YearWalkFeatured

Indie Corner: Year Walk

A Year Walk, or “Årsgång is a mysterious ritual found in the Swedish folklore. During a Year Walk, somebody takes a walk in the forest to find out more about his future. It’s believed that this works best during certain night and under certain circumstances. The person willing to do a Year Walk can’t eat, sleep or drink during the day, to enforce the visions of the Year Walk during the night. Year Walking isn’t always a good idea however since the future might not be what you wanted it to be.

Unique plot

Simogo first created the game for mobile devices and PC but brings their definitive edition to Wii U. The Year Walk forms the heart of the game. You play as Daniel Svensson who fell in love with a woman named Stina. The problem however is that Stina is already promised to another man. Daniel decides to go on a Year Walk in order to see what the future holds for the two lovers. Stina thinks it’s a dangerous mission since a Year Walk is often filled with hideous and dangerous creatures. This little plot forms the story and finding out the future is your goals. Thanks to the Swedish mythology it offers a different experiences and a very unique plot. This isn’t a story we’ve heard before. Year Walk is without a doubt one of the most unique indie games that released on Wii U the last months.

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Great style 

Besides the interesting and unique plot, Year Walk really takes things in another direction with a great artstyle. In fact, the game plays like a first person 2D game, sounds strange but works incredibly well. The players will scroll trough environments from side to side and will be able to ‘jump’ to the next platform by going north. It’s an interesting concept and something we haven’t seen before. Playing a 2D side-scroller in first person sounds weird but is actually the best way for Year Walk. The game is created by independent developers so they had to find a way to make an interesting universe with the tools they have. By giving Year Walk such a unique perspective, the players never know what’s behind a corner on your path north or south. It really adds a lot to the horror element of the game.

Be afraid

Year Walk is said to be a horror game, a genre that’s hard to find on Wii U, but can it really be considered a horror game? Well, it’s certainly not a horror game like ZombiU, the tension comes from the unexpected and the unknown creators. You’re not facing zombies or other familiar monsters; you’re facing creatures of the Swedish folklore. This means you never know what to expect on how to survive those enemies. Lucky for you, the creators added a useful encyclopaedia with all background you need to know about the monster. Checking this book from time to time is crucial to survive since it features a lot of hints on how to survive. The inclusion of the book works great on Wii U thanks to the fluent touch controls.

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Aside of the monster, the game gets scary thanks to the dramatic music and mysterious graphics. The developers managed to create a thrilling experience thanks to the visuals and audio but don’t expect to have nightmares thanks to the game.

Time to solve some puzzles 

The main gameplay element of Year Walk isn’t the horror experience but the puzzle solving. During your quest to find out your future, you’ll pass certain interesting object that can give you hints to progress. Most puzzles consist out of moving and replacing objects with the gyroscope of the GamePad but it works very satisfying. By moving your GamePad you can move objects the way you like. With the shoulder buttons you can then ‘grab’ them to really start the interaction. It’s a great use of the GamePad and although it doesn’t work all of the time, it’s great to see some developers really trying the figure out the benefits of the GamePad.
There’s even more than just this. The GamePad is also used as a map and a way to take notes. These notes are very crucial to solve certain puzzles. It reminded us on how Zelda handled the puzzles on the original DS and that’s one big compliment towards the developers. The GamePad really are extra fun thanks to the inclusion of the GamePad and we see why this is the definitive version of the game.

YearWalkVerdict
The good: The bad:
+ Unique story – Gyroscope controls don’t always work
+ Great visuals – It’s not that scary
+ Interesting gameplay

We can conclude by saying that Year Walk is a very unique game with an interesting plot and great gameplay mechanics. It’s not the most scary game you’ll play this year but by far one of the more original games. You can play it on many platforms nowadays but this Wii U version certainly feels as the Definitive version. Wii U owners, it’s time to try something new!

Score 4 out of 5:

4sterren

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.