In six weeks, the Yawhg will arrive.
I say arrive, but that might not be accurate. Perhaps it will instead just appear, sidle up, or simply just happen. I’m not quite sure, but all I know is that in six weeks, Yawhg will occur. Apologies for my vagueness, but that’s the rather enigmatic backstory behind Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll’s The Yawhg, which will forever be enshrined in my memory as being my most misspelled game ever.
The Yawhg is less a game, and more a short interactive tale. Presented in an extremely basic ‘choose-your-own’ adventure format, you’re given the choice of four characters with which to explore this exquisite tale. Play them all by yourself, or treat the experience as a hot-seat game with a couple of friends, the choice is ultimately yours.
Although it isn’t, not really. Despite allowing you to choose how to spend your remaining few weeks leading up to the Yawhg, there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent its occurrence. The Yawhg will happen, but that’s about the only thing you can state with certainty about your playthrough.
Each week requires you to first choose a location for your character, chosen from eight across a beautifully drawn city. Next, you decide how you will occupy your time there, be it tending the bar, or dancing with the gentry under the nose of the king. And that’s where things get interesting.
Every time you visit a location, an event will occur. Competing in a darts competition in the local tavern, scuffling in the streets or dancing with dryads in the forest – these are just a few of the bizarre occurrences that can befall you. Each event gives you a choice, and the outcome of that choice has an impact upon your stats. Strength, magic, wealth, all can change or vanish completely down to the will of the gods.
And then six weeks later, the Yawhg occurs, and everything changes.
What happens next is remarkable and I don’t intend to spoil for you. Nevertheless, you’ll learn an interesting lesson about choice, happiness and fate. Life doesn’t tend to take you where you expect it to, and the Yawhg is no exception to that rule.
Although not particularly long, the Yawhg will keep you occupied far longer than its brief length would suggest. There is a real joy to be found in exploring the massive number of experiences the game has on offer, and after a dozen playthroughs, I’m still finding it has more to offer.
The Yawhg is due for release on May 30th 2013.