Y2K: A New Millennium
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG captured my attention immediately because of the unique art style and amazing choice of time setting. Being set in the 1990s, the trailers and photos from this game alone sent me back in time to reminisce about being a kid throughout the decade. I was ten years old when the 90s came to an end and the Y2K scare occurred, so a game referencing a memory of staying up past midnight on New Year’s Eve waiting for the computers to come alive and unite in revolution was a must play. YIIK starts off strong, with the look and feel of the game putting players back 20 years as it asks them to enter information into a computer. The computer windows and graphics feel identical to what I remember when I first started using computer programs to type and play games; saving documents on floppy discs and sacrificing a phone line to connect to the internet. Players are asked to enter information, such as their name and the names of other people like their favorite female, a best friend, a person opposite of you; the list goes on. I had fun with this process, making names I found entertaining with hopes of them being referenced later in the game. YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG also sets the tone immediately with good humor by responding to probably thousands of people who originally read the title as “Yik” or “Yeek” (including myself) and saying it was pronounced “Why-two-kay” regardless of what the font they chose makes it look like.
Just a College Kid in 1999
The gameplay begins as the main character, Alex, returns to his hometown of Frankton after graduating college. After returning to his house he finds a grocery list from his mother and the adventure begins. The game is advertised as a Japanese style RPG and comes packed with all the elements gamers have come to love from the genre. Players can interact with many different items or people and can explore areas and “dungeons” to find items, money or enemies. When an enemy is found a turn-based combat sequence is entered. The starting weapon is a record and when the attack function is chosen players must press the proper button in the yellow area of the record as it passes by the needle. When your characters are attacked players have an opportunity to defend, reducing damage, or dodge completely by pressing the button at the right time while a meter goes down from the top. If players choose to run away, a small platformer type game begins and they must run and jump to avoid getting caught and get away. The game has players enter different environments, or “dungeons,” which have different enemies and puzzles they must defeat and solve in order to progress. The puzzles are very fun and help the story advance without too much frustration but also allow for some fun problem solving and tactical battles.
A Historical Setting
The game captures the simplicity of the 1990s with seemingly effortless perfection. From the flow and feel of the game itself, to the items, props and personalities of the characters. Every interaction sent me back in time to 1999. The artwork and graphics of some of items and environments Alex interacts with are almost identical to what I remember being on computers in my early childhood, with some scenes having a modern feel and a little more refined and enhanced visuals. Some of the backgrounds and settings in YIIK seem to be just layered colors and moving colored lines; the type of art my sister would create in one of the original Paint programs on an early version of Windows. However, it fits well with the story and is effectively beautiful, creating an atmosphere that is highly enjoyable. Items and props in each scene are well placed, including an original GameBoy in Alex’s bedroom, record stores, and even the furniture and clothes the characters wear. This helps capture the essence of being an individual experiencing 1999 as it really was. It is strange to think the 1990s are now a historical setting for things such as video games or other mediums, but YIIK does a great job of taking players back in time a couple of decades and making it feel like it was yesterday.
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG is incredibly fun with a beautiful environment that makes me want to keep playing. While there seems to be some minor mechanical issues such as problems getting into the right position to interact with some people and items, the game has very few glitches or flaws that I have encountered. I am probably highly biased, as the game helped me explore the 90s as an adult with a new perspective on life in general. This allowed me to laugh at the ways of the times and enjoy it even more than I already did from a nostalgic point of view.
The game website boasts up to 25 hours of gameplay and I plan to explore and beat as much of it as possible and should easily hit that mark. Revisiting a simpler time in my life through Alex’s story is a great concept and I recommend the game to anyone who enjoys RPGs, great humor or the 1990s. The game released on Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch, so there is no excuse not to pick it up! For only $19.99, you can’t beat a game that gives more than 20 hours of enjoyable gameplay.