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Better forgotten

Product: Yesterday | Developer: Pendulo Studios | Publisher: Bulkypix | Format: Android | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle | Players: 1 | File size: 1.25GB | Version: Europe
Yesterday Android, thumbnail 1
Following Pendulo Studios's lighthearted comedies like Runaway and The Next Big Thing, Yesterday certainly has ambitions of being a darker, more sinister game.

It's got plenty of murder, a touch of blood, a smattering of swear words, and tackles bleak subjects like suicide and satanism.

But its attempt at darkness often feels insincere, and the schlocky script is so clumsy that it all feels a little bit embarrassing. In reality, Yesterday is about as menacing as a pre-teen goth.

It certainly doesn't help that Pendulo has tried to keep its trademark comedy intact. It results in a head-on collision of humour and darkness - a sort of bizarre mash-up where quirky cartoon characters get their squishy faces caved in by an axe.

Wasn't born yesterday

Amongst all this faux-edgy bloodshed, Yesterday is a standard point-and-click adventure, where you solve tricky puzzles by scooping up items and combing them to get ahead.

Sadly, the solutions are about as coherent as the game's script. It's filled with those nasty puzzles where the setup is only explained when you've finally fumbled your way to the answer.

Like, in one, ringing a giant bell will cause a bluebird to return to its nest - but there's no suggestion or even a subtle hint that those two objects are linked.

The head-scratchers can also be massively obtuse. I hope you know how to hack into touch-tone phones, or what a scytale is. You're certainly not given much help: in a later hurdle, you're given no explanation as to why your circular saw won't shatter glass.

Tomorrow never comes

The story is a mess. The constant twists and turns definitely keep it engaging, but the plot is so convoluted and compressed that it's hard to keep track of it all. In fact, the endgame essentially boils down to the bad guys helpfully explaining the last three hours of narrative.

The characters are almost universally poor, too, being variously unlikeable, annoying, or lacking in personality entirely. I can't even remember the desperately underwritten love interest's name. (Janet?)

Yesterday is a bad game. Its attempts to be funny and dark both fall flat, and the puzzles are completely harebrained. The story at least might have been a little interesting, if it wasn't so badly written, clumsily plotted, and if it was given a few more hours to actually explain itself.
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 21 June 2012
Yesterday is as dark as a summer's day and as funny as a kick in the teeth. The puzzles are poorly designed and the story barely even makes sense. Leave this one in the past
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