February 3, 2012
Pendulo Studios has given us the pleasure of previewing their latest game, Yesterday, and it has me asking more questions than it answered. In this very dark mystery thriller beggars in New York City are disappearing and then being found burnt alive. All the while, Y-shaped scars are appearing in the palms of people’s hands. Since no one is paying attention to the events, Henry White, along with his friend Cooper, start investigating the missing beggars.
Henry happens to be a young rich heir who helps an organization called Children of Don Quixote, a group that helps the homeless find shelter and food. So Henry and Cooper go out to the locations known to be dwellings for the homeless and try to extend a helping hand. In the preview we where given Henry goes into an abandoned subway (a refuge for some of the homeless) while he has Cooper wait in the car. The job, once they arrive, becomes guiding Henry through this abandoned subway, finding the homeless people there, and telling them about how the Children of Don Quixote can help them. Of course, Henry can’t find anyone at first, but he does find a locked gate. The player is able to interact with certain parts of each scene and pick up items that might help get the lock open, or perhaps find clues as to what is going on with the missing homeless people.
For example, in the first scene when Henry starts looking around he will find a suitcase under a pile of rubble that can’t be pulled out. So, looking around the other scenes will perhaps uncover some tool to help him pull it out, such as a rope or a pipe. It may even be necessary to combine items in some way to get the suitcase out. The game does have a hint system, but it has a cool-down timer, so players will have to do some of their own searching.
Without revealing too much, this level was full of unexpected twists and turns. It also has me seeing just how dark the game truly is. I like how the storyline is presented in a comic book style with panels within panels. The actual game content is presented as interactive point-and-click pictures or scenes. Players are given scenes to closely look over and find clues and items that will help them progress through the storyline.
The only sounds within the game are the sound effects and the background music. The music definitely helps to set the mood of the game and helps you get lost in each scene. I would have liked for there be some voiceovers for the story text, though. There are moments where there is a lot of text to read, but not enough time to read it all. If there were voiceovers at least then pieces of the story wouldn’t potentially be missed. This preview of Yesterday has me very interested to see what is really going on in the rest of this story. I can’t wait to see how the full game will play out when it comes out this March.