Developer: Tricore Inc.
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 19/08/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
I love a good horror game, in any form, be it running around a messed up town with nightmare inducing creatures following you, or the slow methodical jump scare variety and everything in between. The walking simulator I find the scariest (I looking at you, Outlast). All you can do is try to get away and hide. Well, here we have the latest horror game I have played, Yuoni.
Back in the 1990s there was a rumour that if you place a doll on a table and leave it and put a bucket of water in another room. Then go back to the doll, pick it up and dunk it in the bucket. The ghost of a dead boy will invite you to play Yuoni. If you win, the boy will grant your wish and lose…. well you lose.
You play as Ai, a 10-year-old who has heard the rumour and goes to summon the boy. After nothing happens right away, she believes everything is ok. Until the next day, where she is dragged it to a world covered in an ever setting sun and horrors, Ai will need to face to win Yuoni. This is the first game I have played and there is a reason the main character does not have a weapon to defend themself as she only 10
They give the story between the levels Ai will face. It is delivered through simple text. However, the story is bloody good; it goes ti to great detail regarding the boy, Yuoni and everything in between. It is really well done, and due to it being between levels, the tension is not broken but story segments.
The gameplay is really simple, a little too simple if I am honest. As Ai, you walk around cramped corridors and either sneak past the blind ghost by holding your breath and crouching. Run past deaf ghosts to find somewhere to hide. The boy is also lurking about you have to get past him. However, he is bright red so hard to miss. The only other thing Ai will need to do is picking up and using items while remembering where you went.
There a few problems I have with the level design. First, the damn corridors are so dark at times it makes it hard to progress. The other thing is most of the corridors are just littered with items you spend more time trying to avoid hitting them than hiding from ghosts.
However, the biggest problem I have with Yuoni is that it is not scary at all. When you first see the ghost and the boy, the nerves are gone, and it is really a case of sneaking by things or running. And no constant fear of them catching you. I actually got killed on purpose to see what happened.
Overall, Yuoni has a fantastic and deep lore filled story, but it let down by the way to simple gameplay. For being a budget title, it is not a terrible game, just needed more attention to the fear factor.
If you are looking for a short horror filled game, then wait on a sale.