Yomawari : The Long Night Collection
- Genres : Adventure, Action, Puzzle, Other
- Publishers : NIS America
- Players : 1
- Consoles : Nintendo Switch
- Languages : English
- Release date : October 30, 2018
Here we are for my first horror game! Yes, I said horror. Me who never watches scary movies, I decided to test Yamawari: Night Alone.
Without further ado, let’s discover the game with me and also why I chose it.
Yomawari : night alone in a few words
In Yomawari, you incarnate a small girl who is about 8 to 9 years old who goes alone in her town searching for her big sister and her dog who disappeared… In my opinion, she will not be able to find the dog or maybe as a ghost…
In short, the scenario is simple and efficient as it pushes the player to explore freely each corners and nooks of a typical Japanese town. And of course the exploration of it, is done by night and in deserted streets. Well almost deserted, seen the numbers of spirits and other spectres that wander through the streets.
Why did I take this game?
I think that it’s the obvious difference between the graphics and the general game’s ambiance that made me want to play.
Usually, I flee ultra-realistic horror movies. I have this habit of being an emotional sponge. So as for horror movies I have nightmares and get scared of being alone at home. In that case you can also understand that in general I try and avoid being in those situations. Especially if somebody startles me, they laugh at me because I scram or jumped when I saw them… And believe me, it happens all the time.
Let’s get back to the game.
The graphics are in a childish style with chibi touches for the main characters. In that way, the spectres and the monsters are less impressing and scary than in a Resident Evil. The graphics are carefully thought out on a décor level or on a character and ghosts level. They immerge us into a small Japanese village like the ones you find in manga’s: school, park, residential district… If there were no ghosts and it was day time, I would love wandering through the streets to discover this little village.
The personality of the main character also helps giving the game this child like feeling. It is a little girl as cute as candid, with her little bow in her hair and her rabbit backpack. Some passages of the game and especially in the save points where our heroine writes in her diary are really childlike:
“I found one of my sister’s shoe. But how does she walk with only one shoe?”
She writes that in her diary when she just spent an hour in a deserted shoe looking for her sister through the crowd of spectres which only goal is to kill her… completely normal…
I loved this quirky side that reassured me actually ;p
But what about the horror side of the game?
Well, let me reassure you, it is well and truly present. It is the sound environment and the spectres that personally take care of startling you on every street corner.
The game takes place by night and your field of vision is limited to the lampposts lights and to your torch lamp’s beam. This lack of visibility is the first thing that plunges you in the creepy ambiance of the game.
Furthermore, you advance to the sound of your character’s heartbeat. It quickens when you go by a spectre and also when one of them chases you… even if you can’t see it. I might as well tell you that your own heartbeat also quickens. Especially when your only weapon is fleeing… and at 9 years old, one doesn’t run fast or for a long time…
Other small sound effects strangely scary come and enhance your town’s nocturnal visits as well as a couple of tormented spirits that run after you…
Be careful if one of them catches you, because you will find yourself dead in an enjoyable splash that will cover your screen in blood.
I really loved this game with its two ambiances that oppose themselves totally. I was startled each time I died… and I died a lot XD
The heroine is so cute, but she has really weird reflexions and picks up anything and everything in her backpack: insulting letters, torn bathing suit…
A few things in the gameplay made me a bit mad, because it wasn’t that intuitive: you really have to position your characters carefully otherwise some actions do not work. Small advice I can give you, read the signs in the town otherwise you will simply get stuck.
Globally, I can say that it is a nice discovery. I really liked this game that changed from my usual gaming style. The creepy ambiance is also tainted of Japanese myths which is really enjoyable when one likes this country and culture.
However, it is not to be expected for the game to be a traditional horror game, because the childish side is very present. The fans of the genres may be disappointed. At least I think, I never got around to playing to a “true” really scary horror game.
Don’t hesitate in giving your insight on the game in the comments to complete my test on this game, especially if you are a fan of scary games and creepy ambiances.