Nowadays whenever i get so lazy with games that i can’t even bother to push a button I turn to something more stimulating that requires very little effort on my part and today i have Pendulo Studios to thank for their latest point-and-click graphic adventure game called “Yesterday”.
As with most adventure games the main thing that makes it fun is its plot so let’s see what Yesterday has in store for us but bear in mind I don’t want to spoil everything so I will make it short. The game starts you out with 2 volunteers in a van searching around the city for hoboes in order to send them to a shelter founded by a certain company. The characters are Henry White, your usual techno geek character that is the son of a very wealthy man, and the other is Cooper, a typical brute that prefers to handle every situation with his fist and is a close friend of Henry, and after clearing most of the homeless from the city they are instructed that there are 6 more locations that may have homeless people living in them. After the boss clearly states how dangerous it is to search the crashed subway station Henry goes there anyway and decides to venture inside the creepy dark tunnel alone, leaving the more physical capable Cooper to guard the van outside. Once inside you take control of Henry and start scavenging around for parts in order to progress forward but as soon as you do Henry gets pistol whipped in the back of the head and discovers that the tunnel is a sacred sanctuary to crazed vagabonds and home to satanic rituals with him being the next victim. Surely enough you manage to call Cooper on his cell and he comes rushing in to save you, even managing to find another gun and some left-over bullets, and shoots the Hobo leader while incapacitating the other.
After this little scenario time flies by about a few years revealing Henry as the boss of his late father’s company and you end up taking control of a new character that suffers from amnesia with the name John Yesterday and is tasked to re-discover his forgotten investigation. I can already see you cringe from the bad pun but no worries now that we got the plot out of the way let’s get down with graphics and game play.
Graphically speaking the game is a bit disappointing I mean don’t get me wrong we all know that Pendulo is famous for its Runaway trilogy but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some more improvements other than going from completely 2D to 2D background with cell shaded characters, especially considering they are trying to sell this game as a disturbing/scary experience. It fails to impress even more when I encountered a few stability issues that made the game run out of sync when things got “busy” and that’s pretty much all I can say really but this is a game where you are in for the story not for the looks so let`s jump at the game play.
-Firstly I can’t really understand why there isn’t any sort of punishment for screwing up in the game. I know it`s supposed to feel like reading a book but even a book can give you paper cuts if you don’t handle it well. Everything you do in the game is further contemplated as a thought bubble in order to figure out and blatantly tell “yourself” that you are doing things wrong but to be honest I find that more annoying rather than helpful because I expect to fully control my character not to just be the character’s “intuition” and let`s face it if you are going to create a morbid game its often nice to hear on how well executed and unexpected is the electrocution of your character, it’s the sort of thing that keeps you on the edge and feeling proud that you dominated the game after that difficulty.
-Secondly if you feel like the background is too tricky there is always the show-everything-relevant-to-the-plot button and if you still have no idea what to do there is the “A-ha!” button witch was supposed to have a big cool down after use but you can spam the same mistake 10 times in a row and it fills up rather quickly witch takes away from the experience again.
-Lastly apart from puzzle games there are interrogations sequences witch you can either lie, tell the truth or challenge and I naively thought that I could actually manipulate the game somehow but as it turns out I was completely wrong and it was making everything rather dull when I was clicking with the speed of light to skip all the redundant conversations. You might also notice that every conversation apart from cut scenes happens in nice squares that pop up and while that might be normal when you are talking on the phone it makes no sense to do this when the 2 people are talking in the same room and it doesn’t really enhance things, the lips still move like an old dubbed Kung Fu movie like its predecessors.
In conclusion, despite all its flaws, I still enjoyed the game considering the story was well written and it’s fun to piece things together but that’s just me, I wouldn’t really recommend this game for hardcore gamers or even casual gamers this is the sort of game you take along with your Ipad to have something to read while traveling.