If you want an adventure within a beautiful but harsh snow-covered landscape, to search for your future by going through a ritual of wandering alone in a cold night on an empty stomach until you reach a cemetery, discover spirits, trying to understand the signs along the way… Year Walk is the way to go.
Year Walk is based on Swedish folklore about Årsgång. You, being an unnamed protagonist, will visit your lover, Stina, who hints she was proposed by someone else, will show her concern for you on your planned Year Walk. She is worried because her cousin died from the said activity. Obviously, you wouldn’t take heed and will head back home to take some rest. When night falls, it will be time for you to ‘walk’.
Through the winter night, you will solve puzzles to gain insight into the future. You will be in contact with your lover and interact with a number of bizzare, supernatural creatures, strange symbols, and scary nightmares.
Graphics and Audio:
Year Walk uses smooth, clean, stylized vector graphics, using light shades to depict the wintry wonderland of yet unnamed terrors and hallucinations. Graphics seem to come out of a children pop-up storybook but with a spec of hidden creepy visuals and audios that can jolt your gadget out of your hands.
Thus, it is highly recommended that you play Year Walk on a flat, smooth (if possible, soft) surface. We would not want your gadget to fall into smitherins because a spirit suddenly turned into a Japanese-movie horror nightmare. The scary graphics can be tolerated but the audios will drive ‘horrorville’ right smack into your brain. Creepy chimes, subtle harmonies, scratchy music, etc. Simple sounds like your footsteps and howling wind add into your engagement into the game. You feel the cold, the wind, everything.
It is highly recommended to have your volume all the way up. Better, play with earphones on and lights out. Let’s see what happens to you *wink wink*
Going through the forest can be frustrating since everything looks alike (problem with us city folks). Yes, you will get lost. Your sense of direction will elude you. Fortunately, random items are placed as landmarks, faded edge screen obstructions and arrows appear to guide you through your winter journey. Figuring that early on in the game will make your life easier.
Also, this isn’t the usual swipe and touch game. At times you may need to tilt, continuously hold and drag the screen, rotate your gadget, etc. Frustration might be the key to solve the puzzles because hardly you’ll try anything new until you are at your wit’s end. There are very few precious hints hidden you may notice them at all.
Year Walk comes with a free companion app, like a short journal providing further information about the ritual, spirits and places involved and provides a clue to unlock to an additional cut scene you wouldn’t expect from the protagonist.
Bottomline, Year Walk is very much worth its cost. This is one of the best puzzle games there is. Its story of personal discovery and mystical experience are so engaging you would want to experience the real thing. Things do gradually get surreal and frightening, but you will trudge on into the game because the sense of achievement is unparalleled.