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Nintendo nostalgia gets creepy in this text adventure

Everyone had that one friend during their childhood. That one special little guy or gal who had all the coolest toys and gadgets as soon as they came out. The one friend whom everyone would constantly bully into hosting sleepovers so you could play their Nintendo 64 or Sega Dreamcast.

Then finally one day they came into school boasting they had caught Mew in Pokemon Red, and jealousy reared its ugly head. Disbelieving, indignant, you confronted your friend. How do you get all these games? Where the hell did you get Mew? Why are you such a boastful jerk?

Our gifted friends always seemed to have the same person on their side: An uncle who worked at Nintendo.

As adults, we know now that our little friends were full of crap and lied to feel superior. Chances are, their parents were just more willing to shell out the cash for consoles, and the kids found some special cheats online in the early internet days that they were unwilling to share. But there was always that kid one step ahead of our gaming game, and all we wanted was more details on said Nintendo-employed uncle and how we could get on his good side.

Or maybe we were that friend. I hope you've grown out of that behavior.

Designer Michael Lutz — creator of Twine game My Father's Long, Long Legs — and illustrator Kim Parker have brought that lingering childhood jealousy and the intangible uncle to life in a free browser game. The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo capitalizes on that simmering feeling of desire — both for rare electronics and information on the man who gave them out — and turns it into a creepy text-based experience. If you play as a girl, there's also a brief foray into how young girls cope with being bullied for playing "a boy's hobby," which I found to be a nice touch.

After you've completed the game a few times (it only takes around 30 minutes to finish), go read writer Emily Short's analysis, which links The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo to current happenings within our community. And start working on your Halloween costume, because I'm betting after this one the Uncle Who Works for Nintendo may be a popular choice.

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