Trek to Yomi: Monochromatic Japanese Samurai Carnage

Trek to Yomi the indie game

Launched in May 2022, here’s a monochromatic Japanese platformer that plays out like a ’50s Japanese film.

From Flying Wild Hog, a Polish indie team in Warsaw, Trek to Yomi is a total beauty to behold. And although a brief experience, we sure revelled in the bloody samurai revenge story action. Have at you!

Trek to Yomi is All About the Sword

This SOB is available RIGHT NOW on Steam, PS4/5, Xbox One (where it’s free on Game Pass), and that’s it for now.

Trek to Yomi isn’t unique with its focus on traditional Japan. For other highlights there, you have the amazing Ōkami (2006) and Murasama: Demon Blade (2009).

And Hollywood films such as The Last Samurai (2003) also nod to the fascinating history of the Japanese people.

Trek to Yomi channels that history into a short but violent adventure, with stylised set pieces in glorious black and white.

Set in the Edo period of Japan (1604-1867), players take control of the young samurai Hikoki. One day, his village is razed by a warring party. In response, he must set off on a redemptive arc to slash everyone before him to death.

It’s kind of like a historic version of the Dreamcast’s Shenmue (1999), but without all the pretentious bollocks.

Flying Wild Hog really do develop the story out as much as possible, and it’s one of the leading cores of the game, but then there’s also the swordplay action. Behold!

The melee sections of the game are pretty easy to master. You just parry a bit, then swipe your enemy to death.

It’s not particular advanced and Unto the End (2020) had a similar system that doesn’t work particularly well.

But as with that game, Trek to Yomi is simply beautiful to behold.

It goes to great lengths to recreate an Edo period Japanese village, which you get to tour through at the start of the experience. And that’s a lot of fun, taking in the fine attention to detail.

Add into that the traditional Japanese folk music hōgaku (邦楽) and it makes for a rather splendid audiovisual experience.

The soundtrack is by Cody Matthew Johnson and Yoko Honda.

But the game hasn’t been particularly well received by the gaming press, receiving largely middling reviews. Many journalists have complained about the underwhelming exploration.

We think that’s a bit harsh. Trek to Yomi is a linear platformer, yes, but its leaning towards a cinematic experience takes the edge off of that.

There’s no denying it’s also a short game. And the combat system, whilst satisfyingly gory, doesn’t have much complexity about it.

Despite its issues, we have to say we enjoyed it a great deal.

Trek to Yomi is a stylised romp steeped in Japanese history (something we’re fascinated by), so it gets a thumbs up from us as a unique journey with a striking visual style.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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