March 22, 2012
Yesterday is a dark crime-solving mystery game that takes place in New York City. The game takes place in the present day, but the story starts out a few years ago. Beggars have started going missing, only to turn up later dead and apparently burnt alive. Both the police and the media seem to be doing little to try to find and stop whoever is committing these crimes. Henry White, a young rich heir who is very involved in an organization called the Children of Don Quixote decides that he and his friend Cooper will try to help warn and protect the homeless.
The first scene finds Henry going to an old abandoned subway station which happens to be a known refuge to beggars. Players are then presented with a limited interactive environment to point-and-click through to find clues. It’s important to not overlook anything that can be interacted with, because something as simple as a can of soda could come in handy. If a player does end up getting stuck there is a hint system that will give just enough information to point things in the right direction.
Henry ends up getting caught by a couple of crazy beggars named Choke and Boris. Choke believes that Henry is evil and must be tested by being thrown into a pit of rats. According to Choke, if the rats eat Henry then he was, in fact, not evil. Just as Henry is about to be dropped into the pit Cooper comes to his rescue. He ends up shooting Choke in the head and knocks out Boris. The two boys then bind and gag the two homeless men and throw them in the back of their van. It is in this moment we find out who has been killing the homeless; Henry tells Cooper that he’s decided not to “just burn these ones.” While the boys are transporting them we see Choke, who was clearly shot in the head, get up.
The story then jumps to a present day Henry White, who is now running his dad’s company. It is here we are introduced to John Yesterday. Henry has hired John to help him with an “investigation” of the killings. However, John apparently tried to commit suicide after getting too wrapped up previously in the investigation of the satanic cult called the Order of the Flesh, and has since lost all his memory. Henry ends up sending John back to Paris, where he last was before he tried to kill himself, in the hopes that it will help him remember his past.
As mentioned previously the game is presented as point-and-click interactive scenes. There are also question and answer sections where the player has several topics that can be discussed with another character. Cutscenes are presented in an almost comic book style, which I found to be pretty cool. In the preview of Yesterday we were given in February these cutscenes were only text, which I didn’t like at the time because I felt it progressed too fast. So I was happy to see narration in the final game. The music still really helps to set the mood of the game and helps the player get lost in it.
Overall, I found Yesterday to be a very interesting and fun crime-solving puzzle game. It is full of dark twists and turns that will leave a player’s head spinning and saying, “Wait, what?!” If you’re a fan of point-and-click puzzle games I recommend picking this one up.
Out Of 5
The graphics are just average for this game. The 3D cutscenes are a little blocky. The point-and-click scenes are much cleaner.
The music and sound really help to set the mood of the game. In one part of the game John is being attacked and without the music there would have been no feeling of urgency (because the way the game is presented). The music really gave a push to the on-screen action.
For a point-and-click game the controls are pretty simple and straight forward. My only complaint would be how items have to be dropped back exactly in the slot of the bar they were taken from if you don’t want to use them. It would have been nice to be able to either right click or double click and have the item go back to the bar.
The game is a little on the short side, but most point-and-click games tend to be that way. It isn’t too short, however. There is enough to do and the hints the game does give don’t reveal too much, for the most part.
Yesterday is full of twist and turns, you’re just never really sure what will happen next. It was also fun how several different endings were available depending on what character you play the last scene as. I enjoyed the game so much that if there ends up being a sequel I’ll play it.