Sumatra: Fate of Yandi
Developer: Cloak and Dagger Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Point-and-click
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 19/03/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
I’ve played plenty of point-and-click adventures of varying qualities over the years. Some will stick with me forever (I’m looking at you, Monkey Island) but others aren’t so memorable. Sumatra: Fate of Yandi falls into the latter category. Whilst it isn’t bad, it did nothing exciting to help it stand out in what is already a crowded genre.
A forgettable tale
Sumatra: Fate of Yandi puts players in the role of Yandi, who finds himself lost in the jungle following a landslide. Whilst luscious, the jungle is full of hidden dangers, so survival isn’t guaranteed. With the love of his partner spurring him on though, he looks to overcome the obstacles and puzzles in his path to make his way to safety.
Whilst the tale sounds like your standard survival fare, it changes things up often with tonal shifts and flashbacks. It tackles a variety of different themes that stretch further than simply ‘surviving’, with Yandi’s love life, his employer, and much more explored in the tale. It’s surprisingly deep, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s memorable – whilst the story and its characters were fine, it did nothing that stood out to me. But hey, at least it offers enough to keep players invested during the game’s roughly four-hour adventure.
Old-school point-and-click gameplay
Gameplay-wise, Sumatra: Fate of Yandi feels like your typical point-and-click adventure. Players will navigate between an array of different areas, collect and combine items, interact with objects and NPCs, and try to solve puzzles to progress. The game is presented in an old-school style too, with simplistic environments made up of limited colours. It should appeal to veteran fans of the genre, especially those who enjoyed the classic Sierra titles of yesteryear; those who are used to modern releases full of vibrant detail might find it a little lacking though.
Want to know something I appreciated about the game? Despite its old-school style, there are no real fail states. I’ve played plenty of older games in the genre like King’s Quest and Maniac Mansion that could punish player mistakes, but there are no repercussions for poorly thought-out actions here. It lowers the stakes of the adventure (and alleviates the risk to Yandi), but I preferred it.
Puzzling in the jungle
The puzzles are pretty good too, albeit simple in design. There isn’t a whole lot to discover in Sumatra: Fate of Yandi’s world, so players shouldn’t be stumped for too long when trying to find some missing item or work out where to use them. In fact, there’s very little to discover in the environment at all, which is a shame. Point-and-click adventures are known for featuring little details, but Sumatra: Fate of Yandi just felt devoid of them. It made the game less challenging and offered less for players to uncover.
At least the items players find are put to good use, though. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but there are some very elaborate sequences involving combining items that were fun to see unfold – especially when trying to earn the trust of the jungle’s villagers. It’s neat that the animals in the jungle tied into the puzzles and aren’t just there for decoration. It’s a small detail, but something I appreciated.
With its old-school style and low price, I can see why Sumatra: Fate of Yandi would appeal to some gamers. The game has its share of enjoyable moments too, especially since the puzzles are well-designed and fun to solve. It just doesn’t offer anything to really make it stand out at all – heck, I even forgot I’d played it and written this review, which just goes to show how little impact its adventure had.
Sumatra: Fate of Yandi certainly isn’t a bad game, but there are much better point-and-click adventures to play. If you fancy a quick spin in the genre though (and have played everything else), it’s worth checking it out.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2.5 out of 5
You can purchase Sumatra: Fate of Yandi on the Nintendo eShop here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.