Thunderbolt logo

Yesterday

Alchemy? Satanists? Grapes? These are some of the questions that plague the hollowed mind of John Yesterday. The last solid memory sustained was waking up in the hospital under the care of Henry White, CEO of the White Corporation. John is advised that, because of his expertise in the occult, he was sent under White’s employ to Europe to research the Order of the Flesh – a satanic cult who is somehow linked to a recent string of disappearing beggars in NYC.

It was in France that John came upon a scalding hot lead, so shocking it drove him to his botched suicide attempt, resulting in his hospitalization. Now back on his feet, John is being sent back to France to continue where he left off, not just to pick up on his research, but to retrace his steps in remembering who he was.

screenshot

With dressed-to-impress visuals, a fruitful soundtrack, and an elaborate tale, Yesterday is easily expected to stand as an enduring, and savory experience. However, Yesterday seems to teleport from one plot point to the next, a consistent mode of narrative that wraps up the game all too soon. In consequence, the potentially gripping characters aren’t given much time to really introduce themselves to the player, but merely present their ambitions that only give half of an idea of how they came to be. The story does gravitate towards the serious side given its themes, but there are moments where it attempts to delve into the humorous with excessive effort, making out-of-place punch lines along the way.

Nevertheless, Yesterday’s gameplay does well enough to immerse players in its engaging puzzles. While some of their solutions may seem off-the-wall to some, the puzzles fortunately do not culminate as anything seemingly impossible, just time consuming. This is thanks to the hint button. The hints only provide a single sentence, some vague, others obvious. Once used, the hint button is inaccessible for a certain period of time until further attempts are made towards the same puzzle. However, it doesn’t provide any different words of advice once tapped again. Also included is a hotspot button, which displays all interactive points on the screen and it definitely comes in handy.

screenshot

As an illustrious point-and-click, Yesterday has a collection of some of the best assembled scenery within the genre. Much of it seems to be inspired from the involving works of the Shin Megami Tensei series while others humbly constructed. But as the aforementioned duration is quite compact, it does disappoint as it can’t be ignored how so much potential was skimmed off the top.

Yesterday has all the right intentions, but it seems to be in a hurry for some unknown reason. It’s worth a gander given its gourmand attention to detail, especially its affinity to pop off plenty of fireworks. But it’s evident that much of the fundamental elements from the story teller’s handbook were overlooked. Before committing to making the purchase, it’s highly advised to bear in mind that this is just a fix, a piece of overly fanciful cake – something you shouldn’t count on to keep you sated until tomorrow, and certainly something you won’t count amongst your top memorable experiences.

6 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

Gentle persuasion

Like chit chat? Join the forum.