Yomawari is a cautionary tale

Adults tell children fables, in the hopes the story’s message reaches them. See what happened to this attention-seeking boy? This little girl lied and look where that got her. We don’t see often this concept carried over to games, but Yomawari: Night Alone is an exception. There are morals in it, very obvious ones, that come through without the game lecturing us.

The first lesson Yomawari: Night Alone teaches us is about respecting your environment. The little girl is taking her dog, Poro, for a walk. It’s twilight. Instead of sticking to her home town for this venture, she’s walking through the woods, near what appears to be a highway. It isn’t a well-lit area. A shadowy figure already gives a warning that this isn’t a safe space. Instead of heading back to a more populous area, with sidewalks and streetlights, she keeps walking in the middle of the road. When she picks up a rock to throw it, as part of the tutorial, Poro runs after it and right into an oncoming car. We see the bloody aftermath. We know what has happened here. So, what do we learn? Don’t walk along a road with no sidewalks or streetlights; it’s dangerous.


When the little girl returns home in Yomawari: Night Alone, we learn a second lesson. We all know what happened to Poro in the first three minutes of the game. It was rather traumatic, especially since it happened as part of the tutorial explaining proper item usage. Yet, when confronted by her elder sister, the little girl doesn’t seem to say anything. She doesn’t admit that she was walking somewhere she probably shouldn’t have been. She doesn’t say what’s happened to Poro. She stays silent. Because she keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t tell the truth, her sister goes off alone after dark, looking for a dog she’s never going to find. She tells the little girl to stay home and heads out into the night.

This lie is the sister’s undoing. Instead of owning up to what happened, the little girl kept her mouth shut. Her sister went venturing into the town at night, a place that proves to be far more dangerous than during the day. Because she didn’t tell the truth, someone else she loves suffers for it. The moral here? Always tell the truth.


Oddly enough, the one moral alluded most alluded to in Yomawari: Night Alone is the one that is constantly challenged. While the older sister is constantly telling the little girl things she should or shouldn’t do, the girl ignores these orders. Instead of staying home when her older sister tells her to, she goes out into the night to search for her. Even though the older sister tells her to hide in the bushes with her eyes closed and not move, no matter what she sees or hears, she disregards that directive. The little girl isn’t respecting her elder or doing what she’s told, but ends up accomplishing extraordinary things because she refuses to listen.

Yomawari: Night Alone is an adventure that offers players wise advice as they explore a world beset by supernatural entities. If our heroine had been more cautious to begin with or told the truth, none of the events of that night would have happened. Everything might have stayed the same. Because she disregarded some common sense rules, her family paid the price. While there is a chance she can try to make things right at the end, we can’t help but look at everything she’s lost as a result of her ill-advised behavior along the way and learn from her mistakes.

Questions? Comments? Talk to us on Twitter or Facebook!