Timely: Yesterday Came Out Today

By Adam Smith on March 22nd, 2012 at 9:30 am.

He believes in it

Yesterday, from Pendulo the creators of the Runaway series and The Next Big Thing, is now out. It’s £19.99 direct from the publisher and there’s a trailer below. Of the few companies plugging away at the point and click genre, Pendulo are the one I’m least acquainted with. I’ve seen videos aplenty and even played the first hour or so of the first Runaway but I never felt inspired to continue, let alone to plough through a trilogy. Yesterday has killings, cults, conspiracies and an amnesiac lead character, ideas which haven’t quite managed to send me cartwheeling around the room. In fact, I’ve actually nestled deeper into my chair and begun to grimace slightly. Trailer follows.

Maybe I’m being grumpy and out of sorts, which is why I request that anyone who has enjoyed Pendulo’s previous games reports in the comments below and convinces me to give this one a go. The Runaway games certainly seemed to sell well enough so somebody must have been playing them.

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33 Comments »

  1. D3xter says:

    You should have waited with this article till Tomorrow.

    Oh yeah, Pendulo Studios, played about half of the first Runaway and it was kind of missing that *spark*, remember some really convulted puzzle around an airplane graveyard.

  2. Maldomel says:

    Never played one of those games, but I’ve heard good things about Runaway and The next big thing.

  3. AONomad says:

    I’m actually fairly interested in this game… if it’s well received might pick it up. Would trust your skeptic opinion above all others though, since I’m not really usually into this genre and would prefer good taste to guide me.

  4. Mattrex says:

    Having just finished The Next BIG Thing yesterday (as my preorder bonus for Yesterday, natch), I can say that I’m very much looking forward to Yesterday. TNBT was loaded with charm and weird humor, and excellent characterization that painted intriguing pictures even of the characters who didn’t have much screen time. I sailed through it without once mumbling to myself about just wanting to get this part over with so that I could get to the next cutscene, because the whole game is infused with confidence and enthusiasm for its premise.

    And when I reached the end, it made me just straight up grin goofily in a way that I hadn’t managed with a game in some time.

    My point is that Pendulo definitely knows their stuff, so it’s taken very little to convince me to play Yesterday hot on the heels of TNBT.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >TNBT was loaded with charm and weird humor, and excellent characterization

      I bought TNBT on a recommendation from a friend, and even though I agree with the above sentence, the game didn’t click for me, for some reason. I was a little put off by the initial stereotypical gender roles with the brittle overachieving woman, and the too-cool-for-school man who triumphed over her without even trying, or wanting to. But maybe they grow as characters later.

  5. niking says:

    I played the three Runaway games, and really enjoyed them. The graphics are beautiful, the characters are amazing, the dialogue and voice acting is really good and funny. It’s no Monkey Island but in my book, it’s pretty close. Haven’t played the Next Big Thing, though, and this trailer is pretty underwhelming.

  6. Teovald says:

    I have finished the Runaway trilogy and it was forgettable. I am comparing it with huge classics like Monkey Island, so it is hard to measure but the story was not really a strong point, the characters really bland and stereotypical and most of all it was not really funny.

  7. Atresica says:

    I tried the first Runaways. Unfortunately, the gameplay was pretty dire. You had to do everything in the exact order that the creators intended. So you were stuck with situations that you knew you had to combine two things at one point, but the game wouldn’t let you until you did a whole load of things before. Worse, occasionally there were times you had multiple problems to solve, but even that you had to do in the order they intended.

    And as the game never told you whether you were on the right track (unlike, say, the Secret Files), it just became a frustrating experience.

    That combined with the fact that it hardly had an intriguing plot going on or even remotely interesting characters, I just gave up.

    If they fixed all these gameplay issues I might give this one a try. For now, I rather spend my money on things like the Secret Files 3 or newcomers like Resonance (if it ever comes out).

  8. Raziel_Alex says:

    I’ve finished Yesterday two times… and God, am I disappointed. I didn’t finish any of their previous games, but this one seems especially made for the ADHD crowd, ending at about 3-4 hours, even without the hint system’s help. Very concise game – well, maybe except the story – but with so much missed potential.

  9. Shadowcat says:

    Yesterday…

  10. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    I only played the first Runaway. It has a decent art style but it also features terible pixel-hunting and one of the most unlikeable protagonists in adventure games. Considering that this is a genre populated by squeaky-voiced characters endlessly repeating obnoxious lines like “that doesn’t work”, that’s saying something. I mean, there is one scene I remember wherein you had to solve a puzzle to pick up a tool lying in the mud because the guy refused to directly touch it as he didn’t want to get his hands dirty. Nevermind that he could always wash his hands in the bar behind him afterwards.

