Something wicked (awesome) this way comes.
For over a week, something very mysterious has been going on at Simogo HQ. The Swedish duo behind Beat Sneak Bandit and Bumpy Road has been teasing out facts about their fourth game in the form of a picture, .gif, and even morse code-based scavenger hunt. Astute fans on the Touch Arcade forums got as far as decoding the game’s tentative name – Lake Wary – to identify a domain owned by Simogo: yearwalk.com. Today, that domain went live, and it seems the mystery? It’s only beginning.
On the surface, Year Walk can be described as a first person horror adventure set in nature. Like the way it was announced, however, there’s nothing surface level about this game. The plot revolves around the “ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking,” which – near as I can tell – involved inducing vision quests to attempt to catch glimpses of the future. As players, you’ll be put behind the wheels of a particularly dark year walk, venturing out into the woods of 19th Century Sweden to interact with strange creatures, objects, and nature itself, all with a goal of opening “the rift that separates our world and what lies beyond.”
It’s that theme that will run throughout not only the gameplay, but the game mechanics it seems, as Simogo has publicly hinted at the idea that Year Walk will have the underpinnings of an alternate reality game. Their press release pulls no punches about the notion that “players will have to delve deeper than the adventure and lose themselves between fact and fiction.” If this all sounds a bit esoteric and uncertain to you, then Simogo likely has you exactly where they want you.
In an interview with the great team over at Hookshot Inc., the developer confirmed that this project is the result of “some real star alignment,” and hinted that various talents both gaming-related and otherwise have been brought together to aid Simogo in crafting a complete package both internal and external of the game, in order to offer players a unique experience that plays out both on their device and – in ways as of yet unknown – in their real world.
Year Walk launches this winter on iOS, and feels reminiscent of the excitement and novelty surrounding the first Blair Witch Project; it may be too early to call it, but I already feel like this will by my game (or perhaps experience?) of the year.