Trek To Yomi (2022) is samurai action fighting game set in a mythical reimagining of the Edo period of Japan. You follow a young warrior on a journey to confront the people responsible for the destruction of his village. It's a short kaleidoscope of a game, compared by some to the Slide Master that offers a series of evocative three dimensional scenes.
As a vow to his dying Master, the young swordsman Hiroki is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats. Faced with tragedy and bound to duty, the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward.
Play involves working through a series of encounters and traversal scenes viewed from different angles. Viewed from the side, you must balance fast light attacks with heavier and stronger blows. This, along with blocking, creates a simple yet skilful combat challenge. To do well you need to pay attention to the combat stance of your opponents and plan attacks accordingly.
The combat is a major element of the game, but just as interesting is the staging and point of view. Gameplay alternates between exploration and combat from a variety of vantage points. You soon discover there is more than meets the eye, with secret areas that offer additional health, stamina, tools and weapons. You can also find other characters who offer clues as to where to go next.
While the head chopping and blood flowing combat isn't unusual, the understated black and white visuals and sombre overall tone make this game stand out. It draws on the spirit of classic samurai film and aims to create a cinematic experience. There's an emphasis on style as well as execution and with that an epic story about the forces of evil and a heroic return to make good on failed promises.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Trek To Yomi 19 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 10 months ago.