PAX Prime 2015: YIIK: A Postmodern RPG Hands-On Preview – Colorful and Humorous

There are a lot of turn-based, party RPGs out there, but the upcoming PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Wii U, and PC game YIIK: A Postmodern RPG still manages to strike me as something that’s unique, partly due to its art style, its humor, and the way combat is done.

The game’s art style is the first thing that really struck me. It’s colorful and bright, and looks like something that could almost be found in No Man’s Sky. The game just looks inviting, which is probably why I made my way over to the Ackk Studios booth in the first place. 

Once I started playing the game, I noticed that the art style is the only inviting thing about it. Players take on the role of Alex Eggleston, a recent college grad who is a bit of a hipster. Traveling with him are his hipster friends, and together they engage in well-written and funny dialogue. The characters seem to be fully voiced, and although the voice acting could use a little work, the clever dialogue sort of makes up for that.

While walking around the open levels, players can talk to NPCs and fight enemies, who, at least in my playthrough, were all simply annoyed and disgruntled citizens who were apparently looking for a fight to relieve some stress. The enemies also have humorous dialogue, and once they’re beaten, they will remain on the screen, but cannot be fought again. In a way, it sort of works like the Pokemon games.

Combat, however, is nothing like Pokemon. While combat is turn-based and party-based, each attack requires the player to complete a mini-game in order to be effective. For example, when I used a certain skill with Alex, I had to stop a spinning record on a certain small spot in order to actually score a hit. Then, when I took control of one of his companions, the skill I was using took me to a separate screen where I had to pick up a barrel and throw it at an enemy on the ground. It’s wacky, but it also makes every attack entertaining and a bit challenging.

I’m not entirely sure if the novelty of this will wear off after a few hours, when I just want to defeat enemies quickly and move on with the game, but I enjoyed the short time I had with YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. 

YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is set to be released in the Q4 of 2015.