Platforms: Windows, Mac
Steam rating: 94% positive
I couldn’t think of a more fitting end to a year-long project than to play Year Walk. The concept is taken from the Swedish folk tradition of Årsgång (translated to English as Year Walking). A person would perform a Year Walk on a specific significant night – New Year’s Eve being chief among these – in order to have a chance for a glimpse at their future.
You take control of a nameless, faceless protagonist about to embark on his own Year Walk. There is a woman whom he loves, who also seems to love him, but she is expected to marry someone else, and the time has come for her to make that decision, and this seems to be the impetus for the Year Walk, despite the fact that in one of the earliest scenes, she pleads with him not to do it.
You are given very little to work with – a sparse encyclopedia gives you information about a few key topics, there’s a journal which is locked (yes, you should be able to figure out how to access it as you progress through the game), and a map which tells you very little except the location of the church where your Year Walk should end. There is however, a fantastic hint system that will point you in the right direction on demand without – in most cases – completely spoiling the puzzles. Be aware that this game does have sound puzzles, so if you will need to have the sound on and audible if you hope to complete it.
The art and the sound design are both fantastic, however, I found the puzzles a bit obtuse without using the hint system. The game is dark and creepy, and there are even a couple of jump scares. Depending on your use of the hint system, a playthrough can take anywhere from an hour to about three, which, honestly makes this not a great value for the asking price. That said, I absolutely would love to see more from this developer, and I don’t feel like the price is completely out of proportion to the experience.