Welcome to “At a Glance” where first impressions mean everything! Ladies, gentlemen and other lost souls, I present to you; The Yawhg.
I have noticed recently that whenever I write one of these pieces, it’s about a genre or type of game that has almost all but vanished from the public eye, a twitch based shooter, an old school point and click adventure and now a choose your own adventure. Choose you own adventures have existed for years, from their beginnings in book form (The Cave of Time) to choose your adventure mobile games (Sorcery!), they have been very important to the industry, helping point and clicks and dungeon crawlers develop and grow their genres.
The story of The Yawhg is the game play itself, but of course we get some background information before we start. The Yawhg is a great disaster which will hit the town in six weeks, it will destroy everything and you as the player are tasked with saving the town by crafting your characters skills simply through exploration.
Seeing as the game plays as a ‘choose your own adventure’, you will be experiencing a lot of little smaller stories, rather than one large one. The Yawhg is going to hit the town in six weeks and while this does setup a short playtime, it is enough for the title to exude all of it’s charm and grant you the ability to both experience and tell story after story!
The game play is fairly basic, you explore the town over six weeks, your character will level up in certain traits by picking locations and within that choice picking a specific task. These traits include physique, finesse, mind, charm, magic and wealth. You improve these traits by visiting the many locations of the town, so if you want to improve your characters magic, you should probably visit the Alchemy tower.
Whenever you visit these locations, you will have the option to do two different actions, so in the case of the Alchemy Tower; you can either clean the lab or brew potions. This then triggers an event, which you can change depending on your decisions, so for example, you find an over brewing potion, do you throw it out the window or do you drink it. These choices will have results on your characters as well; so if you chose to drink the potion, it could impact everything from boosting your traits to turning you into a brutish monster hellbent on destroying the tower!
As the game goes on and you continue to make choices and explore the town, The Yawhg continues to draw closer and the second part of the game play comes in. With the experience you have earned through your adventures, you must now decide how you are going to help the people after the disaster and what role you will play in the wake of the calamity.
You must pick a position, such as the leader or a builder but your success as these roles will depend on your traits, so having a high physique level will mean you will be a better builder than a leader. The ending will depend on your choice of roles and how you picked them and any events that occurred prior to the destruction could also come back to help/haunt you in your endeavours.
It’s an interesting way to marry player choice and the end goal, and I really like how it can just let you fail , which gives the game a lot of replay ability
Visually the game is very striking, using detailed portraits and screens to convey the story rather than flashy animated cut scenes. The art style of the game is fantastic and you can really tell it was done with so much love, from the character designs to specific details like the font choice, the game is a treat to behold from the start to finish. The same goes for the soundtrack for the game, as it gives an eerily beautiful tone that sets up the overhanging grim atmosphere of the game, using a lot of vocal and guitar tracks.
All in all, The Yawhg is a beautifully made choose your own adventure, with enough content to keep you coming back to experience this dark and disturbing world. Each play through only takes about maybe 20 minutes, but there is just so many little interesting stories and interactions that keep you engaged. The fact that this was made by such a small team as well just shows how much love and attention was put into this charmingly grim and above all else imaginative title. If you value story and choices over combat and explosions, pick up The Yawhg, you will not regret your time with it.
Be sure to check out our Arcade TV special in which Declan, Naomi and Ryan takes us through their first time with the game