Just when we thought point n’ click adventures had died a death, this beloved genre has enjoyed a second coming, in part thanks to the surge in popularity of tablets. One of the best adventures of the year is dark thriller ‘Yesterday’, a chilling tale of satanic cults, murder and torture, which cunningly mixes silly humour with shocking violence and the occasional F-bomb. Be warned, this ain’t a game for your kiddies.
After a brief prologue which nicely sets up the twisted tale, we’re introduced to our hero, John Yesterday, who’s recovering from an apparent suicide attempt. His memory wiped by the trauma of the incident, it’s up to you to retrace his steps - aided by mysterious billionaire benefactor Henry - and work out what made him down a vial of mercury in his hotel room.
Yesterday boasts some crisp cartoon graphics and smooth animation, which looks gorgeous on the iPad’s retina display. You control Mr Yesterday by poking the screen to interact with objects and other characters, picking items up and combining them with other stuff, and chatting with random people to get clues. All staples of the adventure genre.
There are plenty of puzzles to solve, which are well integrated into Yesterday’s story - you won’t have to solve annoying sliding block puzzles to inexplicably gain access to a safe, for instance. The difficulty level is just about right if you’ve battled your way through point n’ click adventures in the past, challenging but rarely dipping into unfair territory. Even if you do get stuck, the hint system and hotspot identifier will help to prod you in the right direction. We never had to resort to Google for help.
Although the story is short (just under ten hours in all), it was also twisty and turny enough to keep us intrigued 'til the bitter end, with some truly diabolical baddies and a very messed up romance to boot. The occasional surrealistic comic relief - such as a recently un-divorced couple and a pervy hotel concierge - may be a stark contrast to the otherwise dark subject matter, but the two somehow sit well together and give the more shocking moments even more impact.
If you’re a fan of adventure games and fancy delving into a twisted story, Yesterday will be right up your alley.