Yesterday Origins
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Pendulo Studios
Publisher: Microids
Release Date: Nov 10, 2016

The Hype:  Pendulo Studio, widely known for their work on the Runway series, are back again with another point-and-click adventure game called Yesterday Origins. Their new game is about a character named John Yesterday, who has become immortal due to a “alchemical transformation”. In the press demo, which contains the first chapter, we’re taken to the year 1481, where John is still a mortal. Here John has been captured by the Spanish Inquisition because they believe he practices witchcraft. Due to these findings, he’s now referred to as the “Son of the Devil”, which has caused his own family, including his father to disown him.

In Reality: While in captivity, John is held by the Spanish Inquisition, but more specifically by a torturer named Ubaldino De Malantunez. In talking to his captor, he quickly realizes two things. Ubaldino likes to drink, a lot, and that he doesn’t care if John is guilty or not, he will get a confession from him. However, John realizes that there are some outside forces working with him to ensure he escapes. It’s now incumbent upon John to do most of the leg work to assure he lives to see morning.

yesterday_origins_02_gamersinbetaGameplay: Yesterday Origins is mashup of a point-and-click adventure game with puzzle elements. As you go through the loading screen, it tells you the game is best experienced with a controller. The controls do take a little bit to get used to but once you have them down, you’re off and running to solve the various puzzles.

During the course of the first chapter, you’ll find yourself in a dungeon, which has various items left over from previous tortures. Plus, a current cellmate, a live hog who has been charged with sacrilege. You’ll need to gather up as many of the items as possible and piece them together to move the story along. Also, you can engage with your captor and learn more things about your current predicament.

However, the main item in your cell is a recently deceased male who has been lowered down with a letter and a key to help you remove your shackles. Once set free, then you can move about the cell to solve puzzles and put your escape plan into motion. Some items you’ll encounter are a poisonous frog, a piece of fabric, a used drinking mug, a metal spear, and a torture device called The Boot. Essentially, you need to fake your death, swap clothes with the deceased male, and then ascend out of the dungeon. This all sounds simple but takes time to piece together.

yesterday_origins_03_gamersinbetaConclusion: Obviously, when playing the first chapter, you only get a real small dose of what the actual game is going to be about. When reading the description, they talk about you being immortal and having a companion named Pauline. None of this will you experience in Chapter 1. Instead, think of this as a prologue to a much larger story. And also, think of Chapter 1 as a tutorial because there are many opportunities to solve puzzles and use the in-game mechanics to investigate items and yourself.

Visually, the game has a vibrant comic book-esque style to it, which often ran at 120FPS or higher using my GTX 1070 card. The audio dialogue was adequate but the acting and accents didn’t hammer home the dire situation John found himself in. Instead, it made the situation almost seem lighthearted. There are several scenes which may make some squeamish but again, the comic book visuals do dampen the gore. Fans of traditional point-and-click games or even the Telltale series should find themselves at home here as Pendulo Studio is off to a promising start. I must say I’m curious to see where they take the story from here and how they transition from all the different worlds we’re suppose to encounter.

Look for Yesterday Origins to release on November 10th via Steam.