released on Aug 31, 2023


released on Aug 31, 2023

"Between somewhere and someone." U-chronia is a mysterious world constantly changing like a book whose pages are flipped out of order. You will wear the shoes of OU, the protagonist, to live through this game-shaped experience—without knowing what it really is.

Released on


More Info on IGDB

Reviews View More

Played the new Zarry epilogue that was added since my first playthrough. Short but sweet. The only game with a dedicated "set tail on fire" button.

This is pretty for sure! The hand-drawn art style is the best thing it's got going. The plot is a bit... less than that. It has some mildly interesting things to say about the relationship between fiction and its reader, but it's not quite deep. And the actual play is such a SLOG, moving slowly and constantly waiting for loading screens just to go through the same pages over and over, run after run, before you finally see the true ending. It clearly wants to be contemplative, but for me that was drowned out by the sheer repetition. I found this game more exhausting than interesting.

not bad, but not very good either. as i'm sure anyone drawn to the game thinks it is very pretty, especially when it comes to the backgrounds. the inky hand drawn aesthetic looks lovely and honestly makes up for a lot of the game's shortcomings. makes me hope and wish that whoever drew them also does work on actual children's books.

when it comes to the writing (i.e. the bulk of the game), i do find a fair few of the endgame narrative concepts to be interesting for sure. while a lot of the pseudo-intellectualisms are a bit silly there are a number of them late into the game that do feel more thought-out and interesting than the rest. some even caught me off guard in terms of relatability.

one could call it throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, but i do think there's a level of intent here that's clear enough to see. it's just muddied by how relatively low in, uh, game there is. as a walking sim ou has to hold itself up entirely with the writing and presentation, and while the latter is mostly good save for the somewhat lazy sprites, the former's absolutely a mixed bag with some more misses than hits.

i don't really regret playing through this, especially for how emotionally compelling the endgame is (unfortunately at the cost of everything up till then having almost no punch). it just feels like it could have used a lot more time in the oven to flesh itself out and be polished. from what i could tell this game took a really long time to make, though, so i do get why they just sorta put it out when they could. at the very least it is quite thought provoking even if nowhere near what the writer was hoping for.

Gentle, beautiful, poetic. This is a game to take slow and savour; it's not the kind of game to rush. I like enjoying this kind of scenery, I like imagining these sorts of spaces.

The use of "apply sticky notes to things you want to remember" as core game mechanic is inspired, especially in this kind of storybook thing.

I’m sure you found your way to this game on www.backloggd.com, just like I did, due to LordDarias’s review. Of course you did, it’s the only other one on here so far. After reading it for myself it became irresistible for me to try out, but a cursory look at the switch store indicated that this game was $20. Fortunate for me, I have a very large and wrinkly brain, so rather than pony up that Andrew Jackson I found a YouTube playthrough charging a significantly less amount (not, of course, to suggest that Darias’s brain is small or smooth. He showed it to me once, it was wonderful). His main complaint, having purchased and played Ou for himself, was that the gameplay was repetitive and the requirement to play the game more than once for a proper ending tedious. That was never my problem, having watched a stream instead, but what if I told you that in spite of that even I did not enjoy the game?

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way, it looks and sounds great. There is a nice “scary children’s book” aesthetic and you could do a lot worse than minimize the window of a let’s play video and just listen to the nice guitar music. It’s good!

Unfortunately, there is not just that aesthetic and music in Ou, there is also writing to be had, and it mostly sucks. A lot of it has very little to do with the story and is instead one of my pet peeves: statements of fake profundity, “kinda makes you think” writing. One of the first things you see in the game is an old tree, and the Virgil-figure opossum who leads you through the magical world says something like “you want to know what the tree is like, but did you ever consider if the tree wants to know about you?” Every other line is like that. “Snow can melt, and then it leads to tears.” “How do you bring someone and something together? With a bridge, of course, that’s what they’re for.” I’m reminded of the movie Nymphomaniac, where after the main character goes into detail of her depraved life of sexuality and violence the old man she’s with says precious shit to her like “do you ever think about which hand you trim the nails first?” “Have you ever eaten a rugelach with a fork?” At best, it shows an author not sure you’re going to get the profundity they’re going for without them telling you, and it worst, it’s often just not done in the middle.

For example, one of the major motifs is pools of water. You gotta jump into water to get to the next level. It doesn’t need to be explained, or there could be a cool in-game lore reason for it. But instead, the possum turns to you and says “did you ever wonder why it works that way? Jumping into water is the perfect transition to the next scene. Think about it, you jump in, next scene. Happens all the time.” And I’m like… it does? The possum has a tail that lights on fire, and he loses the fire every time he jumps in, only for it to dry off a few moments later. Okay, but why? There’s no gameplay incident where you need his tail on fire, despite a few dark levels where he tells you he needs it even though the environment is clearly visible to the player. Something is presented as symbolically important, then dropped, and I get frustrated that I care more about it than the game ever does.

