「 “Unwanted children” will be taken away by the Yotsumegami 」
Yotsumegami is a puzzle-solving, escape room styled game produced by SEEC. I picked this up on a whim while looking for mobile games that were more than just management or rhythm and this surprised me with its compelling storyline and moving themes. It’s also completely free-to-play with a total of thirteen different endings.
Saihara Mai is a young schoolgirl who’s returned to the village of her birth to pay respects to her late grandmother, accompanied by her single-dad Makoto. Having been raised in the city, she has never been to the village her whole life. While waiting for Makoto and her uncle to return to their shared room, Mai encounters two young children calling for help – their mother is in pain, she’s suffering. Mai is led to a shrine in the nearby hills – Yotsumegami Shrine, where the local deity (Yotsumegami, ‘Four-eyed God’) is worshipped. There, she finds herself unable to leave, returning to the same location over and over again no matter how many times she attempts to leave. Mai meets Imigo, a strange boy who’s so annoyed by her presence that he offers to help Mai find her way back to her family.
Structured like a visual novel, you progress through the story chapters each time you solve a puzzle. Along the way, there are numerous opportunities to learn more about the game universe and its mysterious, eerie inhabitants. This is a spoiler-free review.