These days it seems like when you visit a web site dedicated to “adventure” games they’re talking about the latest hidden object game from Big Fish or the newest FPS from whomever. When I was growing up, however, adventure games were a lot more special. They were about stories and talking to interesting characters. There were interesting settings, and several sometimes mind boggling puzzles. It’s clear that the developers of Yesterday grew up in that same era, or at least have done their research. I also thank BulkyPix for helping bring this tale to my iPad screen.
I’m going to try not to divulge much of anything about the plot, but you start out following two guys that are simply trying to help the homeless. Throughout the game you’ll take control of three characters: Henry White, Cooper and John Yesterday, and the story will be revealed as you explore with each of these personas, solving puzzles and talking to different people that have influenced their lives. One thing that really impresses me is that every time I think I’m getting closer to the end, the game throws a new twist or turn in. The story is always interesting and so far has kept me on my toes. It also does a good job of keeping cut scenes relatively short and letting you interact in places that some games might take control of for you.
You can tap anywhere on the screen to move, but if you tap on a hotspot you’ll move directly to that location. Interactive spots appear in an inset on the screen, with two buttons in the lower right corner of the inset – one to examine the area and another to interact with it. The second icon will be different depending on the appropriate action. For instance, if you’re looking at a person then talk bubbles are displayed, or if you can pick up an item you’ll see a hand. Using an inventory item is a simple matter of dragging it onto a hotspot or another inventory item. If it doesn’t work as you’ve instructed, the game will be sure to let you know. There are also buttons on the lower left side of the screen that provide hints and temporarily reveal all available hotspots. The interface is quite intuitive and well suited for the iPad screen, though occasionally it doesn’t respond to a tap, especially if there are a lot of responses in a dialog tree.
The visuals are incredible. Cartoon quality artwork that rivals the masters like Dreamworks and Disney fills the screen. The characters are well designed and nicely animated. The sound effects are well done, and because this is more of an interactive story you don’t have the annoying repetition of sound you find in many hidden object games. They also did a great job of selecting individuals to voice the different characters. I really enjoyed the music as well, though it wasn’t as noticeable as sometimes is the case in this style of game.
If you’re an adventure game fan that gets the point I was trying to make in the first paragraph, the only reason I could see that you wouldn’t like this game is because of the dark subject matter. To that end, I wouldn’t play this around kids without wearing earphones if I were you. Otherwise, I’d highly recommend getting this game and then sitting back when you have enough time to complete it in one sitting, because you’ll have a hard time putting it down. I know I did.
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3|