Yomawari: The Long Night Collection - Announcement Trailer (Nintendo Switch)
Who it Caters to
With Halloween just a couple weeks away and everyone getting into the spirit of scaring people, NIS America is prepping up to release Yomawari: The Long Night Collection for Nintendo Switch. This scary collection consists of two titles, the popular Yomawari: Night Alone which released back in 2016, and the more recent Yomawari: Midnight Shadows which released just a year later. Both titles dive into a world that deals with death, fear, and mystery, tying them all together to create a compelling narrative about 2 girls who must escape the terrors of the night. Those who haven’t had the opportunity to play the first one should definitely grab this collection since it provides you with the sequel straight out of the box, and so once you’ve completed the first one you can simply jump straight into the second. Anyone who loves a good jump scare and survival horror with a great deal of exploration too, will certainly find Yomawari: The Long Night Collection to be a worthwhile purchase for Halloween.
What to Expect
Yomawari: The Long Night Collection is a game in which you play as two young girls who find themselves trapped in a world filled with spirits, and need to find solutions to escape the terror before it swallows them whole. The first game deals with a young girl whose dog Poro along with her sister go missing, and she must wander around town to find any sort of information that may lead her to them. Using items such as stones, coins, and shovels, you’re able to discover clues and also cause distraction to avoid being targeted by the spirits that roam around. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows follows the same premise but instead of a dog and sister going missing, the game has you experiencing two perspectives from that of Yui and Haru. The two attend a fireworks festival but then find themselves lost on the way back home, eventually getting separated once they let go of each others hands. Now it’s your mission to help the two reunite and return home safely before it’s too late.
Every decision you make with one of the girls directly influences the story of the other, which adds a lot more depth to the gameplay. Both adventures will be entirely different and so you’ll need to navigate around town using your only tool, the flashlight, to collect coins, stones, and other materials to survive. Are you ready to endure the long night?
Yomawari: The Long Night Collection takes on the survival horror thrill in a different manner by placing the camera directly above the character, as opposed to the traditional over the shoulder or first person view. This bird’s eye view actually provides the player with a lot more information pertaining to objects and clues around them, but will require a great deal of exploration in order to discover more important clues along the way. Much of the game takes its design inspiration from the quiet residential streets in Japan, and adds a creepy aura to it by throwing spirits into the mix to really stir up your emotions. Much of the gameplay has you wandering around outside, using your flashlight to determine the right path to travel on, but also to help you avoid running into trouble. Some spirits don’t attack you and are merely used as roadblocks but a vast majority of them are there to either freak you out, or chase you. From a visual perspective it’s all very cleverly designed so that the player is in constant disarray and is never too sure just where to go.
Yomawari: The Long Night Collection is a survival horror title and so, it’s expected that you’ll most likely be rewarded with a lot of spooky environments. The funny thing is that there’s very little music but a lot more sound effects, which really start to play with your mind as you dive deeper into the game. As you encounter spirits around the neighbourhood, your heartbeat meter will rise or fall depending on how close you are to them. If they start chasing you, your meter will increase significantly, which in turn affects your stamina and adds a little bit of realism to the experience. The sounds you’ll mostly hear are the moans and shrieks from spirits, and your loud heartbeat as you desperately try to escape the terrors of the night.
Just imagine yourself in the game and the experience becomes even more thrilling, as the sounds become more real and even your own heart starts to flutter. The gameplay is very straightforward: your goal is to explore the town and ensure that both girls are reunited, all while trying to avoid being pursued by the spirits that plague the area. It’s certainly a very immersive experience because so much of your focus is placed on gathering items, which help you to save at Jizo Statues, or distract spirits from pursuing you in order to open up new paths. Since both girls cannot resort to physical actions, much of the experience relies on using the flashlight to guide you, avoiding any sort of suspicious activity that may pop up.
Anytime you’re confronted with a question mark over your head, it’s usually a sign that something important is nearby, whether it be an item to collect or a hiding spot to be mindful of. Usually, when you encounter a bush or street sign it’s a cue that something creepy is lurking nearby, and that you may need to hide in order to avoid what’s coming. Those little cues are very helpful in a lot of cases, especially when you’re just wandering around in search for new clues. Since each spirits you encounter has their own unique characteristics on how you deal with them, figuring out the right method of approach becomes even more important. For example, some spirits will not even attack you but rather just pop up out of the blue to freak you out, then disappear. Others will chase you for very long periods and the only way to avoid them is to use rocks to distract them, or tiptoe away. Due to the vast variety of spirits in the game, you’re encouraged to use discernment and asses the scenario carefully, to ensure you survive and can get to safety.
As the story progresses, you’ll be able to find more powerful items, a notable one being the Omamori, a charm-based item that directly influences the stats of the girls. For example, by equipping the Omamori, Yui and Haru will receive a boost in stamina or an increase in running speed.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Overall, Yomawari: The Long Night Collection is the perfect treat for Halloween, especially if you’re a fan of the survival horror genre. Its unique approach to the genre is complimented with its story, which many of us can definitely relate to. There surely have been times in our lives when we’ve been separated from those who we care about, and the fear of losing them starts to sink in. That fear is heightened even more when you have scary spirits wandering around looking to create even more mischief, pulling at your heartstrings as you try to find a place to hide. This is one title you’ll want to definitely play with the lights off, the sound all the way up, and noise-cancelling earphones plugged in to get the most immersive experience possible. Everything that you loved from the original is still there in terms of the core gameplay mechanics, so fans of the series can just absorb themselves right away!
2-in-1 package is always a plus, not to mention both games are amazing.
Great stories that are relatable, and full of emotion.
Perfect for Halloween!
Everything you enjoyed from Night Alone is right there with Midnight Shadows!
Controls can feel stiff at times which may frustrate some, especially when trying to run away.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Yomawari: The Long Night Collection is one more game that you can add to your Halloween wishlist, so don’t sleep on this one! Be sure to check out our full review on the original Yomawari: Night Alone so that you can get a better idea of how the game is, should you be new to the series.
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!