Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Year Walk

I know Simogo from two previous games, both of which I love. First there's Bumpy Road, which I love for the adorable visuals, innovative gameplay, and wonderful music. Next there's Beat Sneak Bandit, which I love for the adorable visuals, innovative gameplay, and wonderful music. Notice a pattern? Well now they've released their fourth game (I never played their first), Year Walk. And aside from the fantastic visuals, gameplay, and music, it's nothing like any Simogo game I've played. It's not like any game from anything I've played.

First of all, it's based on Swedish mythology. Off the top of my head, I don't know many games that are based off of Swedish mythology, so there's a plus. The vintage feel of the wintry landscapes, plus quiet singing in the background, give the game a peaceful and pleasant feel. It's almost eerie, as it gives a vibe of calming loneliness. I jump a little every time I do come in contact with another person as I forget there are other people in this world. It's a little hard to explain.
I don't want to say anything about what you encounter, as the surprise and curiosity is what drives the game. The controls are vaguely Myst-esque, as you move through different screens and interact with puzzles, many containing symbols that it would be wise to write down. I haven't finished the game yet, so I don't know if its length justifies the $4 price tag, but Simogo have released a free "Year Walk Companion" app, so I will assume it's a hefty journey. In short, it is too unique of an experience to turn down, and the originality and quality-over-quantity attitude that Simogo has displayed makes them one of my favorite iOS developers out there.

UPDATE: I'm not ashamed to admit that I am scared easily. This game gets scary, in the most artistic way possible. The Companion app goes into detail about the folklore that is incorporated into the game, which gives you a better understanding as to what the hell is going on. But be warned: even though the beginning is calm and eerily peaceful, past a certain point it becomes a nightmare.

Find it on iTunes

Developer: Simogo Handelsbolag 

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