YesterMorrow (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 10.07.2021

Review for YesterMorrow on Nintendo Switch

Time travel in any form is an intriguing concept. The ability to go back and forth in time and change it is one that YesterMorrow explores, and makes it a central part of Yui's life. Starting out as a carefree child, disaster quickly befalls Yui and her people, which sees her home utterly destroyed by the evil Shadows. Through the mysterious Everlight powers known only to the Order of Timekeepers, Yui alone has the ability to traverse the two ages, unlocking hidden areas, and performing actions in both past and future that will affect the present in this 2D platformer from Bitmap Galaxy and Blowfish Studios.

It is not always the plot of a game that catches initial interest. Watching Yui swing back and forth on vines in YesterMorrow's trailer, her silver ponytail hair matching the fluid movements as she leaps across holes and over fearsome enemies, the desire to be her and protect her from harm was instantaneous. Who wouldn't love the energetic heroine whose whole world is wrecked by the evil Shadows? Starting in Yui's childhood, the game cleverly weaves in a tutorial into the story, teaching her how to talk to people, run, jump, roll and swim her way about her village, totally carefree and with no worries other than her annoying brother. The sobering monumental event that sees everything Yui knows and love obliterated, sparks a resolve in her that forces her to grow up fast.

Solitude is an aspect to her journey that Yui has to become acclimatised with. She has minimal guidance from people in her childhood, and her future self meets a scant number of survivors whose most useful aid is often information. Patience is indeed a virtue, and plot changing revelations need a passage of time to occur. The barren wasteland created by the power of the Shadows, who are the cause of her troubles, is exciting to explore, because each of the four islands have a distinct theme which contrast each other, from deserts to arctic lands, vibrant forests, and dark underground caves. The significant environmental changes that occur when journeying to the past and future, and between areas, make the world Yui navigates dynamic with changes in the soundtrack, which enhance that contrast. It takes time for her more advanced skills to be both revealed and usable, with new abilities appearing at key plot points, but the resulting progress literally and figuratively opens doors.

Screenshot for YesterMorrow on Nintendo Switch

The hideous beasts that roam the land look and behave differently depending how old Yui is. Many can be defeated, but since it only takes a few hits for Yui to lose all health and return to the previous save point, avoiding them through precise manoeuvring is a good tactic. Thankfully save locations are fairly dispersed throughout the levels, as are the time changing portals. It can get confusing which time to be in, and exactly where to go if there are long breaks between playing sessions, for explicit direction within the game is limited, but once the destination is found it's simply a matter of solving the environmental puzzles that frequently need time travel to fix.

It is unfortunate that before and after the official release some bugs hindered gameplay. There were occasional crashes at the start of the game. Scrolling through some of the menu features like the maps and information area, to flashes on the screen that were unpleasant and led to a decreased use on that function. Worse still though was the way the game would shudder randomly during gameplay. Given the limited health Yui has, and that precision timing is crucial for some jumps, it severely impacted overall enjoyment to be partway through overcoming an obstacle and then die because the game misbehaved leading to Yui falling. These issues were eventually patched, but impacted heavily on the gaming experience.

An element that was an unexpected, but welcome surprise in this dystopian adventure, was the numerous animals that Yui discovered in the most desolate of spaces. Locating the cats, dogs and other creatures was the easy part, working out how to reach them so they could be petted took more thought and ingenuity. This provided smiles at moments when a puzzle was particularly challenging, and with the menacing aspect of the alien invaders provided Yui herself with hope for the future when life may return to normal.

Screenshot for YesterMorrow on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Yui's eventful adventure with its high personal stakes in saving her family and friends, plus her unique ability to travel between her younger self and her current self, makes YesterMorrow a strong addition to Switch's library. The time travel mechanics are simple to execute, harder to master, especially as judgement is required to decide when it is the best time to change time periods. The gripping plot and the desire to save everyone from the, at times, horrific reality, creates a strong drive in Yui that will remain long after the end credits roll, with only initial game issues prior to and shortly after launch affecting overall enjoyment.

Developer

Bitmap Galaxy

Publisher

Blowfish Studios

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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