Yametai Review: sometimes heroes just need to quit while they are ahead
What happens when impending doom approaches the castle? The hero rides out to face evil head on, right? Well not in Happyhoppyhappy’s newest escape game for iOS. Our hero doesn’t have any interest in fighting a battle he knows he can’t win and has decided to escape the castle.
Yametai, or ‘I want to quit’, is an escape game that has you picking up items and using them to solve puzzles that stand in the way of you and your freedom. As you solve one puzzle, you will receive another item to help you move on in your escape, but the item’s use may not be terribly obvious. Sure if you get a fishing rod, you go fishing, but who would expect that you would find a key by cooking an octopus?
The puzzles can be tough and nonsensical, but that is part of the game’s charm. Yametai’s zany approach to the escape game makes for some refreshing jokes as well as challenges that will truly make you think. Oddly enough Yametai reminded me of Homestar Runner’s Peasant Quest, which paid homage to one of my childhood favorites: the King’s Quest series.
I really enjoyed Yametai’s sense of humor and challenging puzzles, but there were plenty of times where I felt that the games puzzles were a bit too far out there. Even after solving them, I’m not sure exactly how I was expected to be able to figure the solution out. There were times where I had to place objects in the correct sequence, and instead of scouring the entire castle for a clue to the right order, I just randomly placed them until I solved the puzzle.
Easy on the eyes, until you have to read
Yametai takes an old school SNES approach to its look and sound, which has both pros and cons. First off, the old SNES 16 bit classic approach hit me like a one ton bag of nostalgia. This click and move system, mixed with the sprite characters made me reminisce about the good old days, and I loved it. The con? The text was awful. The curvy Japanese font does not look good at all in this sprited style, and was very tough to read at times.
The sound was fine but very repetitive. The same song played over and over again until finally I just had to mute my iPad. It’s not a bad song by any means, but variety would have been nice. Everything from the sound of the text scrolling across the screen to the pressing of a switch sounded like a sound effect straight from the SNES. Although this is by no means a rare quality in iOS games, I still really enjoyed it.
The game is challenging, funny, and has some rather enjoyable puzzles that will have you racking your brain for hours. If you speak Japanese and have access to Japan’s Apple Store, be sure to download Yametai yourself.
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