Brace Yourself, “The Yawhg” is Coming

Over the break I was struggling to come up with ideas for what to write this second blog post on. I kept putting it off and procrastinating, hoping that an idea would just come to me. Normally this mindset does not work out all that well, but I also do not normally play video games with my brothers. My youngest brother had been begging me to play this certain game with him. Usually I sulk off to my bedroom and refuse the offer, but he said it was fairly short and would be fun, so I caved.  

The game comes from a gaming community website called SteamThe Yawhg, created by developers Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll and then published by Sommer was released in May of 2013 as an indie “choose your own adventure” game that can be played with one to four people. After the number of players and avatars are chosen, the game opens up with this intriguing first line: 

“The Yawhg will be here in six weeks…and no one expects it. Not a one of us. We just keep on living our lives, week by week, unaware…”

Besides this mysterious basis, the rest of the story is randomly generated based on what the player(s) choose to do. Within the game there are 8 places to roam: the forest, arena, alchemy tower, gardens, palace, tavern, hospital and slums. Each player, attempts to gain points in the different characterization categories—physique, finesse, mind, charm, magic, and wealth—from visiting each of these places in order to combat the Yawhg at the end of the six week period.

This is the scene where the game is set, in which the player(s) participate/or choose not to participate in various tasks in the different locations set out in the game.

This is the scene where the game is set, in which the player(s) participate/or choose not to participate in various tasks in the different locations set out in the game.

In the particular game that I played, within the first six weeks, my brother became a vampire and destroyed the palace, a demon child was released, and I saved a dryad from a mob. The game-play was extremely interesting. Each storyline, no matter how outlandish they were, were interconnected. Even though the connections were sometimes loose, each decision a player makes affects the options and storyline of another. 

Hunting is one of the tasks that a player can choose to do in the game's forest.

Hunting is one of the tasks that a player can choose to do in the game’s forest.

For example, while I was in the forest, the dryad had come up to me and asked me to dance. Even though my physique statistics were not quite high enough to do it well, causing her to leave, the charm that I received for trying helped me to save the dryad outside the tavern later on in the six weeks. 

This is one of the instances where the player can choose to fight or run away depending on their own player's statistics.

This is one of the instances where the player can choose to fight or run away depending on their own player’s statistics.

All while the players are gaining characteristics to prepare for the Yawhg, an eerie mist starts creeping into the screen as the weeks go on. Between each week subtle clues are given to what the Yawhg is. As to not give away any spoilers I will not disclose what the Yawhg is in this post, but I will say that in hindsight, I was a little frustrated that I had not figured out what the Yawhg was sooner.  

After the six week period, the Yawhg has left the town in desolation. This is where each characters’ statistics come in. At this point, the player is now given eight different occupations to choose from: leader, builder, conjurer, doctor, smelter, tailor, looter or the town drunk. This part of the game is extremely imperative. The winning or losing of the game depends on how well the occupation matches the statistics of the player. For example, in the game that I played with my brother, I had high scores in finesse and physique (around 10-13 marks in each category) so the builder was going to be my best bet at being successful. My brother however had high marks in magic and mind, so the conjurer seemed to be the best fit.  In the end, this strategy allowed us to flourish, bring the town back to its former glory, thus winning the game. 

This is what the end message looks like if the player(s) are successful in rebuilding the town after the Yawhg.

This is what the end message looks like if the player(s) are successful in rebuilding the town after the Yawhg.

I can also attribute winning, at least a little bit to my brother who as a seasoned player, guided some of the steps and choices I made. To give myself a little more context about how other’s played it, my brother introduced me to Yogscast Kim, a youtuber who posts videos of her and friends playing the game. This gave me a little more context into how others may play the game, solely for the fun of it, rather than in the interest of winning. The videos are a little long, but typically funny and interesting to watch. 

The physical game aside, the story, while having a few kinks here and there, is very rich with character development, plot and setting. The “choose your own adventure” style of the game creates interesting consequences and choices for the player to choose and play with. 

Overall I say the Yawhg is gamer tested, and English major approved and worth the ten dollars. 

All rights to the images and quotes used belong to Steam, and the owners of the game “The Yawhg”, Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll. 

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