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Year Walk Review

By , on February 21, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 5 months ago


Year Walk
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5

PROS

  • Dense atmosphere of dread and fear enhanced by the almost fairy-tale like visuals and cold, wintery sound effects and aural themes.
  • Wonderful story pacing; starts off gently and whips the player to a fascinating frenzy for its disturbing crescendo and grim finale.

CONS

  • Some of the usual concerns with the Adventure genre - notably needing to experiment to discover the unique rules/concepts underpinning each challenge; not bad per-se, but it doesn't provide a clear path for casual players to follow.

VERDICT

While so many games on the App Store (including Simogo's earlier releases) are happy with bleeping and blooping in colorful ways to providing an addictive game space, Year Walk takes a darker road and only lingers long enough to provide a decent chill down your spine.


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Isolation, loneliness, darkness, despair, and fear - such are the emotions exploited by thrillers and horror based titles, and Year Walk by Simogo is no exception. However, instead of relying on cheap thrills and spills or obscene violence like a teen-slasher, this title gently pushes you in to a world dripping with macabre portents, leading you deeper and deeper in to its dark and disturbing story.

For a developer known for their upbeat titles, Year Walk makes for a surprising change of tone, though one still executed with the same competent visual flair and pitch-perfect audio design of its predecessors. Similarly, the controls are elegant in their design, allowing players to swipe and 'scroll' through parallaxed vistas, moving around a relatively small maze-like forest.

Your reason for trudging around such a spooky forest is fairly simple - the character you control has decided to undertake the 'Year Walk'; a ritual with pagan origins that place the person involved at mortal risk, but should they survive they'll be granted a vision of the future.

Although clocking in at around about an hour of gameplay, the game manages to tell a disturbing tale of a man who seeks true love by taking his own life in to his hands. Along the way you'll encounter mythical creatures and spirits who will test your powers of deduction with light puzzles. Solve them all and you'll encounter the Grim and his portents of the future.

It doesn't end there though - a companion App allows the player to dig deeper in to the mythos surrounding Year Walk, and for those who find the ending disturbing all I can say is there's a way to change it.

While Simogo's earlier work sought to entertain over an extended period, it was also far warmer and inviting, bringing you back time and time again. The chilling story behind Year Walk is one that only needs to be experienced once or twice, but doing so is satisfying in a way so few Arcade focused titles on the App Store manage.

If you don't mind a few jumps and are fascinated by folklore from off the beaten track, check out Year Walk.

Screenshots

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