YesterMorrow is a gorgeous precision platformer that dabbles with time travel elements. Yui and her family are celebrating the Festival of Light when the shadows invade. Yui runs to alert the Grandmaster about what has happened at the village, but she falls into a deep hole and doesn’t reach him in time. Fast forward a few years and the world is bleak. The shadows have stolen the sun, and many people are missing.
Yui learns she can travel between the past and present and can use this ability, along with the Everlight, to return light to the world and banish the shadows forever.
When I first heard about YesterMorrow, it sounded like the perfect game for me. It’s a gorgeous 2D platformer, with metroidvania elements, has time travel and a female protagonist. It spoke to me! So, did the game itself live up to the high expectations I had placed on it? Let’s take a look.
YesterMorrow has your typical platformer gameplay. Initially, you can only walk, run, and jump, but as you progress, you gain more abilities to help with the journey. You’ll learn more about Yui, and her people, as you jump through past and present, and use your abilities to solve puzzles.
YesterMorrow is a precision platformer, but without the responsive controls to be a good one. I regularly found myself frustrated because Yui couldn’t jump fast enough or dash wouldn’t trigger an air vent. This was especially noticeable during a timed section where platforming, abilities and the air vents were essential. In this same section there didn’t seem to be a consistent balance for enemies; Some runs there’d be very few, and others I’d be bombarded with them.
Sometimes it felt like the platforming was intentionally hard for the sake of being hard, with timing being of the essence. I’m sure many people would enjoy this. People that thrive on bounding their way through difficult platforming, and the reviews on Steam confirm this, but I am not one of these people. Be challenging, sure, but not frustratingly so. Find the Strawberry is a Celeste reference, I know challenging platforming! And enjoy it when done well.
Further to this, it sounds like the Nintendo Switch version has huge framerate issues, which cause the game to be almost unplayable. I am fortunate to have played on PC which didn’t have any of those issues. There were occasional screen glitches but nothing that stopped me from being able to complete the game. Hopefully, these issues get sorted out in a future patch.
Art and sound design
The art is where YesterMorrow shines! It really is a gorgeous game, and the juxtaposition between past and present is excellent. The past radiates colour with high contrast tones, giving a happy and vibrant tone to that period, where the present is drab and gloomy and easily depicts the feeling of the people since the shadow invasion. The character design is also wonderful, I especially love the look of Yui and the differences in her character been past and present. There’s also a day/night cycle which doesn’t seem to impact gameplay but it is lovely watching the stars come out. Also, you can pat the dog, and cat, and fox and many other animals, so that’s a definite win!
The soundtrack is nice and relaxing, mostly. It is nothing outstanding and doesn’t bring emotion to the game but it is nice for something in the background. There is no voice acting in YesterMorrow, with text for all dialogue. This is fine, of course, however, the majority of dialogue can’t be skipped or paused, so you need to wait for each conversation to happen.
So, did I like YesterMorrow? Well, sometimes. The beginning was lovely, where you get to go and talk to everyone in the village, give your first dog a pat. But as things get more intense and more difficult, the enjoyment wanes. I found myself pushing through hard platforming sections, just to say I could. Or, even worse, just taking health hits to get through spikes rather than waste time. There were many instances where if the option was to try and do it right, or waste some health, I’d always go for the latter.
YesterMorrow is good, but it could definitely be better, especially on the Switch version. I’d definitely hold off on playing if you were planning on playing on the Switch. If you’re into precision platformers, then you will probably enjoy YesterMorrow, but I’d still wait until some updates come through and issues are patched.
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** Find The Strawberry received a free key for YesterMorrow from Blowfish Studios. All opinions are my own **