Yesterday Review

Every once in a while, there’s an iOS game that you don’t play on the go because you want to devote all of your attention to it. Yesterday is one of those games, which doesn’t surprise us given the game’s stellar performance on the PC.

Yesterday is a point-and-click adventure game which provides an immersive and wholly creepy experience. This gameplay mechanic has been used in a variety of lighthearted games, but Yesterday delves into psychopaths, amnesia, immortality, and satanism. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, but fans of the horror genre will appreciate the fact that it doesn’t pull any punches with the plot.

To progress the story, you have to solve a variety of puzzles by interacting with 2D environments, collecting items, and combining them to complete a variety of tasks. These puzzles are pretty challenging, and you can expect to rely on guesswork and lots of experimentation before coming to the answer. The intentionally vague hints can’t be accessed until you’ve done some guessing, which allows for a feeling of accomplishment even if you resort to them. Dynamic though each puzzle may be, however, there is only ever one solution, which is slightly disappointing.

“Thank you for attending the world’s first ape-to-human brain transplant–”

The translation to iOS works pretty well, with a few hiccups. There’s a button for highlighting all of the hotspots on the screen, which is vital if you’re playing on a small iOS device. On the other hand, there’s a violation of our iOS Bill of Rights, in that you often wish you had invisible fingers for manipulating the small objects. You also may wish for smaller fingers to better manage the buttons, but these flaws didn’t prove to be enough to really detract from the game.

What makes this game worthy of playing is its story. It’s narrated through the puzzles, as well as numerous cut scenes, which have a cool graphic novel style. The amnesiac protagonist’s flashbacks often involve puzzles within themselves, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself playing a story within a story, which we really liked. The narrative, while dark, is compelling and emotional, and it has as many twists as those in the antagonist’s psychopathic mind, a fact compounded by the game’s alternate endings.

“Next stop: Self-loathing and Despair.”

We’re very appreciative to see such a high quality game on iOS. The puzzles, sound, story, and animation in Yesterday all combine to provide an immersive experience that encourages you to sit down and lose yourself in the game. Impatient gamers and those who don’t have a stomach for the dark themes might want to steer clear, but others will find this one altogether worth their time and money. Here’s hoping that the whistling doesn’t appear in your dreams.

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