#1020 Year Walk

Posted: 8th February 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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401st played so farYear_Walk_iTunes_App_Store_IconGenre: Advenure/Puzzle
Platform: iPhone
Year of Release: 2013
Developer: Simogo
Publisher: Simogo

Some games are ones we want to play purely because of the image, which looked weird – some goat-like thing standing in a river.

By the way, this game, being the before-last game, will have the highest numbered game we’ll play until the end of the blog. Let’s get our one eligible 2013 game played.

Our Thoughts

I have to agree with the book write-up about this game. This is a game about exploration – not as much adventure, just some puzzle solving – finding your way through the world, going down new pathways and figuring out what you’re doing, and what’s going on.

This is mostly fairly straight forward – you have to be observant and spot the clues, listen to the right things occasionally (with the exception of one puzzle that without a musical ear – an ear I don’t have – is pretty difficult to solve). It will at times leave you hanging as it refuses to give any further hints, but that’s not too bad. The game needs some more touch screen skills to input the game sometimes, not explaining but relying on you understanding when to drag, swipe or turn. They’re not impossible, but while the input often added to the game, there were a few cases where it felt needly complex, especially when dragging from one area to another.

Even so, the story is compelling. The first playthrough won’t necessarily explain much, mostly implying what happened, with only a few lines of actual dialogue. When you finish the game, however, you get pointed to an extra feature in the companion app (normally an encyclopaedia giving further background details on several story elements), and a second part of the story unfolds as you go through it. The events of the game get explained and a second ending is made available in the main game. There’s more to the story than is needed, and while it’s never a happy ending, it feels a better one.

Year Walk relies heavily on atmosphere, which is close to that of a thriller or horror work. It was reminiscent, in a way, of The Blair Witch Project in feel. While there are some vaguely horrific sights, a few scares through sudden popups and some very uncomfortable scenes, nothing is really nightmare inducing, in part due to its general art style. Mostly the game makes you feel uncomfortable, slightly on edge as you go through the levels. Just as much, however, is mature, in a way that story telling in games rarely is.

Final Thoughts

Year Walk made me jump. It’s a fantastically dark adventure game in the same vein as The Path where atmosphere and exploration are the order of the day. The use of the accompanying companion app is a great idea which I am surprised other games have yet to use. You could probably fill in a decent book with great mobile games by now, this probably already exists I wager.