Year Walk

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Year Walk
Year Walk iTunes App Store Icon.jpg
App Store Icon
Developer(s) Simogo
Publisher(s) Simogo
Writer(s) Jonas Tarestad
Composer(s) Daniel Olsén, Jonathan Eng
Engine Unity
Platform(s) iOS, OS X, Microsoft Windows, Wii U
Release iOS
21 February 2013 [1]
Microsoft Windows
6 March 2014
OS X
3 April 2014
Wii U
  • WW: 17 September 2015[2]
  • JP: 13 November 2015
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Year Walk is a 2013 adventure game developed and published by Swedish mobile game developer Simogo for iOS devices.[3] The game is loosely based on an ancient Swedish tradition called "Årsgång" (pronounced [oːrʂgoŋg]; lit. "Year Walk").[4] The game was later ported to Windows and OS X PC platforms via Steam in 2014, and on the Wii U via eShop[5] on September 17, 2015.

Plot[edit]

Year Walk begins with the protagonist Daniel Svensson visiting his lover, Stina, who hints that she has been proposed to, and warns the player about the dangers of year walking, implying that her cousin had died while engaging in the activity. Daniel returns home, and prepares to engage in the Year Walk anyway.

As he proceeds toward the church (the object of year walking is to get to a church and see the future), the protagonist encounters a series of fairies and mythical creatures from Swedish folklore: the Huldra, the Brook Horse, Mylings, the Night Raven, and finally the Church Grim.

In the end, the player succeeds in receiving glimpses of the future, in the form of ominous bits of conversation that are presumably from Stina. They then see a beautiful grassy meadow. When they venture right, they see Stina on the ground, her eyes closed. At first, she appears unharmed, but then blood seeps from her chest onto her clothes and the grass.

If the player uses the hints given after the credits to access the Journal component of the PC Game/iOS companion app, they can discover the journal of Theodore Almsten, a modern-day man obsessed with Swedish folklore, as he investigates the meaning behind the year walk. Through his research, the full story is revealed. The fate of Almsten himself is also uncertain; his research seems to have taken a toll on his mental state, and his final entry takes place immediately before he goes on a Year Walk of his own.

Ultimately clues from the Journal can be used in the game itself to reach an alternate ending, considered the ultimate ending (as it says "the end").The ultimate ending features Daniel killing himself after seeing the note from Theodore and knows that he was doomed to die at the start and could know he at least save Stina.

Development[edit]

Year Walk started out as a film script that writer Jonas Tarestad shared with developer Simon Flesser. The two considered turning the script into a game, according to Flesser, "almost jokingly to start with".[6] However the two eventually grew serious about the prospect and changed the script so that it would better suit the medium.[6] In the transition from movie script to game script, according to Flesser, they "basically rewrote everything about it" keeping only the beginning and ending the same.[7] In designing the game Flesser studied horror movies, specifically the timing "to get the scary bits right".[6] He has additionally cited the games Killer 7, Fez and The Legend of Zelda series as well as the film Hedgehog in the Fog as inspiration.[6]

In collaboration with Dakko Dakko, the developers behind Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails, Simogo rebuilt the game from the ground up for release on Nintendo's Wii U console in 2015, taking advantage of the Wii U GamePad for various mechanics.[5]

Reception[edit]

Year Walk received highly positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review website GameRankings provides an average rating of 87.38% based on 20 reviews,[8] whereas Metacritic provides an average rating of 87 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, meaning generally favorable reviews.[9]

148 Apps gave it a highly positive review, praising nearly every aspect of the game. They gave it a score of 5 out of 5, and said that "Year Walk is a haunting adventure game from Simogo that blends a dark world and involved mythology together to create an absolutely amazing experience."[10]

At the 2013 Unity Awards, Year Walk won the award for Best 2D Artistic Experience.[11] Year Walk was included in Pocket Gamer's "top 10 best iPhone and iPad games of the year - 2013 edition" list.[12]

The game sold 200,000 copies in 2013.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Mark (15 February 2013). "Simogo's spooky adventure Year Walk gets release date and free companion app". Pocker Gamer. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (August 27, 2015). "Year Walk on Wii U Will Tell Its Tale on 17th September". Nintendo Life. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ http://indiestatik.com/2013/02/15/year-walk-bringing-the-supernatural-to-ios-devices-on-february-21st/
  4. ^ Kent, L., 2014. YEAR WALK MYTHS AND MONSTERS [online]. Available at: http://www.quadrapheme.com/year-walkmyths-and-monsters/ [accessed 09/07/14].
  5. ^ a b Calvert, Darren (July 14, 2015). "Grim Tales and Horrifying Creatures Await in Year Walk for Wii U". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Schilling, Chris. "Year Walk interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Teti, John. "Simon Flesser, co-creator of Year Walk". Gamelogical. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Year Walk (iOS)". GameRankings. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Year Walk (iOS)". Metacritic. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ Dotson, Carter (21 February 2013). "Year Walk Review". 148 Apps. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Corriea, Alexa Ray (30 August 2013). "The Room, Endless Space take home 2013 Unity Awards". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Brown, Mark. "PG's top 10 best iPhone and iPad games of the year - 2013 edition". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "2014 + 200 000 + More". Simogo. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 

External links[edit]