Simogo – Wii U eShop
Year Walk is an unusual and unsettling glimpse into a seldom mentioned part of Swedish folklore, featuring some very creepy beasts and stories. A Year Walk is an old rite of passage in which someone takes in order to see what lies for them in future. The story sees the journey of Daniel, taking a Year Walk to find out whether the girl whom he is in love with will still be with him. The most sweet and sincerest of motives soon takes a sinister turn, as Daniel soon encounters spirits whose existence all revolve around the one inevitability in life, death. The game is played out in a first person/side scrolling format, in which you explore snow covered, almost monochromatic rural landscapes, in search of what the future may bring.
The gameplay is quite straight forward, although at first took some getting used to. Although it’s presented in the first person, there’s no 3D environment, rather it’s a scrolling environment. The player moves from each screen either left to right, with certain areas allowing you to move forward or back, sending you to the next section of the map. These areas are usually a slightly wooded area, blanketed in snow with a small landmark to differentiate each section, as well as a clue to progress further through the game. It has a nice, hand drawn look to it, which adds to the feeling that you’re playing through a historic tome. The gamepad serves as a trusty companion in this adventure. It gives you access to a map, encyclopedia of the Year Walk lore, and also a notepad, which allows you to jot down any clues you come across. The encyclopedia and the notepad are really useful in getting through the game, as the encyclopedia fills you in on what the Year Walk is, and what beasts and other mythical creatures you can expect to encounter, and also gives you an insight in to their origin. This really adds to the depth and horror of the mythology.
Year Walk, while not a scary game, has an extremely unsettling atmosphere and sombre themes. It’s a thoroughly captivating experience, although a little on the short side. Once you finish the game, which doesn’t take that long, there is cause to play again, although once you’ve cracked the clues and you know what order everything is done, it becomes a lot easier and you can whizz through in no time. There’s an excellent mythology here that deserves to be expanded upon, and hopefully this isn’t the last we see from Simogo on the subject. A real short, bitter-sweet and surreal experience, that should be an essential addition to anyone’s collection.