Year Walk is a great atmospheric horror puzzle-adventure game. It is not a very long game, for I finished this in under 2 hours (was expecting 3 hours based on the iOS users comments), but then again I think I missed out on some secrets and feel like there's more to it. (Update: Yes, there indeed is more to it. But I'll just leave it at that!).
The puzzles here are fine. They're not very difficult, but just requires you to pay attention to the environment. Some of them I sorta "accidentally" solved by just clicking here and there, but otherwise the rest of them can be solved by looking at the environments and taking notes (yes, I actually mean taking notes as in using a pen and paper). Fear not as those that I accidentally solved were early into the game....the latter ones are complex enough that they're no fluke.
One puzzle was particularly not obvious for me because it uses an input method that is not used in the entire game otherwise (don't wanna spoil too much). Should you be stuck, you can use the in-game hint system, which is kinda like a guide but not always 100% direct. Try not to over-use it, which is exactly what I did initially sadly. In hindsight, I regret succumbing so quickly when I got stuck. But at least this ensures you don't find yourself stuck for prolonged periods of time and needing to Google the solutions becomes moot.
The atmosphere is well done. It is spooky and there are lots of unexpected things you can expect to see. I played the game in two sittings, the first of which was at around 1am. And my, did it raise my goosebumps! There was one particularly unexpected jump scare which made me say to myself "Ok I'm gonna continue this in the morning in daylight". Having played the second half in the morning, I feel the game's best played at night (past 12mn). Just so much more atmosphere then that cannot be replicated in daylight.
Sound is great as well. Kinda what you expect from top-notch atmospheric indie games. It ranges from calm to downright eerie, and complements the game at every turn respectably.
Controls are good too, though I would frankly have loved a keyboard shortcut for the map at least. Lost count of the number of times I needed to use the mouse pointer to get to the map screen. The area covered by the game isn't that big though, and there's a fair amount of backtracking required.
All in all, this is a nice little horror-puzzle-adventure game. The sound design that perfectly complements the haunting visuals sets a great atmosphere for the game. Year Walk received many accolades on iOS so it's good to see it make it to Steam. The $6 price seems reasonable for a two to three hour game that does not overstay its welcome.
Posted: February 25th, 2014