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Simon Hayward - Shaven Wookie

10 April 2023

Yomawari: Lost in the Dark

Yomawari: Lost in the Dark is the most recent addition to the Yomawari series, which includes the previous titles Midnight Shadows and Night Alone. Developers Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. continues the franchise with entertaining gameplay, art, and style along with its horror content. So for others that plan on jumping in, if you have not done so already, I highly recommend also getting the previous games. I do have to give a fair warning, the content in the game does have significant references to mental or physical Health, there is a warning when you first load into the game, however, even with a warning some people may find the content in the game disturbing and may even cause PTSD in others. The game has heavy references to suicide and bullying that are present early on in the game. In saying this, it does not diminish the gameplay or any other aspects of the game.


Yomawari: Lost in the Dark is the series' third installment, giving players another dive into the cute horror. You, the protagonist, are a young girl named Yuzu that can be customized in the intro to the game. As previously mentioned, the game features a disturbing scene and contains references to mental and physical health. It's worth noting that, despite its disturbing nature, I found myself sympathizing with the main protagonist. This is because the scene served to illustrate the difficult circumstances they were facing, and why embarking on the journey assigned to the player was necessary. The game's story is meaningful, and the message it conveys is powerful due to its exploration of traumatic content.

After you get past that part of the game you awaken in a dark and mysterious forest with no recollection of how, or why you are there. On top of that you are informed that you have been cursed and must find your lost memories to lift that curse by 6 am. Even with that simple explanation at the beginning, the game's storytelling is on point with world-building throughout the game. Those little aspects keep the story going as you wander around the girl's open-world town trying to get rid of the curse by 6 am.


The gameplay mainly consists of a mixture of exploration, puzzle solving, and hiding from the various ghosts along your path, with a well-crafted story-driven narrative that keeps the game flowing as you go. Other aspects of the game such as the cat-and-mouse gameplay comes to be a constant and repetitive thing. Not to say it is good or bad, but if I was in that situation, I too would be hiding in a toilet and closing my eyes praying that the ghost goes away for the entirety of the night. The game does focus regularly on that type of play style. I do have to mention the game can be played on a keyboard and controller but I highly recommend playing on the controller to have a more streamlined experience when playing.


The horror elements in the game are a blend of jump scares and high intensity, with a heavy reliance on sound. This aspect of the gameplay is crucial to the game's story-driven narrative. The sound effects, such as the character's heartbeat increasing as they approach or encounter ghosts, add to the game's atmosphere and immerse the player in the experience. Even subtle noises when walking over different surfaces contribute to the depth of the game. To fully appreciate the sound effects, it is recommended to use headphones while playing. The game's music, composed by Koga Mika, is outstanding and sets the mood for the rest of the game with its use of piano. It creates a spooky yet pleasant atmosphere that complements the gameplay perfectly.

The game's 2D world and art style demonstrate that even with simple animation, a game can be visually stunning. The ghost details are terrifying, adding another layer to the survival horror aspect of the game. The mini art book of the game is highly recommended as it showcases the environments and characters used in the game. It highlights the game's art and provides an in-depth look at the contrast and detail of the scenery and background, from the dark streets of the town to the opening scene of the sunrise in the background, which is particularly captivating.


If you enjoyed the previous games in the series, I highly recommend Yomawari: Lost in the Dark. The game's stunning animation and music add to its overall appeal. Despite feeling somewhat repetitive at times, Yomawari: Lost in the Dark offers a delightful blend of horror elements, from ghost encounters to jump scares and a haunting atmosphere created solely through sound. These aspects work together effectively, resulting in an intriguing game that should be enjoyed by horror enthusiasts. Yomawari: Lost in the Dark, although cute, had me on edge with the psychological horror and jump scares.


The Bad

- Interesting narrative and theme
- Excellent use of sound
- Animation and art style
- Great story

- Repetitive aspects
- May not be sutible for people with mental health issues

The Good

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