Yi and The Thousand Moons (2017)
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Developer: David Su
Yi and The Thousand Moons has been described as an "interactive music video” and a “video game musical”. Either of these descriptions are accurate, but it should be clear before going into this game that it will only take about 15-30 minutes to complete. I don’t say that as a negative – it’s an enjoyable experience all the same, and can actually continue to be so during multiple playthroughs. It’s enough time to take you through a thorough story told through music. Yi and the Thousand Moons is a short adventure in which the protagonist, Yi, must save her village from destruction. Despite the clear impending doom, she knows she must be a leader and do what it takes to lead her people to safety.
I take this game for what it is, but my critique on this game involves what I believe could’ve been feasible to improve on. You are told that Yi is saving her village, but the “village” is only 3 people. I understand that it is symbolic, more than literal, but I would’ve enjoyed there being a larger crowd involved in the dialogue and melody of the village. Nonetheless, the music of this game succeeds in giving personality and motive to each of the characters you come across. Despite it being a bittersweet story of survival, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment in the end.
My favorite track was "Poster Child", a powerful but somber song, but the whole soundtrack is one of my favorites to have on repeat. It’s worth listening to the full soundtrack after finishing the game (available on Spotify), but it doesn’t take much longer to replay the game to hear the full soundtrack – a better way to re-live it. This may not be a game for everyone, but I recommend this game as someone who has always been a fan of musicals in general. I’m excited to see more of “video game musicals” as a genre and I believe Yi and the Thousand Moons is an excellent place to start.
Yi and the Thousand Moons is available for PC.
Played on: PC (Steam)
Playtime: 0.3 hours
How I heard about this game: Watched in Indie Game Playground at Dreamhack Austin