YIIK is a phantasmic story about life and nihilism
After covering Two Brothers a couple years ago, I have been looking forward to Ackk Studios’ next release with bated breath. YIIK is billing itself as a post-modern RPG that draws inspiration from titles like Earthbound while giving the experience its own fresh spin.
Right from the beginning, one of the most noticeable things about YIIK is the abstract art design that it employs. The contrasting colors and flat-shaded environments had a big effect on me as I was playing it.
It felt like the developers have been having fun coming up with a direction that can only be described as hallucinatory. Even the character models themselves are almost papercraft in their look and movement.
Yet despite the striking visuals, the world found in this game is grounded in reality - players will spend a lot of their time fighting other humans instead of the more fantastical dragons and demons.
The story takes place in the far flung past of 1999. A group of imageboard site members have learned that one of the other users have gone missing, so they head out to learn more about what actually happened to them. It helps that these same people are fans of the occult and other mysteries.
While searching for this girl’s disappearance, I happened upon Windtown, a small borough out in the boonies. Not is all that it seems as any time I tried talking to a resident a battle would take place, with some excuse given like a person in a bad mood after getting home from work or a kid looking to cause trouble. Basically, everyone had issues and the only way I could solve them is by hitting them with keytars and vinyl discs.
Battles took place in a turn-based format, but injected with a modern feel. Each attack or defense has its own timed mini-game that the player will need to get the rhythm down to deal the most damage or avoid an attack from the enemy completely.
These mini-games can range from a spinning ring not unlike the Judgment Ring from Shadow Hearts to playing a game of Pong.
I feel that players will find plenty to love with YIIK. The soundtrack is wonderfully robust with each battle having its own tune; the characters are relatable and well developed even in the short time I played; and the story is deep enough to where there are multiple endings to experience.
Already in my short time with the game the humor found in the writing came across well and I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in the atmosphere. The design may be somewhat simplistic, but if my recent forays into the indie market is concerned, it doesn’t take a huge budget to tell a wonderful story.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is set to be released soon for the PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Wii U.