Not too long ago, we looked at Developer Digital’s latest indie title, Trek to Yomi. Developed by Leonard Menchiari and Flying Wild Hog, Trek to Yomi blew our minds as we stepped into the monochrome world of a young samurai named Hiroki who must stop a threat endangering his people. Trek to Yomi makes players feel like they entered an old movie and we loved every second of the demo we were blessed to play. Well, folks, we now have the final game in our hands but the question has to be asked. Was our hype met with mediocrity in the end or is Trek to Yomi a possible indie game of the year? Short answer, the latter, long answer to be found in our coverage below!
Hiroki’s Fate is in Your Control
Trek to Yomi can be quite deceiving at first. Many gamers might take one look at this title and think of titles like Limbo or Inside as you run around a black and white pseudo-3D landscape. However, Trek to Yomi is so much more as it blends fast swordplay with a simple exploration system. You take control of young Hiroki—who does get older quickly—and from here, your journey begins proper.
Hiroki is a samurai whose life is in your hands. Players are given a sword and a few projectiles to use but beyond that, survival for Hiroki stems from your skill. You have a fast attack, heavy attack, deflect/shield move, and the ability to launch a limited supply of projectiles. Similar to a Dark Souls game, Trek to Yomi on normal or harder difficulties, won’t just allow you to spam attacks and survive unscathed. Players will need to master their blade attacks as timing is the means of doing heavy amounts of damage or facing a quick death. Enemies aren’t foolish, they will surround Hiroki and move about as much as possible. You need to quickly learn how to time your strikes to eliminate a fellow warrior or face restarting from the last save area. Trek to Yomi is pretty kind with saving via shrines, thankfully, but that should give you an idea of how difficult this game can get.
Explore the Lands
The developers of Trek to Yomi clearly wanted players to not just run through their game as quickly as humanly possible. Those who aren’t the explorative types will miss out on tons of special things to collect such as story-related collectibles, ammo for your projectiles, and upgrades for both health and stamina. The latter especially can mean your chances for survival in the later sections of the game where some enemies can kill you in just a few swings! Besides gathering collectibles though, exploration in Trek to Yomi is engaging with Hiroki sometimes stumbling upon a fellow villager in need, or a random enemy that will challenge you just because. These little additions make the world of Trek to Yomi that much more captivating and made us reload the game numerous times to see if we did skip an area by sheer accident.
The Tale of Hiroki and His People
On paper, we worried the story in Trek to Yomi would just be another generic samurai tale that has been done a billion times over. Clearly, Trek to Yomi’s developers worried about that as well and focused on crafting a pretty authentic tale that feels like it could have come from a samurai’s life. Hiroki’s honor is the main theme of Trek to Yomi and players will see how his teachings differ from those who just crave power and rulership. We constantly were glued to the screen when a story segment came up and wondered what trial awaited our samurai next. Players will love Trek to Yomi for the gameplay obviously but the story will definitely hook those who love Japanese lore and narrative.
Those Visuals…Just Wow
Trek to Yomi is gorgeous, we said that in our initial demo-focused article and we will say it again, the final product is truly outstanding. Despite the lack of color, Trek to Yomi has extensive amounts of detail in everything from how the environments look to how an enemy falls haphazardly into a boat if you kill him near one. For an indie title, Trek to Yomi could pass as a triple-A game with how little detail was put into every crevice of the game!
Trek to Yomi is hands down one of the most impressive titles we’ve played in 2022. Boasting an incredible story, amazing—and simple—gameplay, and visuals that could match a movie from the olden days, Trek to Yomi has no issues we can honestly find. Players will no doubt beat the game within 5-8 hours on normal but will want to replay it on harder difficulties and/or scour the land for all the little collectibles you can find! Trek to Yomi is a must-play game and we hope this review made that all too obvious!
Are you excited now for Trek to Yomi!? Let us know via the comment section below as we love reading your thoughts! Keep stuck to our amazing samurai hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more game reviews and all things anime-related!