Developer: Damian Sommer
Genre: Choose Your Own
The Yawhg – Review (PC)
A vampire, a werewolf and a tailor try to rebuild a town – The Yawhg
An ever-present uneasiness tinges every moment of The Yawhg. Behind its charming exterior facade lays a dark, menacing problem. While you and your friends spend your last remaining weeks of normality drinking at the tavern or playing socialite at the palace, The Yawhg creeps ever closer, ready to devour your hometown.
Like all good “choose-your-own” adventure games, The Yawhg lets you create your own narrative by giving you a selection of locations to visit, each with their own tasks and random events. Up to three other friends can take control of their own characters, and join you as you live your life, unaware of the disaster looming over you all.
Do you want to be the heavy drinker who can’t stop gambling at the arena? Perhaps, you want to be the master alchemist who heals people at the hospital in their spare time? These options, and more, are available to you.
Throughout the game, random events will happen at various locations. How you fare during these events is dictated by how many skill points you have in any applicable area. For example, with enough physique points you will easily be able to handle any physical altercations that come your way. Should you be lacking in that area, however, a different fate may befall you. Skill points are accrued by visiting other areas, although you may also lose them as well.
You and your companions have six weeks (six turns) to gain as many skill points as you can in your selected area. After that time The Yawhg arrives and wreaks havoc upon your town. At this stage you are given the choice between a number of roles. The recovery effort of the town is dependant on which statistic area you have excelled most at. Players with high physique points are the obvious choice for builders, whereas those with lots of mind points will make excellent doctors. Choosing professions wisely is your key to a positive conclusion in The Yawhg. In the end, we ended up a crew of werewolf, vampire, and tailor; our town had no chance of survival – especially not with one of us eating the (well-dressed) townspeople!
There are around fifty unique endings for the four playable characters. However, this large number has an accompanying problem. The Yawhg is a shockingly short experience. If you really soak-in the atmosphere, the game still only lasts around half an hour. There are multiple playthroughs here, but by the second playthrough you will have seen most of what the game has to offer. The same situations will keep popping up, over and over again. They will still be peppered with things you haven’t seen, but after your first play, The Yawhg stops being a fresh, new experience.
A strange issue affects the end sequence. Instead of being presented with the conclusion of our character’s story, we were, instead, shown images from other parts of the game, sometimes with half the text missing. Other times, the game completely glossed over the fact there was more than one person playing!
Negatives aside, we must commend the game’s visual and musical production. The charmingly simplistic presentation is interwoven by a stunning folk-style soundtrack, scored by Dualryan. If nothing else, you should at least give the soundtrack a listen.
Despite being a fun game, The Yawhg leaves a bitter taste in our mouths. There are vast amounts of potential left untapped. We long for a more fleshed-out campaign, more choices, more consequences. Just, more. We want to craft a tale worth remembering, and thanks to the game’s brief nature it just isn’t possible. And at $10 we question its value for money. Buy it if you are looking for an interesting experience to play with your friends, but only if you don’t mind that experience being very shallow.
The Yawhg is available to buy now on Steam.