What did you do yesterday? Me, I can’t remember.
Point and Click Adventure games are not normally my idea of a good time, but Pendulo Studios recent release, Yesterday, really surprised me. I actually went into the game expecting that I wouldn’t like it, but in the end I had really enjoyed the adventure that I had just went through, even if it was a bit short.
Yesterday tells the story of John Yesterday, who has recently woken up from a coma he entered after a failed suicide attempt. He had been recruited by wealthy businessman Henry White to investigate a Satanic Cult who he believes have been killing homeless people for decades. After John fails in trying to kill himself, his memory has been erased and you’ll work to uncover the truth of what happened to you, and the cult. The story has many twists and turns, and is interesting, and dark enough to keep you on the edge of your seat as you unravel the mystery.
Being a point and click game, you don’t have direct control over your character so you’ll have to scan the area you are in for objects, and then figure out how to use those objects to solve the puzzle to move on through the story. As you find objects to use, they will become available in your inventory that is nicely placed along the bottom of the screen for easy access. You can drag and drop objects on to each other to try to combine them, or drag them out of the inventory and back into the world with ease as you try to figure out what to do next. Since some of the puzzles can be a bit hard, Pendulo added a hint system which works really well. If you are stuck, you just click the light-bulb icon and it will give you a hint on what your next move is.
Normally I find the point and click systems to be clunky and that they make the game boring, but I really liked Pendulo’s system and it made me feel more invested in the game than other P&C games I’ve played in the past. I really like the hint system as well, as the clues provided are still vague enough that they don’t just tell you the way, but rather point you in the general direction of where you should concentrate your efforts. They also aren’t always available, as you can’t get hints all the time. After you use a hint and then solve that piece of the puzzle, you can’t get another hint after you have made some effort on your own to solve the next piece. The other great thing about Yesterday is the art style, which is a good mix of of cel shading and a comic book style. The characters pop, and it helps make the environments easy to look at while trying to solve that next puzzle.
The game takes place in locations around the world, including Paris, New York, Tibet and more. Not only does it travel around the world, but it also travels back and forth through different timelines as the story is exposed. It’s not hard to follow, and anyone that likes dark subject matter will really enjoy it. Even though the game takes place in many locations, and through different timelines, it’s not very long in length. If you manage to figure out the puzzles fairly quickly, it will only take you anywhere between 5-6 hours to beat the game, with some people claiming to have beaten it in 4 hours. Different endings help add some replay value, but that’s about it.
There are no multiplayer or cooperative modes in Yesterday. Which makes complete sense, due to the type of game it is. Pointing and Clicking with friends isn’t going to make it any better.
Gamers who enjoy Point and Click adventures, and dark subject matter such as Satanic Cults and Serial Killers will really enjoy Yesterday. With a well told story, interesting characters and one of the best point and click systems I’ve ever seen in a game, even those who aren’t a fan of the genre may be surprised to find out how much they enjoyed it.