Critical Play: Mysteries

I played Year Walk on iOS, developed by Simogo.The target audience are likely those of Slenderman, pre-teens and teens. 

The types of fun are narrative, discovery, and exploration. From the game, users are able to discover more about the puzzle the game is based on and uncover the secrets that lead to the goal of the game.


Because of the game’s open-ended nature, there’s almost no guidance. Much of the game is designed with a creepy, dark and eerie atmosphere that seem to also ambiguously point to a number of things. The only way to advance the game’s narratives are through discovering different hidden gyms, all a part of the mystery. The narrative is non-circular, and even discovering that what you have discovered is of significance is often purposely obscured and made to feel unsure and ambiguous. The narrative and gameplay itself in that aspect is a mystery. 


While I appreciated the independence provided, I do think that the lack of guidance was taken too far. I took a break from Year Walk because I reached a point where I was sure I had explored every single path at least 4 times and still nothing was happening


The game clearly prides itself on truly owning its consistency within its gameplay, narrative, and atmosphere. At times there is so little guidance provided to the player that the ambiguity makes the game incredibly hard to navigate.

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