NIS America have shared a new trailer for Yomawari: Night Alone, introducing some of the threats the heroine will face. Don’t be fooled by the cartoony presentation and chibi character designs—it looks terrifying. I can’t wait for this game.
Yomawari is a survival horror game following a young girl’s search for her missing dog, Poro, and her older sister. Of course, there’s something sinister going on in her town that brings out all manner of evil spirits to stalk her, attack her, and generally be a nuisance.
One of the most fascinating things about it—and the new trailer captures this wonderfully—is the juxtaposition of super-cute presentation, haunting piano soundtrack, dark themes, and horrible monsters. The apparent inconsistency makes everything that much scarier, because it’s all happening in a place that feels like it should be safe and comforting.
In that sense, it’s reminiscent of htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, another Nippon Ichi Software game that used a similar stylistic conflict to drive home its ideas and create emotional resonance. That it looks like htoL#NiQ is no coincidence, either; Yomawari is directed by Yu Mizokami, who worked on hotL#NiQ as an artist and level designer. In fact, while they’re mechanically very different, Yomawari looks like something of a thematic sequel to hotL#NiQ, and that’s a great thing indeed.
Yomawari: Night Alone is due out on October 25 for PlayStation Vita and PC. It came out in Japan last year.