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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Year Walk (2013) is a horror narrative traversal game where you partake in the ancient Nordic tradition of Year Walking to see glimpses of the future. As you travel the snowy landscapes by moonlight, you see creatures and characters from Swedish mythology and must solve puzzles to progress. It stands out for this dark, twisted reimagining of an ancient ritual, complete with a mystery to solve and scares to brave.

The game is based around Årsgång, an old Swedish ritual in which journeyers would venture out at midnight on New Year's Eve to the local church, completing a set of instructions that, if completed, grant you a glimpse at the next year's events. As Daniel Svensson, you set out on a Year Walk to see what your future holds and uncover a dark twist of fate at its end.

Play involves moving through the forest, going left, right, up and down to explore the different layers of the world. During your journey, you encounter beings from mythic tales, such as a Nixie (a horse spirit in a river) and Huldra (a seductive forest spirit), who create one of the game's more unsettling and horrific moments. To progress, you need to solve simple puzzles such as moving objects or going to the correct places to unlock new areas. The game is supported by a free app that provides details of the year walking phenomenon. Progressing unlocks clues in the journal, which can be pieced together to uncover (and solve) a dark mystery, and even find the secret "true" ending of the game.

The result is a game that wants you to get lost. Like the real-world journey into the wild, you must embrace this uncertainty to find a way forward. This combines with the dark recreation of ritualistic tradition to both unsettling and intrigue. Slowly progressing as the ambience and darkness build make for a haunting and memorable experience.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Year Walk 9 months ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Year Walk. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Narrative game with Adventure, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Traversal and World Building elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 1 hour and 2 and a half hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for pictures or sounds likely to be horrifying. Image of a woman looking rather serene, floating in the air. Image 'stutters' slightly, her face changes and becomes frightening and quickly rushes at the screen, growing larger all the time until the face is full-sized. The woman's face now shows blood-soaked sharp teeth and drawn eyes. Together with the music and background, it all presents a sense of foreboding, horror and slight revulsion.

Rated 12+ on the Apple App Store for Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes, Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence, Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes, and Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence.

Skill Level

13+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.

CostsCosts

Year Walk usually costs £4.99.
 

Year Walk

Steam Store PC £4.99
Steam Store Mac £4.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 21/02/2013, updated in 2015

Out Now: Mac, PC, Wii U and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Narrative (Adventure, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Traversal and World Building)

Accessibility: 15 features

Components: 2D Side-On

Developer: Simogo (@Simogo)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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