If you could get a glimpse of the future, would you be willing to trek out into a snow covered forest past midnight after foregoing food, water, fire, and light for the entire New Year’s Eve with a chance to encounter supernatural beings, and the risk of fatality? That is in essence what a Year Walk is about, and it was an established tradition in 19th century Sweden that was a bit like a vision quest. Simogo, the makers of Beat Sneak Bandit, Bumpy Road, and Kosmo Spin. have created a brand new iOS game revolving around the idea of the Year Walk.
Year Walk is a horror puzzle adventure that is truly unlike anything else in the App Store, or any other platform, which relies on creating an immersive atmosphere above all else. Once you begin a Year Walk there’s no turning back, and the same is true for this game as once you begin, you’ll be drawn to find a conclusion. The game begins in a snow covered forest with bleak surroundings, subtly dimming lighting, and an eerie soundtrack to set the stage for what’s in store. Every single aspect is designed to make your skin crawl, and your heart race, and the developers were definitely successful.
The game begins without a single hint, clue, or tutorial, and instead you need to just tap, swipe, and start exploring. The entire idea is to present a similar feeling to those embarking on a Year Walk as they would have no clue of what to expect either. Slowly, but surely you start to come across new elements that are all creepy in their own right, and all act as potential puzzle pieces to move forward. The game uses a neat swipe mechanic to blend 2D and 3D as you move between snow banks, and explore the forest that really starts to blend together. Once you come across the first folklore creature, you’ll be on edge for the rest of the game, and you may not want to play this game in the dark.
There are multiple puzzle elements you will come across, and it’s such a worthwhile experience trying to first figure out the code, and then apply it to move forward. Most puzzle games sadly hand feed you the solution, but part of the allure of Year Walk is never knowing what to do, and figuring out how different elements relate to one another. Year Walk puzzles are so detailed, that it’s best to have a notepad handy to keep track of everything. The game is like a page turning mystery novel as you’re always anxious to find out what’s next. There’s simply no experience like it in the App Store, and it’s so rewarding to stick with it to reveal more of the mystery.
In addition to the game, there’s also a Companion separate app download that is an encyclopedia style app that includes the folklore stories of the various creatures you will come across. The Companion is an essential component to the game as the backstories offer little clues on how to interact with the creatures in the game. Year Walk did seem a bit short at first with five main puzzle components to solve, but as soon as we solved the first Year Walk, the game is set-up to walk again thanks to a whole hidden story within the companion that is unlocked after completion of the first Year Walk. The amount of detail that went into the game and companion is simply jaw dropping, and it all combines together to make for a thoroughly engaging experience that can be exhilarating and frustrating at times, but always mesmerizing.
Year Walk ($3.99, Universal / Companion Free, Universal) is completely unique for any game. It is as captivating as any game, book, or movie, making it an absolute must buy. You shouldn’t have an iOS device if you don’t partake in this masterpiece of game making, and art. Year Walk is a spellbinding app, that will stay with you far longer than anything else in the App Store, and it’s time for you to begin your very own Year Walk.