Our Score: 7/10
Yuoni is a first-person narrative horror game that whisks you away to a sunset-stained world to play a deadly game of hide and seek. As grade-schooler Ai, navigate authentic Japanese environments and utilise every hiding space you can find to survive the horrors ahead. And if they find you… run.
What is Yuoni
Ai is a Japanese elementary school student in the 1990s who is about to realise how solitary she is. Ai is hounded by otherworldly beings as her life hangs in the balance as she is forced to play children’s games in a world of never-ending dusk. When the horrors spread into the real world, Ai realises she only has three options: hide, run, or die.
Before starting a terrifyingly twisted version of tag with abominations not of this world, test your courage in a perilous game of hide and seek. Use the goods you’ve obtained to escape your sunset hell, but remember the paths you’ve walked or you’ll be stuck there indefinitely.
In a mysterious world where a Japanese house, school, and hospital are all oddly connected. Experience an unsettling blend of beauty, dread, and nostalgia. Explore crimson-tinged corridors. See the ethereal glow of amber through traditional Japanese house paper walls. And flee creeping black shadows in hospital rooms where the power is always out.
Story of Yuoni
Ai, who is mute and apprehensive, is overjoyed when she meets a group of friends with whom she can play. But it turns out that the ghostly apparitions locked in the land of dusk aren’t the only dangers she faces; ghosts are cruel, but children are much crueler. To advance, you must uncover your classmates’ dark thoughts and terrifying truths. Ai will learn more about her new companions than she’d like to know throughout the game.
10-year-old To combat the opponents you confront, Ai has no defensive tactics. Instead, you must exploit each spirit’s flaws to live. Hold your breath to sneak past blind opponents. Or dash past deaf opponents as quickly as your small legs would allow. And if you don’t get out in time, you’re in for a terrible fate at the hands of powers you can’t imagine.
Look and Feel
Yuoni manages to do a lot with a little in terms of graphics. The settings are cramped — either packed rooms or narrow corridors – with a variety of obstacles to overcome and ghosts to avoid. However, it does a fantastic job of conveying what it must be like to be a helpless youngster. Yuoni is able to create the frightening atmosphere required by trying to sneak by to flee, recalling where the next hidey hole was, and sneaking around with her palm over her mouth. You’ll receive chills down your spine if you add in some equally terrifying sounds, such as Japanese bells.
Yuoni doesn’t break any new ground in the first-person horror genre, but it does feature an intriguing folklore premise that will keep you entertained for the duration of the game. Its jump scares are at the forefront of its sound design, which is at the foundation of the most heart-racing moments. Nonetheless, the whole experience is hampered by repetitive level design, perplexing direction, and limited exploration options.