But for every handful of money-grabbing crud, there seems to be a shining diamond in the rough. Last week I adored Fetch, and this week I’ve had the pleasure of playing through Year Walk, one of the creepiest and certainly most original games I’ve encountered all year.
A “year walk” is an old Swedish phenomenon whereby men would deprive themselves of light, food and contact before setting off into the woods at midnight in an attempt to see the future.
In Simogo’s Year Walk, our protagonist is out to discover if his loved one will love him back.
Year walkers reported all sorts of strange sights and sounds, and Year Walk the game does a grand job of recreating strange.
Without going into too much detail, Year Walk encompasses five creatures from Swedish folklore, and they are truly weird-ass. Horse in a suit? You got it. And that’s not even the weirdest part of that particular puzzle.
Yeah, so, Year Walk is essentially a first-person touchscreen puzzle game, taking place in a creepy forest that’s mostly open to explore right off the bat.
Each playing area is comprised of a landscape running from left to right, and at various points you’ll find arrows pointing up or down, inviting you to move to a different area.
To get the most out of Year Walk, I highly recommend playing with headphones. It’s incredibly atmospheric (I particularly liked the sound effect of trudging through the snow), and I guarantee you’ll jump at least a couple of times.
It’s also worth checking out the free Year Walk Companion app (the main game is £2.49, incidentally) in order to get the true ending. It also contains a ton of interesting stuff about the folklore behind the game.
All in all, Year Walk is absolutely fantastic stuff. It’s original, immersive, scary, gripping… and no list of adjectives can do it justice, I fear.
One minor gripe is that some of Year Walk’s puzzles are a tad obtuse. I surprised myself by getting through to the end without using a FAQ, but it’s highly satisfying figuring things out.
Otherwise, I have nowt bad to say about Year Walk. Oh, though it is quite short, but with the companion app you’re looking at circa five unforgettable hours.
- The style
- The atmosphere
- The companion stuff
- Some of the puzzles are crazy difficult
- Fairly short
- Scary as heck
Price: £2.49 @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.