Yesterday is an upcoming point-and-click adventure game produced by Pendulo Studios, makers of the popular Runaway series and The Next BIG Thing. Having previously introduced us to quirky characters that make us laugh, Pendulo now brings us even quirkier characters who mystify and terrify.

The game opens in a room with the names of demons etched into the floor and occult symbols scrawled in blood on the walls. The camera pulls back to show handcuffs suspended from the ceiling. As more of the room comes into view, a montage of sound begins: a whistled tune, the buzzing of flies, then shouts and shrieks.

A Helping Hand

The images vanish as the story goes back in time to the previous year. Two innocents are visiting an abandoned underground train station to help the homeless. The do-gooders are Henry White -- a wealthy young geek. And Samuel Cooper -- an athlete who acts fast and thinks slow. You assume the role, first of Henry, and then of Cooper as the story progresses.

Henry enters the infamous Cadway station alone, and encounters two homeless men. One seems downright crazed. The other is more sane but willing to follow his friend's orders. As the situation deteriorates, Henry ingeniously gets a message to Cooper.

Cooper is incredibly strong physically, but also a bit of a coward. As a member of The Young Pioneers, he was emotionally abused as a child. You see flashbacks where a man in a uniform screams insults at Cooper. Intriguingly, some of the invective actually helps Cooper remember how to use the materials at hand and summon his courage to rescue Henry.

Exclusively You

Challenges -- mostly inventory based -- are frequently multi-stepped and are quite clever. The hotspot description system is unusual, written from a distinctive perspective to assist the character development. Henry and Cooper react differently to the same items.

For example, the comments when Henry views a mosaic shaped like an eye:

You remember a Roman mosaic you saw in your high school history book. Maybe it's the gigantic eye, maybe not, but the truth is, you feel like you're being watched.

When Cooper views it:

You recall having seen mosaics like this. In some science fiction movie perhaps. The only thing you can think to do with the mosaic is to bash it with your fist, but you'd prefer not to.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Stylized and unsettling, Yesterday's graphics display odd angles, showing underground spaces that are decaying and bizarre. Dialogs sometimes contain unusually spicy language (voiceovers hadn't been added yet in the version I played). The ambient sounds help create an atmosphere of creepiness and apprehension.

By the end of the first chapter, the sense of something preternatural and disturbing is manifest. The journey with Henry and Cooper has commenced. What will befall them? Will both survive?

Yesterday will release next month (March 2012).

Would you like to learn more about Yesterday? Read the full review by flotsam.

Last edited by Becky; 04/03/12 07:15 AM.