BADGP Reviews: The Yawhg
Released: February 27, 2014
March 1, 2014
The adventure game genre is amidst a renaissance of sorts, largely due to the critical and financial success of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Since the 2012 megahit, the adventure game genre has been growing. Whether it is the massive amounts of money acquired by the Double Fine Kickstarter for Broken Age, or the fact that Telltale Games is now working on four games at once, it is clear that there is still money to be made in the perceived antiquated genre. The genre is also undergoing mass experimentation and transformation. Oddities like Jazzpunk, Gone Home, and Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc prove that there is much to be explored within the mechanics of the adventure game. The Yawhg is another take on the idea of the adventure game.
The Yawhg is a simple game with simple mechanics. It can be most easily understood as a multiplayer choose-your-own-adventure game. There are four characters that may be chosen from, but they offer no difference since everyone begins with the same stats. The mysterious Yawhg is coming to town in a matter of weeks (six to be exact) and no one knows that it is coming. Players endeavor to build their stats as much as possible in the allotted time and after the Yawhg strikes, each player must choose one of eight potential roles to aid in the rebuilding effort.
Stats are built by selecting where to spend one’s time and what to do when one gets there. This is where all of the games choices and gameplay lie. Here is a sample series of events to demonstrate one turn in The Yawhg: Select 1 of the 8 possible locations. Pick Alchemy Lab. Clean Lab or Brew Potion? Clean (gain certain stats from cleaning). The alchemists decide to throw a party and begin doing magic tricks. It comes to your turn. Do you do a simple trick or a complex trick? Simple trick (because your magic skill is low). You change the color of eyebrows. The alchemists are impressed, +1 Charm. Next player’s turn. The game is very simple, but there are plenty of laughs and gasps to be had with The Yawhg.
Honestly, that is about all there is to The Yawhg, and the $10 asking price will appear high to many, and it likely is too high. I played through the game eight different times, some by myself, some with a group of people, some more with another group of people. One thing is clear about The Yawhg, and that is that its nonexistent barrier to entry makes for a good time with anyone. The game’s pure accessibility is its greatest accomplishment. Perhaps its brevity is also something that leads to it being a good “party” game. A full round with four people will not take longer than 10-20 minutes. The quick playtime naturally leads to a “one more round” atmosphere with a group of friends who get into it. It is exciting to see the numerous possibilities unfold.
The Yawhg is beautiful in its simplicity. The music is calming and the art is appealing. Its medieval setting works well with its silly and sometimes dark events. It is possible to become a vampire and massacre a building full of people without remembering a thing, closing off that location for the rest of the game for everyone. The game asks strange questions without hesitation. The player might run into an ex significant other and then the game asks if you get jealous or feel happy for him/her. Sadly, events repeat often despite the Steam store page boasting “50 unique endings.” The Yawhg is difficult to recommend due to the value proposition, but if what has been described sounds enticing in any way, then it likely that you will not be disappointed with The Yawhg.
6.0 out of 10