil what ending you earned if you read the achievement before the video starts to play. May I suggest retiming those to be at the end of the new video before the end credits? Otherwise, you may want to turn them off during your play. It was a bummer for me personally to see what ending I was going to get before I saw the ending video.
This was a fun time. It was just enough different in how it told the story to keep you replaying, superbly acted, and a ridiculous situational story that warms my 90's FMV heart.
Laceya Finley is known for being a loud, boisterous individual with an unhealthy love for Bruce Campbell. Been a gamer since (wouldn’t you like to know), background in theatre and film, and currently the co-host for gaming podcast Super Mega Crash Brothers Turbo.