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Gamescom 2015: YIIK is a Surreal But Highly Entertaining Experience (Wii U)

by Daan Koopman - September 21, 2015, 4:44 pm EDT
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Seriously, I just wanted to keep playing forever if I could.

There is one genre that I can't get enough of: Role Playing Games. When I heard that YIIK would be playable in the business area, I just couldn't say no to that. As it was one of my final appointments for the year, I really wanted to take my time with it too. This was a wise choice, because it was a game that made me think in fashions that I never expected.

The game tells the story of Alex, a college graduate who has just returned home. His mother leaves him a note asking him to get groceries in his hometown. Everything seems normal, but then a moustached cat steals the letter and Alex sees no other option than to follow the creature. It starts easy enough with a windy field, but as you move deeper into the woods, you feel that there is more going on.

As Alex is led into a building, he swiftly sets foot into the elevator. When he arrives at the other side, you will find yourself on a platform, levitating in a strange realm of time and space. At this point, I became confused and Alex seemed lost too. Through a string of events that I am not going to reveal, you poke an eye on a gigantic pyramid and make it cry to proceed.

In the final section, I found myself at a galactic hallway with various windows. They would lead me to various rooms and I had to put my puzzle hat on to make it through. This is where I struggled the most in the demo, as it all felt harsh and there was no clear indication on where to go next. I was really annoyed by it and the people present in the room had to think about it somewhat.

Despite that part, I really enjoyed the way the story and obstacles were introduced. Alex constantly talks to himself, which makes for some pretty fun moments. You don't meet all that many characters in those initial moments, so this is a natural and essential thing to do. The one other major character was Sammy, who is not really in touch with reality it seems. She loves her cat, but she doesn't get any references that Alex uses. There is likely more going on there and I just want to know what will happen there.

Outside of the walking and puzzle solving, the battles are an essential part of the experience. The battle system is basic, turn-based affairs but they have a lot of charm to them overall. Alex uses LPs to heavily scratch his opponents, while Sammy uses her cat Dali to attack the enemies. Dali can also be used to reach switches around the world, so finding her was ultimately worth the trip.

Each character has their own set of special moves, which use points to be activated. If you played a classic role playing game, it will be a walk in the park. There are special moves that do need specific movements to be activated properly though. One example is how you have to tap the A-button on highlighted spots of Alex' LPs. It requires a lot of precision, but I was rewarded with a better attack as a result!

YIIK was absolutely amazing to look at on the big screen. There were lush environments everywhere I looked and the game was rendered in an unique way. There was a cartoony atmosphere, yet it felt like an evolving world. There isn't an experience quite like it and describing it is harder than you think!

What YIIK represents is a role playing game that is bold, and proud of that boldness. While I scratched my head sometimes, it is an experience that I won't quite forget. The stairway puzzle could be better presented of course, but everything else feels really thought through. The presentation is one of the best that I experienced this year and this makes me want to jump in all over again. So please, YIIK, come back. Right now.

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Genre RPG

Worldwide Releases

na: YIIK
Release Jan 17, 2019
eu: YIIK
Release Year 2017

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