Reviews

New(ish) Growth – The Yawhg

I mentioned The Yawhg very briefly in pointing out the Not On Steam sale, and now that I’ve had a chance to lose an entire town to an ancient, unknowable evil, let me tell you a little more about it.

The Yawhg is a game about four people in a dark fantasy town, going about their lives, completely unaware that everything they know is about to be irrevocably changed by the arrival of the Yawhg. How the town will fare after this localised apocalypse is directly affected by the actions and decisions of the characters under your control, but the actual result of each individual turn is obfuscated by the randomness of the story, and the same situation will rarely play out the same way twice.

The Yawhg is fantastic as a story generation engine, with a compelling over-arching narrative and perfectly haphazard, jigsaw puzzle of a story for you to build yourself. More than that though, it’s beautifully realised, with fantastic artwork from Emily Carroll and perfectly fitting music by Halina Heron and sound design by Ryan Roth.

Designed to be played with up to four players, The Yawhg sits somewhere between a tabletop RPG and a boardgame, and it’s in this social context that the game really shines.

The different characters have different stats, and these can be altered for the better or worse by the tasks you choose to carry out, and the decisions you make each week. Are you charming enough to teach the King your boudoir moves? Are you smart enough to work out the meaning behind the rock patterns in the slums? Are you werewolf enough to, ummm, turn into a werewolf and destroy an entire part of the city?

Picking your battles, making the right decisions, and thinking ahead just might leave you in good stead for the inevitable arrival of the Yawhg, or perhaps it will all be in vein and you’ll die face down in the mud. Either way, you’ll find the journey interesting, charming and fun enough that you’ll want to try your luck again and again.

The Yawhg is currently cheap as part of the Not On Steam sale, but I daresay it’s worth the full asking price if you happen to miss out.

Recommendations:

  • Friends – Playing alone is a way to quickly blast through the story trying to discover all the different permutations, but it’s a perfect game to share with friends. Laugh at their misfortunes, cry at your own, drink every time you do something stupid.
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