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Yomawari : Night Alone, PC review
Amazing and Unique ArtInteresting GameplayGreat ExplorationGreat AtmospherePartial Controller Support
Lack of Character DevelopmentCrashing and Bugs for PC usersLack of Settings for OptionsAwkward Control Mechanics for Keyboard
8B+
Art10
Gameplay8
Characters7.6
Story8
PC Port6.8
Yomawari: Night Alone is a game from ‘Nippon Ichi Software, Inc’. released on October 25th on Steam. The game is also available on PS Vita. In this short game, the player controls a little girl who’s dog went missing. Her older sister decided ventures out for their beloved dog, but when she has not come back yet… The little girl then decides to go look for her sister in the dark, all while the streets are very scary at night.

Gameplay of Yomawari Night alone

Cute and Spooky

In Yomawari: Night Alone, the art style is very unique and gives a great contrast to the horror style. The character and monster designs are easy on the easy and simple. Many of the creatures seem to be inspired made up in the mind of a child, which explains the adorable style.  The menu and user interface is also very fitting as it resembles a child’s sketchbook. However, to not make the game too bright and dandy, the colors used are very saturated to remind the player this is still a horror game. In short, Yomawari looks like a universe made from a child’s innocent mind and fears.
Yomawari Gameplay 2

Gameplay

Yomawari’s gameplay include finding key items, stealth options to hide from monsters, a little bit of exploration and more. Starting with the “Key” items, they are represented as glowing lights around the map, making them easy to spot. The little girl also has a question mark above her head when there is an object near that she can interact with, a nice little touch to help the players locate more objects.

The second part of the gameplay is stealth and stamina. When a monster gets near the little girl, her heartbeat increases. The player can then hide in bushes or behind specific objects. While she is hidden, a red cloud representing the monsters will show how close it is. Unfortunately, hiding doesn’t seem to make the creatures go away in some situations, making the bushes look useless. Stamina, when ‘the little girl’ is scared, her stamina is greatly reduced we would think a fight or flight response would kick in instead this becomes increasingly frustrating, very often.

Yomawari Gamplay 3
The exploration in the game consists mostly of exploring the streets around the little girl’s house, she doesn’t stray away too far from home. Once the first goal is reached, a flashlight item becomes available but changes how the monsters are seen. The monsters will only show themselves when the light is on them, making it very important to keep an eye around at all time. This was a interesting part of the gameplay. The experience became more unique and dynamic from such a small item like the flashlight.

The game is categorized as a horror game and is filled with jumpscare elements. Yomawari might not be the kind of game that some people will appreciate because of the amount of scares that jumps out of nowhere. However, after a few ones, it can become quite repetitive, but still allows the player to focus on the story.

Story and Characters

While the Yomawari is visual it is very unique, the storyline and characters could have more depth to it.
The game starts with a simple tutorial that introduces the player to the moment the little girl lost her dog. Then she gets home and her sister decided to go look for the dog. However, as the story goes, the characters are not very developed, they are pretty rigid in their reactions as well. This makes it a little harder to get attached to the little girl and her sister at first.

The story, while it is nicely developed after some time, it does take a little while before the action and scares really start. On the other hand, the Japanese themed elements become increasingly unique as the story progresses. Situations and other characters arise such as a character that resembles Hanako-san from the Urban Legend of the same name, brings forward a unique atmosphere. Yomawari Screenshot1

PC Port Issues

This game is available on Steam and is labeled with a partial controller support. Which is a very good thing considering that the keys suggested in-game with a keyboard do not feel natural. The keys “Z-X-C-V” are used for most options and interactions.

For players who are used to games using the upper part of a keyboard, it does not feel right and is a rather uncomfortable position. There are not many options when it comes to resolutions and other settings. Which can be a very important factor for some players. Bugs, there were quite a few, however, the developers have acknowledged and are announcing a “Beta Branch” in hope to fix those issues.

Yomawari Intro

Conclusion

Yomawari is a game with very nice art and interesting gameplay. While it’s a short game, the experience is quite fun and enjoyable! The cute art style mixed with the horror theme is done in a very unique way. However, the game could have had a little more depth to it such as to its characters and the story alone. There were also some issues for some PC users, but with the recent note from the developers, it might only be a matter of time before those are fixed. Letting as many players as possible enjoy the game to its fullest, Yomawari is the cutest and spookiest Halloween game yet.
 
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