I knew I wanted to try out Yurukill: the Calumniation Games after stumbling across the game last year. As a fan of the Danganronpa series, the artstyle and premise peaked my interests. I continuously followed every new detail on the characters and world as they dropped. The news of a demo for PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC sent me through the roof. I knew this was my opportunity to try out the game without needing to throw down my credit card. This past week while on vacation I bested the lengthy demo on Nintendo Switch. Upon reaching the end, I immediately said to myself, I must buy this game.
Yurukill: The Calumination Games Story Trailer
Yurukill: The Calumination Games Background
Yurukill comes from developer G.rev, which mostly makes shoot ’em up titles. First announced at Tokyo Game Show in September 2019, the game is an adventure/shoot ’em up with the story written by Kakegurui author Homura Kawamoto. The player takes control of several people who believe to be falsely accused of crimes they’ve been sentenced for. They mysteriously wake up in a place called Yurukill Land. This land serves as an amusement park that also could give each a chance to free them of their crimes. So what’s the catch? The park is filled with life-threatening attractions and only one can be freed. So fight for survival from not only the attractions, but your partner as well.
The game splits gameplay into two parts. The first being an escape adventure and the second is the shoot ’em up component. In the demo, you play as Sengoku Shunju who is accused of killing 21 people in an apartment bombing. You become partners with Rina Azami who you just met, but is told to be your executioner. Rina can choose at any moment to click a button on her phone that would drive poison into your neck through a collar you wear. You can’t take the collar off yourself and run because the poison will be triggered. Your only option is to push forward with this “game” presented before you. You also meet the other characters caught up in this twisted mess, but the demo ends before getting to really know them. However, the introductions tease quite the tale for all those involved.
Escape Adventure Aspects
Fans of Danganronpa and Zero Escape will feel at home with the escape adventure side of the game. This takes the form of visual novel elements with lots of text and dialogue with interactive portraits on the screen. The player will then scour Yurukill Land to uncover clues and solve puzzles in order to progress forward. Many games in this genre start with easy, simpler puzzles to get the player adjusted before cranking up the difficulty. To my surprise, these early puzzles actually proved to be a challenge with riddles and deciphering data to continue. For example, one puzzle saw you need to reference three different documents found throughout your search in order to decipher the code for a door. I loved the challenge and the story unfolding as I broke down each obstacle in my way. I won’t spoil anything in this article, but if the story holds up the way it began in the demo, we are in for one heck of a ride.
Shoot ‘Em Up Aspects
Following the escape adventure bits, the player begins tackling the shoot ’em up side of the game. While it may seem out of place on paper, the game does a great job of making it flow naturally. To put it short, the player eventually hooks up to a machine that connects to their brain. The machine simulates the experience of the shoot ’em up gameplay. Here, the player must survive through the course while also fighting for their freedom to find the truth. If they don’t, they die.
In the demo, Sengoku needs to convince Rina he did not plant the bombs that killed the 21 people. If he doesn’t, Rina executes him. She, too, is connected to the simulation but no harm will befall her. Her role is simply to execute Sengoku. She throws various enemies at Sengoku as well as transforming into bosses in the stage. When Sengoku overcomes these challenges, he meets with a barrier surrounding Rina’s brain. He must then present evidence found in the earlier section to destroy the prejudice she holds against Sengoku. G.rev presents this component phenomenally. It ties both components of the gameplay together very nicely. It also feels like a true fight for survival. For each time you take a hit, you lose lives that can be vital for a future hurdle. It also makes the player pay attention to the details of the investigation. I truly felt I was one wrong move or choice away from death throughout this section.
Yurukill: The Calmuniation Games Demo Trailer
It took me just over two hours to reach the end of the demo. At the end, we got another taste of two characters and their personalities that had me chuckling. As it closed, the demo pushed for me to see how the rest of the game unfolds when it releases on July 5 in North America. The demo satisfied that desire I felt last year to try Yurukill. What it also did was drive my desire to see the rest of this story and cast. I thought shoot ’em up games were a bygone era of my gaming journey. However, it seems a shoot ’em up title shot up my most anticipated release list. Now to see, if the hype brought on by the demo will result in a killing good time.
Yurukill: The Calumniation Games releases on PlayStation 5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch on July 5 and on PC on July 8.