Yesterday ($4.99) by Bulkypix is a noir themed mystery game that’s designed for adults. Why adults? Well, it’s got a fairly dark storyline for a mobile game, including Satanists, lots of guns, creepy mannequins, blood, and violence.
I was a bit surprised with its theme, since I’m used to playing games with birds and fruit, but it did make the game stand out. I was equally surprised with the unique comic book art style that the game employed.
Visually, Yesterday plays a bit like an interactive comic book, with popups of interactions and explorations, along with comic-style dialogue. It’s both gorgeous and polished, making this a game that you may want to download just for its look.
The story involves a bunch of homeless people that have been burned to death by a psychotic man. Mysterious Y-shaped scars have shown up on the hands of random people, but the media, for some reason, is entirely disinterested in these strange events.
Instead it is up to you and the three playable characters to investigate the murders and find out what is going on. You will switch between the three characters as the game progresses, and each has a different backstory.
Investigating will take the form of exploring different areas for objects and then using those objects to solve puzzles, as is typical in a mystery solving game.
Puzzles are challenging, but not too tough. You will figure out puzzles like how to use a can and a knife to open a padlocked door, or how to construct a torch from nearby components. The game is essentially a series of puzzles.
You will tap on various points in a scene to zoom in and explore objects. Some objects you can pick up, and when tapped, they will move to your inventory. Objects in your inventory can be combined by dragging one on top of another, and dragging them into the environment is how you solve the puzzles.
Because it’s not always easy to discern what to do next or where to explore, the game has an extensive hint system. Tapping the lightbulb will give you a clue on what to do next, and tapping the radar will show you all of the interactive areas in each scene.
Yesterday is a slow paced game with a lot of exposition and quite a few cut scenes. It’s very story oriented, but the story is engaging enough that this is acceptable. I tend to become impatient with this type of game, so if you’re like me, keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to purchase it.
If you enjoy mysteries, or if you’re looking for a console quality game to play on your iPad, you won’t go wrong with Yesterday. My only complaint is that it is a bit short, but that is easily overlooked when you consider its low price point ($4.99) and its innovative graphic style.