Year Walk

Do you dare look into the future?

Soooo…
I watch Pewdiepie.  YES guys, I admit I am a part of the Bro-army. (*brofist*)  🙂  In one of his newest “Let’s Plays”, we came across the game Year Walk, developed by Simogo.  Unfortunately This game is available on iOS only, and I am extremely sad to have read that this game may not come to Android.  To say that it is an adventure “not to be missed” or “a game like any other” may seem like a simple salesman’s pitch to coerce you to buy a forgettable app…but as far as this title goes, those words are entirely genuine.

Home in the fictional town of Vedtorp, Sweden.

Year Walk is set in 19th century Sweden. It is a first-person interactive mystery, where you make your way through the eerie, snowy ways to find clues which will assist you and solve the puzzles found in your travels.  It was translated from the Swedish “Årsgång“, which is explained as the walk that is taken the night on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve and is ones vision quest to see what will come to pass in the coming year.  This walk is to be completed without the warmth and aid of fire and without consuming any food, and he or she must be silent during this experience.  Some variations of this quest have mentioned the person spending a “full day inside a dark room”, and at the stroke of midnight, they are to head to the church, which generally lies past the cemetery.

The developer, Simogo, has said that the title was influenced by many things, such as: first-person shooters, Pop-up books, The Legend of Zelda Series and the aforementioned folklore.

The Nattraven

In the game, you come across symbols carved on trees or runes etched in stone that are featured in the companion app. Having this tool as you play will give you a better understanding of the year walk and the meaning of the creatures in Scandinavian lore that will also appear in the game.  The guide includes creatures like the Nattraven (or, Night Raven), a symbol of death and misfortune, that was often depicted with holes in its wings that would devour you on these nights if you were unlucky enough to cross its path.  The companion, referred to as somewhat of a mini-encyclopedia, was created with the assistance of folklore and ethnology expert, Theodor Almsten.

The Year Walk Companion app

This game involves listening, watching carefully and memorizing patterns, and often involves thinking outside the box (or rather, utilizing the device functionality) to find the solution.  The graphics are put simply: gorgeous.  Designed in a way that is reminiscent of a children’s story book (pop-up book, as mentioned above), the characters are very simple and unique all at once.  Year Walk provides a very cold, seemingly simplistic setting in the Swedish countryside, using drab colors like browns and grays offered by the Northern woods.  The woods are also blanketed in snow, which allow for items to cast a bright contrast against them — ie: footprints, or even worse…blood.  There is no voice-over dialogue, so as the cutscenes play with anyone you may interact with, it will play much like the silent movie era, with text on a black screen.  When discussing this title with IC Chris, he came to a conclusion that it is comparable to the sleeper indie game, LIMBO.  There is a soundtrack to this game, offering more to the audio portion than LIMBO, though it provides a similar ambiance.  The soundtrack is very light, atmospheric and somewhat haunting, giving and additional chill to environmentally stunning world.

Year Walk piqued my interest because I absolutely love point-and-click adventure titles and this game took that genre to a new level.  It is all-around beautiful and worth the small fee to get this game running.  If you are in love with Norse folklore and myths, enjoy the challenge of puzzles, and can appreciate stylized titles such as this one, make sure you check out Year Walk on your iDevice.  The companion is entirely helpful and I recommend checking that out too if you are brave enough to take on this journey.

Year Walk released in February 2013 and is available on iOS for $3.99.
The Year Walk Companion app is available for free.
Watch your step…

-Game ON, Players-
IC Krys

References:
Simogo, Wiki, macstories.net, applenapps.com