A minimalist, atmospheric, pretty, challenging horror puzzle game.
Year Walk captures the eerie essence of a supernatural Scandinavian forest by night, and really succeeds in the horror aspect. There is a tension that accompanies the cold sounds and bleak environs. I was very impressed by the artistic style of Year Walk. It was minimalist, bleak but also beautiful. The colours aren't vibrant but they needn't be - hell they *shouldn't be*. This is the snowy wilderness of Scandinavia. I expect white, greys, blacks. Purples and reds are also used sparingly and effectively. The puzzles can be difficult, which I find helps the game a lot. It's a bit of a throwback to when games just sort of left you to it, with few or no hints. You're pretty much on your own in Year Walk, and I had to consult a walkthrough a couple of times. Some puzzles require some thought, and I found myself utilising the whole map to complete the puzzles, so no wasted space there at all.
The story is a difficult aspect to critique because I feel the gameplay tells the story itself. So to critique the way I play the game is to critique the story. That being said, there is some backstory, which is told through some basic dialogue at the beginning of the game, and there is an encyclopaedia which accompanies you in the game, which is pretty critical to completing the game - but the information in the (very small) encyclopaedia helps give background also. I find this method of story telling to be quite innovative and also found it really help immerse me in the game. The controls are basic - arrow keys for navigation, mouse for point/click. Can't really go wrong there.
In conclusion, Year Walk is a quirky, beautiful little game. Not particularly long, but it achieves a lot in that short time, particularly in regards to puzzle solving, immersion, horror and artistry.