  11. gschmidl says:

    The first Runaway was ok. The second Runaway was painfully bad and boring.

    • MondSemmel says:

      I played the first Runaway and liked it quite a bit. Then the second game’s final scene/level/thingie consisted of a drawn-out dream sequence you were desperately trying to awake from. I.e. that whole part was completely irrelevant to the story. It was the worst kind of cliffhanger: Not interesting in itself; but because the story didn’t finish at that point, you feel some compulsion to play the third and final part of the trilogy.
      What a shame.
      I stopped there, and so I never finished the story.

  12. Bluerps says:

    I thought Runaway 1 was okay. I don’t regret playing it, but I also would not recommend it to other adventure fans, until they have played a large number of better games. The puzzles are mostly fine, though it does contain some bizarre ones, like manufacturing machinegun ammunition from lipsticks.

    It also gets really annoying at one point during the end, where a puzzle requires a specific item from a nearby bag – the problem is that the main character does not mention that this item is even in the bag, until after the puzzle has started. If you first find the bag and then start the puzzle (and I’m not sure if it’s possible to do it the other way around), you’re screwed until you start randomly clicking on stuff.
    (Btw – the developers reaction to the negative feedback for this puzzle was to include similar ones in their next game and making jokes about the people complaining about it)

  13. Risingson says:

    I have a very long and troublesome story with Pendulo Studios. I liked Igor quite a bit, I loathed Hollywood Monsters, I hated Runaway, I was somehow amused by Runaway 2. And I was very dissapointed with Yesterday/Hollywood Crimes. These fellow spaniards do really have a good touch for the aesthetics, and most of the times the puzzle design works, but this game is frustrating. Frustrating for the constant feeling of “you have all the elements, so why didn’t you put more effort in this?”.

  14. dignifieddevil says:

    I am digging the next big thing and kinda enjoyed one of the runaway games, but this one I’m not so sure about. The other problem with this game is that it’s going to be available on ipad.. If we have to have multiple devices, this game is definitely more recommended on Apple’s platform.

  15. malkav11 says:

    They make pretty games, but Runaway was -terrible- in terms of writing, and that’s a pretty important element of the genre for me. I’ve been vaguely curious about The Next Big Thing and Yesterday, but considering how much I hated Runaway, I’ve not been optimistic about my chances of enjoying them. Especially since they’ve apparently done well enough that Pendulo wouldn’t have had any real reason to step up their game.

    • Risingson says:

      Runaway has lots of flaws, but the main one is that Pendulo do not have any sense of humor. The comedic elements are simply terrible. Other touches, like the clumpsy beginning with a guy in a chair with a black background, the clumpsier flashback when Gina falls or that little thing that annoys me so much in Pendulo games: repetition. You click at a bag, you grab one thing. You click again, grab another thing. You click again, and there’s nothing interesting… until two actions later. NO.

  16. Navagon says:

    I just recently completed The Next Big Thing. It was really good so I’m looking forward to playing this one.

  17. qptain Nemo says:

    All the people who say “Ooo, I saw all the flaws in Runaway 1 so I gave up on Pendulo forever” make me wonder: did they and everybody else play Skyrim for the sole reason of that they all had found Elder Scrolls 1: Arena to be so fantastic and promising?

    Because, y’see, even though I liked first Runaway, I can see the flaws in it too. But also I can see that they’ve improved a *lot* and as the result Runaway 3 turned out to be what I consider one of the best adventure games (and just games in general actually) of the last 10 years or so.

  18. Mattrex says:

    Having played Yesterday now, I am… quite saddened to say that it is not a very good game. As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed TNBT and I expected Yesterday to be similar, but the two games play as if they weren’t even made by the same company. There isn’t even any voice acting outside of cutscenes and no commentary on items in your inventory except for the first time you examine them. Even the cutscenes have almost no dynamism and little aesthetic sense, consisting mostly of ugly, poorly-animated talking heads and comic-book-like still frames that look like they could have come out of a game from 1998.

    And don’t get me started on the ludicrous scenarios. I’m held at gunpoint by a deranged cultist and he starts asking me chess problems? No thanks.

  19. vivlo says:

    I enjoyed all three Runaways, on a DS it was, not a pc. Gameplay was terrible but it was still a pleasure
    to see this thing on such a tiny machine.
    I liked the humor ! including some odd puzzles, when the obvious solution was unreachable for some very stupid reason, but sometimes it was a genuinely funny stupidity, however annoying.

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