In the announcement over on the Simogo blog, we’re informed that Year Walk and its free companion app they refer to as Year Walk Companion (hmm, imaginative) will be released for on to the App Store on February 21st. But hang about! That’s less than a week away, and we barely know anything about this dark looking first-person adventure game. Let’s remedy that.
“Experience the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking through a different kind of first person adventure that blurs the line between two and three dimensions as well as reality and the supernatural.”
First things first; the name “Year Walk” apparently derives from the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking. I’m pretty sure that Simogo made that up as there doesn’t seem to be anything on the subject of “year walking” anywhere that isn’t related to the game. So what is this fictional tradition that conjured up? Well, they say it’s a trip between the real and the supernatural, and that’s why much of the game’s media and materials has this haunting factor about it. And if you don’t think that horse is a little creepy, then clearly you’re ill or something.
Take A Trip
Fear not; we do actually have some plot details for you to pipe down your hungry information holes. So here goes: Year Walk is set in 19th century Sweden, and it seems to be concerned with the unknown events of a particular cold New Year’s Eve. Your task involves heading out into some dark woods to find the answers to this mystery, but to do that you need to lose yourself between fact and fiction. Not quite sure how that works, but if the game is going to supply creepy imagery and disturbing, vacant oddities, then I’ll quite happily go along with what it wants.
Gameplay involves exploration mainly, but it’s informed by puzzle solving, and judging by what information we have on the game, the puzzles will likely be environment based and will be cryptic. Just look at the image above and you’ll see a key; that could be an item you’re rewarded to move on to another area after solving a puzzle. That seems logical. Another task you’ll perform will be touching certain parts of the environment and listening to the sound they emit. One of your goals, apart from solving the mystery of that New Year’s Eve, is to look into the future and find out if your lover will ever love you back. Do you have any idea of where this game is going? Nor do we.
“Year Walk Companion covers a range of forgotten beliefs and superstitions and goes deeper into the subject of year walking, as well as the supernatural beings found in the game.”
As you can tell, the whole game seems quite cryptic and odd, but to help flesh out its themes, environments and characters, you can download the companion app for free. You can read through this before, during or after to help inform your understanding of the game and its plot, apparently. Simogo worked with folk lore and ethnology expert Theodor Almsten to make sure this app made added an extra layer of immersion into this world with its interest in forgotten myths and mysteries – quite the impressive effort. It’s a mini-encyclopaedia that will help with your contemplation and, I suspect, will add to the uneasy feeling the game will put you through. Seems like it may be the kind of thing that lingers with you at night, so be warned.