Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Yesterday

Review: Yesterday

4:30 PM on 03.27.2012 // Alasdair Duncan
  @Full_of_hornets

Pendulo studios have had a long history in making adventure games, starting in the mid-'90s and continuing up to the recent Runaway franchise and last year's release The Next Big Thing. Yesterday is the studio's latest point and click title, and Pendulo's first attempt at breaking away from their traditional comedy roots; but does it succeed in creating a darker edge?

Yesterday (PC [Reviewed], Mac)
Developer: Pendulo Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Released: March 22, 2012
MRSP: £19.99

Back in February, I played what turned out to be the first chapter of Yesterday, a section where you can control two of the three main characters of the game: the philanthropic and studious Henry White and his oafish friend Cooper. Both men work for a charity committed to helping the homeless people in New York, but after a serial killer starts murdering members of the community, Henry and Cooper take a risk and venture into the abandoned Cadway Subway station to see who they can help. Here, they meet the murderous Choke and Boris and are forced to take drastic action.

In the full game, you'll also take control of satanic cult investigator John Yesterday (how do people get a job like that?), who is recovering from an apparent suicide attempt which has left him with amnesia. This part of the story takes place a number of years after the first chapter. Henry White now runs White Enterprises and continues his philanthropic work, and has employed John as there is a believed link to the still un-captured serial killer and the occult. 

Yesterday

The game starts off in earnest with John in Paris, re-tracing his steps and attempting to re-build his memories. It's here where Yesterday's influences start to show, namely in classic point and click titles like Broken Sword and Gabriel Knight with their globe trotting adventures, links to historical cults, and conspiracies; these are all present in Yesterday, but it they don't feel like a re-tread despite their familiarity. The story pulls some interesting twists, too. The players will know the identity of the killer very quickly, and it's interesting to watch the story pan out as John uncovers why he's been given his task, and how it ties into his past.

Whilst the story moves at a fair pace, travelling to locales such as Paris, New York, and Scotland, it can feel slightly disjointed in a few places. Particularly when there's some action, and John has a flashback to a time where he spent training with an blind Indian master. These breaks in the action aren't necessarily bad, but they pop up just at a cliffhanger moment, like when John is held up at gun point or is surrounded by thugs. 

Graphically, Yesterday sticks close to Pendulo's style of over-exaggerated, slightly cartoon-ish characters. Henry and Cooper's character design really reflects their personalities and it's interesting to see Henry as the older, more confident businessman in contrast to his first appearance as a gawky teenager, both in appearance and the voice work. However, John Yesterday is fairly bland both in terms of his character and his design. His bland character is understandable as he's recovering his memories, but he's sadly not as interesting as Henry or Cooper. Similarly, John's relationship with his lover Pauline seems rushed and feels both under and over-developed as John's flashbacks collide with his present day circumstances. Pauline is hostile towards John but then runs off with him to a foreign country at the drop of a hat. 

Yesterday

When it comes to its mechanics, Yesterday sticks to the usual point and click controls mixed with Pendulo's own tweaks; the highlight button is still there, meaning the game doesn't resort to pixel hunting, which is a big bonus. Also in place is the hints system, which will give you a series of clues to solve your next objective. The button fills up with each object you interact with, so you can't just keep pressing the button; you have to actually attempt some solution before the answer is revealed. Nonetheless, the hint system is a powerful tool and whilst there's nothing to stop you from simply looking up an FAQ, I found myself burning through Yesterday fairly quickly thanks to the in-game hints system.

The puzzles themselves are a mixed bag ranging from the logical common sense uses (a key with a door), to more challenging puzzles like chess solutions or puzzles involving alchemical symbols, and an early sequence involving John piecing together clues he had left himself in his Parisian hotel room. Whilst the variety is welcome, the game's latter stages lower the difficulty and in the ending sequence, you're only really given a really obvious combination to "end" the game. It's a shame and it feels like the story takes precedence over the gameplay and player agency. 

Despite these flaws, Yesterday is a good, competent point and click game, even if Pendulo's attempts at a "darker" story don't mesh with the game's art style and humorous nods. The tale the developers have woven with serial killers, satanic cults, and immortality does wrap up in surprising ways. For instance, parts of the first chapter that I found odd at the time make sense given the full story, and the multiple endings are a neat way of giving the story different shades of resolution. Yesterday will sate the needs of adventure game fans, and there's a possibility that this is a game that could have a sequel or two in the future.



THE VERDICT

8

Yesterday - Reviewed by Alasdair Duncan
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Alasdair Duncan, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Full_of_hornets Tips
Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, F... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Yesterday


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

Robbing Kirby of his Greatest Asset

The meaning of The Witness (Part 3 of 3)

Friday Night Fights: War Never Changes Edition

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ikiryou avatarikiryou
Starting over from scratch after dying in a roguelike MMO
Occams avatarOccams
I've been listening to the live stream of the phone call with the remaining militia jackasses in Oregon all morning and its the saddest, funniest thing I've heard in a while.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Next South Park RPG is releasing in the first fiscal year of 2017, apparently. It'll probably be fractured but whole. Can't wait! D':
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Waaaait a minute... From a design standpoint.. Wouldn't a bodysuit look better with shoes/boots, thus .GASP. precluding bare feet? Say it aint so! :'''(
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey guys, there's a new episode of PStoid up. You should go listen to it, I hear Phil takes his shirt off. I mean, it's a podcast so you can't see it. But you can IMAGINE it!
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Yesterday, I brought a banana with me to my job for my lunch break. Some yokel must have swiped it, for I never saw it again, nor got to eat it. My response when: [img]http://i.imgur.com/wrZt8SO.png[/img]
darrenhupke avatardarrenhupke
"At launch, playing through most of the single player content will give you enough Fight Money to get Alex for free!" Will it be possible to earn enough FC by April for the next character DLC? I'm guessing not.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Right, looking for advice. Just redeemed four old XCOM games from a humble bundle a few years back, so I wanted advice on which one I should give a looksie to first. Got 5 choices, kind of thinking terror from the deep or apocalypse. Any suggestions?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Never be first to avert your eyes when locked in a staring contest with a cat. You must push through the pain if you ever wish to become truly whole, to win this eternal conflict of wills. Bonus XP is awarded on Thursdays!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
S Magala Plate first fight! :D
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I have basic knowledge of two other languages (with certificates to prove so) and I decided today that soon I shall be fluent in both. One at a time though.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
If you had to pick one: Firewatch, Not a Hero, or Layers of Fear?
Shinta avatarShinta
I'm soooo glad that they kept the gyroscope controls intact with Gravity Rush Remastered, and that they work well. First Dual Shock 4 game to ever use them well. If you turned them off in options, you're really missing out. Helps you fine tune aim.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Even Luigi gets it.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Alone With the Psychopath (2014) - I wrote this song after being inspired by the Epic Rap Battle of History between Jack the Ripper and Lecter. I think it sounds neat, and doesn't rip off too much from the song that inspired it =p
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Tell me who downvoted my smash 4 opinion or the cat gets it. I'm not joking around.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Is that new digimon game any good or no? I know there's the review but I'd like feedback from a couple others too
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
People bitching that "(insert character) Needs Nerfing" because they lost to them several times online, incoming in T-5 days.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
For some reason I had a dream that I was playing a new Jet Set Radio game. It was open world and had an amazing day/night cycle. It was wonderful, yet horrible...
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
4.6 Million XCOM operatives down and down! [url]https://xcom.com/xcom-2-stats[/url] 66% from Collateral damage. Never mind the Alien invasion, cars are the real threat
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -