Nippon Ichi is a Japanese developer that’s fascinated by how simplistic and yet interesting the indie games created in the west can be, so they are motivated to create many games that emulate this spirit. Yomawari is one of such off-springs. Being very self-explanatory, but compensating with some interesting visual and creativity.
The basic premise sounds simple enough: You play as a little girl who is just looking for her missing dog and her older sister who went to look for said dog. But her innocence and powerless will put you in a very uncomfortable situation while exploring normal locations in a Japanese city. All of a sudden, everything looks menacing and dark, and you’re all alone.
It doesn’t take too much until you get stalked by strange apparitions. Being just a little girl, you don’t have any weapon to fight those back, your only options are to escape or to use tools to distract them. This sense of powerlessness is actually perfect to set the horror, since anything is a big threat!
The enemies come in many different forms. Some look simple, others are traditional ghosts, there are even silly ones, but you get the huge and bizarre ones, too! Nevertheless, they all look creepy when you get into the spirit of the game.
There is no voices, and mot of the story is presented through visuals alone, but there are some texts here and there in the menus and to give you the basic motivation of the characters and to let clear what you should do next. All the text uses the hiragana alphabet, which is the most basic and simple alphabet used in the Japanese language (which makes sense, since you’re playing the game by the point-of-view of a child), so basic knowledge of the language should be enough.
If you own a PS Vita, it should be pretty tough to get some games to it when using a US or EU account, but this is just one of the many games from the Japanese library that might bring a bit of life to this portable, so do check it out when you can!