Which brings me to my favorite example, and one that directly pertains to the repeat walkthroughs. Your character is barefoot to start, and when you complete a playthrough, you win a shoe. When you receive two shoes, it’s time for the game to end. So it’s not “try again, dummy,” it’s “now you know you got something to do, get to it,” and there is a difference (on a side note, one of my favorite games I played last year was Astro Boy: Omega Factor, which has a similar repeat-playthrough mechanism that works very well, so I’m not automatically opposed to it). It might have been smart on the game's part to have OU wearing each shoe he finds as the game progresses, a little visual reminder of your own progress, becoming fully shod of course by the end. Except he never does. So what does being barefoot mean symbologically, and what does having shoes mean, symbolistically speaking? The game doesn’t care to answer those questions. Well, it sort of does, except it’s very stupid. Being barefoot, I guess, means the character has to stay in the magic world cause he has shit to do, and the shoes means he’s ready to walk away. But does he put them on? No, because… ah, because the shoes are actually books.

And I quote: “Did you notice? There’s a spot on the shelf big enough to fit two books. And you have a pair of shoes with you. Do you know what that means, OU? Shoes are a tool to go back to the place you call home. And those shoes want to go back to the bookshelf.”


What on earth are you talking about? On what planet do shoes go on the bookshelf? And then the shoes turn into books on the shelf, which turn into puddles of water to jump in to reach the last world to get your ending info dump. So many story beats and potential symbols are like this, just either not used well or straight up incoherent, so many strange conclusions that just do not follow from underdeveloped premises.

And guess what? The ending is a letdown too. As far as I can understand it, because to be very honest I’m still not sure I do: someone somewhere is reading a story about a boy who is mourning their sister, and the magic world is some anonymous reader’s impression of that story, and OU is, I think, that reader’s self-insert as him imagining himself as that protagonist, who is yet interacting in the world and reincarnating in it due to a desire to be independent of the world and having a story of their own. Kind of neat, I guess. I just wish the narrative reflected that in any way at all! OU is a silent protagonist, he has nothing to say, nothing to fight for, there is nothing to him. Except for one, maybe two moments (when possum accidentally calls him stupid and he does that like aw-shucks toe-pivot with hands-behind-back motion, and an admittedly very cute hug between OU and possum), he is a blank cipher meant to be given exposition to by possum. It was three hours long, my guys, how about one or two more to spare so you can maybe put in, you know, dialogue? Something that makes me give a shit about this kid? Honestly, the after-credits montage that reveals the erm, “real story,” of the boy and his sick sister, has more emotional teeth than anything in the three hour game that just passed by.

I’ve seen writing like this a million times back in college and I know exactly what it is: someone who wants to major in animation and create superficially pretty and quirky artwork so they can get an internship with Pixar. Someone who likes the idea of telling a story, and has admittedly interesting building blocks to do so, but never bothered to learn how. That the story is coherent, let alone deep or moving, is an afterthought. It’s infinitely more frustrating to experience something like this, something that could be great but the creator couldn’t be bothered to try, rather than something that just sucks outright. Well, I guess that’s one of the advantages of independent game developers, there’s no one to tell you eh, maybe you wanna workshop that a little bit more.

And this was $20 on the switch store!

Ive slowed down a bit on the amount of reviews I write because I feel like for most games I play I simply dont "have anything to say" about them. I think thats still the case for this game but I just kind of need to get it out of my system : fuck this game.

What an amazing first impression, the music, the artstyle and even the writing with its subtlety and charm. Unfortunately as you get through it all you'll start to realize how boring most of the game is, mainly through repetition. Its kind of impressive how much a mere 3 hour (at least thats what my 2 runs ended up clocking at) game can outstay its welcome in this manner. The very backgrounds that were once gorgeous to look at become a reminder of the annoyance of having to see it again. You basically go through every single location twice, in a game which demands multiple runs of you!

I get the feeling that at some point someone is going to beat this game and tell me that "oh, that was the point" somehow, as usually happens on the internet whenever I dislike a particular design decision, but honestly I dont see it. I fail to see how the repetition adds to anything, it isnt moody or atmospheric, it doesnt reinforce any point about the themes of the game (unless being bored out of my mind has anything to do with entropy, stories or colonialism) and even if it did would not be worth doing anyways.

The puzzles are lame but honestly I didnt even mind that all that much. More than anything I think Ive started to despise the "syke, you got the bad ending! try again to get the good one" structure that historically a lot of videogames have adopted, doubly so in a game which is again, repetitive and boring. I am admittedly unhinged and I did think for a joke about copy pasting each paragraph of this review 3 or 4 times to make reading it a chore in a parallel to the game but even I'M not pretentious enough for that.

At the end of the day, I ran through the game once, got a bad ending, got told to find something, did another run, this time doing different things and seemingly being pushed in a different direction, but again a different bad ending. Now, am I going to run through again to get the good ending? No, get fucked, the game already lost me after the first run, a third run would count as self flagellation. Its my own damn fault for playing an adventure game on launch, always play this shit a few months down the line when you can look up the true ending path and not have more of your limited time on this planet wasted.

Edit : half a star for the "flora de las islas canarias" tome in the background of one of the locations

Edit 2: Okay, someone posted a walkthrough of the game and now I can say for sure I didnt miss much by bailing on this game. As it turns out the "runs" are entirely artificial, they all go the same, you do 1st run, then 2nd then you get the true ending on the 3rd. The ending sort of contextualizes why and its not the worst thing Ive seen, but the writing in general smacks of (to quote fellow Backloggd user Gare) "this is my project in submitting because I want an internship at Pixar but I never learned how to tell a story" though I guess that should be toei and not pixar cause its a japanese game. The runs are KINDA justified in conveying the themes of the story but that still doesnt make the game any less dull or repetitive so whatever, I stand by my original review